SEEING home FOR the FIRST time, all over again
“WHY DO YOU GO AWAY? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
- TERRY PRACHETT
DEAR tourism New Zealand,
Back in March, my partner Tom and I did what a lot of young Kiwis do. We packed our lives into bags and boxes, boarded our Air New Zealand flight with overweight suitcases, and moved our existence to the other side of the world. It was our turn to embark on this rite of passage and to get out and see what the rest of the world had to offer.
And since leaving New Zealand soil, our insuppressible curiosity and my blog have given us the chance to do exactly that.
In only eight months;
We’ve walked amongst the clouds at the top of Singapore’s high rises.
We’ve been covered head to toe in colour during the Holi festival in India; and me head to toe in a Sari while standing in front, and in awe, of the Taj Mahal.
We became engaged in a hot air balloon floating 3150 ft over the Jaipur countryside.
We’ve basked in sunshine in the Andaman Islands and taken a dip to cool off in the Greek Islands.
We’ve explored the coastline of Cinque Terre, the canals of Amsterdam, and soon the slopes of the Austrian Alps.
And I sat in the same chair as Kate Moss at her London tattoo artist to have the coordinates of New Zealand - of home - permanently inked onto my wrist.
Our travels have truly opened our eyes to the beauty that this world has to offer. But it has also opened our eyes to the profound beauty that we left behind.
Discovering new destinations made us realise that when you live somewhere, too often you’re living with your eyes half shut - holidays are spent at the same spots, Saturday mornings are spent at the same cafes, ‘tourist attractions’ are avoided because we’re not tourists. Home is seen as ordinary rather than as the extraordinary place that it is.
And living so far away from home has reminded us of how lucky we are to be able to call New Zealand that - we have lost count of how many people have been amazed at where we come from, have said they are longing to travel there, and how many times we've emailed off itineraries to those lucky enough to be heading New Zealand's way.
Which brings me to February 2018.
With our New Zealand passports in one hand and camera in the other, Tom and I will be returning to New Zealand for our first visit. We are coming home but, owing to our recent eye-opening adventures, we will be seeing the country we know so well as if it’s the very first time. We will be seeing New Zealand through locals’ eyes but with a tourist’s spirit - and we will be capturing this through the lens of our camera.
Our mission, as we travel throughout the country and share our adventures, is to let people see the New Zealand that we love through our eyes - two travellers, one blogger, but most importantly, two New Zealanders coming home.
And as the organisation that aims to bring the world to New Zealand, we would love to work together with you on this project to take our New Zealand story to the world.
A two-week journey throughout New Zealand that beautifully captures the best of New Zealand along with handpicked local tips, top spots and #NZMustDo's. This content will be shared with the world via the jambarrett (The Blondini Chronicles) platforms - both as social content and blog content - and will all be available for use by Tourism New Zealand. Content will also be made available to be featured in national and international publications to heighten exposure of both the content and Tourism New Zealand.
Our visit will take place over a two week period from February 23 - March 11, 2018.
Seeing the people and the places we love will take us all over the country, with our three key locations comprising Auckland (and Waiheke Island), Wellington and Wanaka/Queenstown.
While Tom and I will be creating the content, we will be sharing our journey with two very valuable audiences for New Zealand tourism - an international audience as well as a domestic audience. Our journey will introduce a global audience of wanderlusters to the beauty of New Zealand, and through our photos and 'local' #NZMustDo's, will make New Zealand irresistible to visit. For our fellow Kiwis following along, we hope to reawaken them to the incredible country that they are so lucky to call home and encourage them to see more of it.
All content is able to be repurposed by Tourism New Zealand to reach any of the brand’s own audiences.
As Tourism New Zealand is inextricably linked to businesses that serve to make visiting New Zealand an unforgettable destination, we would love to work with your team to ensure that we are showcasing the best of each region - travel options, accommodation, experiences and local hidden gems. Any support received would be recognised through the creation of content, exposure, and usage rights, as well as us giving credit to Tourism New Zealand for our amazing adventures. We would also be more than happy to hero any services, experiences or destinations as requested by Tourism New Zealand.
We are so excited to head home and are even more excited about the chance to do it with Tourism New Zealand.