Planning to Not Plan for New Zealand

The other day I made a decision about my month in New Zealand: I am not going to have a guidebook. It’s been immensely helpful to have the Lonely Planet Shoestring Guide to South America, don’t get me wrong, but I want to experience this part in a different way.

Every time I tell someone where I’m going I am flooded with “you have to go here!” This has happened a lot with New Zealand, so I figured I would trust my fellow travelers and just go with what they said. Who could tell me what to see better than someone who I know shares my enthusiasm for the backpacker lifestyle? Plus in a country where it seems you can do no wrong, where even just driving down the road is a sight to see, why would I want to burden myself with a guidebook’s list?

After traveling around South America for the past 3 months, I already know that I want to do another long trip in the future that is very spontaneous. I want to do the one way flight with no plan method. Just show up and see where life takes you. New Zealand is my chance to do that within this RTW trip; arrive in Auckland, leave from Auckland, and let life do the rest.

So in an hour I will board my plane with just 2 nights booked at a hostel in Auckland and a handwritten list of names of places from friends. Anyone in Auckland want to help me figure out the next step when I get there?


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