After traveling to 40 countries and a never-ending list of where to next, I’ve had lots of friends ask the ultimate question: ‘what’s your favorite memory?’ While I can never answer this (It’s like asking which kid you love most) there are definitely places that stick out and where I know I’m going to end up going back.
Of course, it depends on who you are and what sort of travel you enjoy, but the inner adventurer in me always recommends one place to fell adventure seekers: the majestic New Zealand.
Why New Zealand? Put aside the Lord of the Rings landscape and the friendly people—it is adventure heaven. My boyfriend and I rented the cheapest car available and were able to drive from the north island to the bottom of the south island in about a week with lots of stops along the way.
Depending on what time of year you go, there are tons of amazing adventure sports. We were there in May and while it wasn't quite skiing season, so we spent our day finding fun ways to explore the landscape including ice climbing Fox Glacier.
I don’t consider myself a thrill-seeking junkie, but I love adventure sports so ice climbing for beginners seemed like an amazing way to explore the beautiful Fox Glacier. With no experience wearing crampons or using an ice pick, it was a pretty scary start. You need to learn to trust your own tools but also really trust your climbing partner who has you strapped in. Once I finally got the hang of things, I was able to look up and around during the climb instead of at my feet and was in complete awe of the beauty surrounding me.
I always pictured a glacier to be some huge iceberg floating in the ocean, but Fox glacier is a maritime glacier placed within a mountain range. The glacier itself is a constantly moving and melting, leaving huge crevices and caves of ice all over the glacier, which can be viewed as really exciting places to explore, or really scary places to fall into. Overall it ended up being one of the most exciting days I’ve spent traveling. While I ended up with incredibly bruised knees from my poor climbing techniques, it is a day I will never forget—and always recommend to fellow travelers.
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