With Christmas really only a matter of days away, I am undoubtedly excited - as I am every year. The food, the music, the atmosphere and having everyone together under one roof - there is nothing better! However, there is something that is almost overshadowing the festivities this time around, and that is our trip to New Zealand.
You may have seen my post last week on social media, announcing the trip and if not, I cannot tell you how excited I am. We fly out from Heathrow on the 27th December (the day after Boxing Day!) and we will be back in the UK on the 1st of February 2019! Whilst for me, this is my long awaited return to the country that stole my heart, for James, this is a mammoth adventure and only his SECOND time on a plane. The first being when I took him to Scotland for his birthday in September. A little different though this time around, I think you'll agree?
From Heathrow, we fly to Dubai where we stop-over for a few hours, giving us time to explore the duty-free shops in the airport which I have heard are incredible! From Dubai we then have a whopping 18 hour flight ahead of us, as we head on to Christchurch. We do stop at Sydney for a short time, I am not sure if we even get off the plane here? If anyone has any experience with this, please get in touch! I have always wanted to go to Australia and I suppose in a roundabout way, we will be!
For those of you who have been following me for a while, you'll most likely know that I spent seven months out in New Zealand back in 2015/2016. It was undisputedly the best few months of my life so far! I grew as a person and I truly believe it enabled me to find myself and learn to enjoy my own company and I would even go so far as to say it completely changed my perspective and attitude to life. The inspiration for the blog and the subsequent magazine that you all know and love came as a result of my travels out there.
During my stay in NZ (the first time around), I worked on a number of dairy farms (something totally new to me before I touched down in NZ!) and also as an au-pair and groom/rider for a short time too.
Bizarrely, one of the things I am most looking forward to when we are out in New Zealand is milking the cows again. The night sky is the most stunning blanket of stars, revealing constellations and wonders that cannot be justified by words and the those incredible sunrises during a morning's milking are just unforgettable. I have missed that experience more than I ever thought I would.
The nature of this trip is to create some amazing content for our upcoming Spring 2019 issue, to share some beautiful social media content with you all and of course to have an adventure of a lifetime!
We have some fantastic editorial features lined up, with some genuine NZ farmers, equestrians and so on. I am confident you will all love the pieces and I can't wait to essentially take you all on our adventures with me! I have worked my little socks off all year to produce the first full year of In The Country Magazines and as a
solo-preneur that can be tough! I am not going to sugar coat it, I am exhausted but I am SO proud of what we have achieved in the past year. The thought of heading to NZ at the end of it definitely kept me going through the rubbish days or those days when I just didn't think it was going to happen.
After putting up a Facebook post asking NZ farmers if they would be interested in meeting us and chatting to us for the purpose of creating some fantastic editorial content for the magazine, we have been inundated with offers and resulting places to stay along the way which is just incredible.
I didn't get to do too much travelling last time I was there, partly due to working but also because my little car broke down and I turned around as I didn't want to get stranded! So, this time, the majority of the trip consists of travelling, seeing sights, meeting incredible people, doing some even more incredible things and creating content for you all as well as memories that will last a lifetime! I know I love everything about this beautiful country, having been before and I am confident James will fall in love with it too! Fingers crossed! Although... I don't think I will manage to get him on a horse... there is still time though!
Cattle herding up in the mountain ranges of the North Island was one of the most thrilling experiences I have ever had. The views, the terrain, the horses and just everything about it was incredible! Something I cannot wait to do again, so watch out for that!
This is the first ever business/content related trip I will have done with In The Country and I am so excited to see the results from it. With a growing bucket list and growing number of opportunities that blogging and the business has opened up for me, I very much hope to be able to do more trips like the one we are heading on, in the future. We have so many exciting things planned for 2019 and I hope you'll all love them!
For now though, I best get packing as I still have last minute Christmas shopping to do annnd we still have ITC orders coming in (yay!), which need to be wrapped and sent out to their new homes in time for Christmas!
Until next time...
Lots of love,