It snuck up on me. I mean, I’ve been thinking about it for weeks now, but it’s finally here. On Sunday I left sunny Alexandra behind for the warm(er) shores and big city vibe of Auckland. While I’m looking forward to seeing new things, exploring a new city and SUSHI SUSHI DEAR LORD SUSHI, I’m really going to miss tiny Alex.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I’d adjust to living in such a small place. I mean, throw me on a desert island or in the middle of NYC and I’m happy as a clam! But a small town? One grocery store? Suburbs? Oh no no no.
However! Things worked out well, as they often do, and hanging out in that small town seemed to be the perfect way to spend a few months in New Zealand. I think everyone wants to have that ‘authentic’ experience when they travel, and we often try to find it by hiking lonely mountains and hoping we stumble across a friendly hermit. Turns out all I had to do was live in a small town for a few months! While there I got to experience the amazingness that are Kiwis; friendly, welcoming, hospitable and always willing to shout the next round or drive you to the next town (even if the next town is an hour away). I mean, there’s a reason people aren’t afraid to hitchhike this country!*
Central Otago is gorgeous, and I’d tell anyone doing a tour of the South Island to spend some time there. There are mountains to hike, tunnels to explore, trails to bike and it’s the sunniest place I’ve ever been! Hottest in the summer (but not humid) and coldest in the winter (but not wet), Otago is full of awesome, and Alexandra is an over-looked gem.
I’m going to miss Alex, and wish I could take all the friends I made there with me everywhere I go. If you’re doing the drive from Queenstown to Dunedin, make sure to stop over at Monteith’s Alexandra for a pint and a great meal from my first job in NZ, and be sure to explore the tiny city a little bit. It really was my home away from home.
*I’m too afraid to hitchhike this country. I wish I wasn’t because people seem so cool when they say “I hitched from X to X”, but people also seem cool when they’re alive and not cut into 16 different pieces along the highway.