35 Things I Appreciate About New Zealand

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Road to Milford Sound.

To celebrate Thanksgiving, I wrote a list of 35 things I appreciate about America.

Then, I started writing another list in my head: Things I Appreciate About New Zealand.

So, in the spirit of American Thanksgiving, in no particular order, here are 35 things I appreciate about New Zealand:

  1. The ability to see a lot without traveling far.
  2. The Southern Alps.
  3. The national park system, free to visit.
  4. What you see on the price tag is what you pay; there is no tax added to the end of restaurant or store orders.
  5. Whittaker’s chocolate.
  6. RJ’s licorice.
  7. Deep South ice cream.
  8. The Southern Cross.
  9. The hospitality of complete strangers.
  10. Homey hostels.
  11. The opportunity to see many species of wildlife, including endangered species, in their natural habitats.
  12. Kiwis.
  13. Being a sheep person there isn’t weird.
  14. Fish and chips.
  15. Kumara.
  16. Milford Sound.
  17. Cheap, yet reliable, used cars.
  18. Learning how to light a fire in a wood stove.
  19. Innovation that stems from necessity.
  20. Free museums.
  21. Historic movie theaters sitting right next to the Pacific Ocean.
  22. The Otago Peninsula.
  23. Golden light on the landscapes.
  24. Mt. Cook.
  25. The wildness of the high country.
  26. Maori words written alongside English.
  27. The music scene, which includes nomad and the Finn brothers (Neil Finn sang “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” and Tim Finn sang as a surprise at the Auckland Coldplay concert).
  28. People wearing hobbit cloaks on Lord of the Rings tours.
  29. The working holiday visa.
  30. Lupines blooming.
  31. Air New Zealand.
  32. No snakes.
  33. Antarctic winds sweeping across the blazing Canterbury Plains in the summer.
  34. Ease of navigation through rural areas.
  35. Ferns.

That’s sweet as.

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