And just like that, I’m back in the motherland (that’s Singapore, for the uninitiated).

I haven’t written a whole lot about New Zealand for several reasons. I’ve never been great at blogging on the go. It takes time for this little brain to process the constant new inputs and fit them into the picture-in-progress before being able to spit out something cogent. Then 2 weeks into the trip, we had a collision with a tractor that totalled our car, but miraculously managed to walk away from with little other than some bruising and sprains. But it did mean we were somewhat injured for the rest of our time there and had to take it pretty slow. So no long hikes or climbs or anything too physical as previously envisioned, and sitting at the computer was not much fun either. I wish I could say we had a blast and did all these things and drove everywhere etc, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.

Bethells Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

Still, it wasn’t a total write off. The black beaches were nearby and easily accessible during our last 2 weeks in Auckland. I loved them from my first glimpse 5 years ago, and that has only grown. Little compares to their bleak, elemental beauty. Serendipitously catching up with friends all the way from Germany ended the trip on a very positive note.

Looking back at Bethells Beach while walking to the car on our last visit. North island, New Zealand

It was never going to be the sort of trip that was TV / social media worthy, because we’re just not high energy, do-awesome-stuff travellers (or, I’m not anyway). It was really about Flemming and I getting some time to ourselves, which we’ve had precious little of this year, and remembering the pleasure of travel again (also precious little of this year, but that’s a whole other post). Despite the set backs, we had a mostly lovely 7 weeks in a gorgeous country. I was sorry to leave, despite driving being a little traumatic post accident, and would go back again in a heartbeat.

Evening views from Marina Bay, Singapore

But here I am in the glittering beacon that is the mother country. I’ll be here for the foreseeable months to come, healing up and doing my part to further our new direction while Flemming heads back to Denmark to tackle his.

Let’s see what 2018 has in store.


  1. Mike says:

    Welcome home Charlene and sorry to read of your tractor collision. I was hoping to see some photographs from South Island but perhaps another day. The photographs of the black beaches are amazing – good to hear that you and Flemming got to enjoy them together.

    1. Charlene says:

      I was definitely hoping to make some photographs in South Island myself Mike. But, another day. NZ is close enough to Singapore to go many times over.

  2. Mike says:

    There speaks a seasoned traveller.

    1. Charlene says:


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