Day 27 – Free
When I was deployed to Afghanistan I was given a break in the middle to go somewhere. While most people went home to the states, you had the choice to go anywhere. My husband and I wanted to take this opportunity to do something fun together and he choose New Zealand as where we would end up.
I traveled from Kuwait to New Zealand and it was probably one of the strangest experiences of my life. The team took us from the base to Kuwait International Airport carrying M-16 in a small van. When we arrived at the airport, they dropped us off and said have a fun trip. I was in awe of a huge airport with a number of well-known stores and ended up waiting to board my flight at the Starbucks. They do not have you go through security till right before the flight so I just waited and drank the most expensive hot chocolate I have ever had. (It was $9 or so after the conversion) They scanned our luggage multiple times, but I still did not feel like it was adequate security. From Kuwait, it was off to Dubai and then an 18-hour flight to Australia and then finally a short 1-hour flight to New Zealand. I asked a local kiwi (slang for New Zealander) what to do in New Zealand. She said just to drive. I thought this was not very good advice and then we drove.
We spent 15 amazing days seeing the country of New Zealand. We started and ended in Auckland and went as far South as Queenstown. My husband is a huge Lord of the Rings fan so we did a number of excursions to see places where the movie was filmed. My top two places we went related to that movie were Mt Sunday (Rohan) and a farm (also known as Hobbiton). The beauty of New Zealand is more than amazing. It is perfect and uninterrupted, with miles of open land without a trace of everyday life. No power lines, houses, or anything to take away from the beauty that is New Zealand. It was a great break from the daily grind of Afghanistan. I found my freedom.
See all my 31 Days…Military Life