Posted by: Alex | March 7, 2010

Initial Travel Plans

I booked my departure ticket a few weeks ago, and here are my plans for the next 12 months or so.

I’ll be leaving San Francisco at 8:00pm on March 22nd on a direct flight to Auckland, arriving at 5:10am on March 24th (the international date line does some funny things.)  My flight to the South Island is the next day at 6:10am, and I arrive in Christchurch at 7:30am.  From there, I’ll make my way down to Omarama, about a 4 hour drive from Christchurch.

Omarama is where the gliding operation is based, and I’ll be doing some work around the airfield in exchange for housing.  This will be the time to renew currency in my gliding license at the tail end of the season and generally get my bearings in New Zealand.  The gliding operation shuts down for the months of May through August inclusive (the Southern winter) as gliding weather is not as favorable and reliable during this period.

I haven’t yet decided what I will do during the winter months, but I will likely split it between skiing in the Queenstown area (potentially moving down there temporarily), spending some time with my cousin, who is also taking a year off in New Zealand, and either traveling with friends or basing myself at a gliding operation in the Northern hemisphere for a little while for the summer.

Once the weather starts warming up and the gliding season gets back into full swing, and assuming that the folks at Omarama let me stick around, September through early 2011 will be spent back at Omarama, going gliding and taking time to explore more of New Zealand and Australia.  I’ll have my road bike and SCUBA gear with me to keep myself busy as well.

Finally, the plan is to end the trip with a round-the-world ticket from Star Alliance and visit South America, Africa, India, and Southeastern Asia.

Nothing is entirely set in stone at this point, but a year is already seeming short!  It would be fantastic to meet up with friends either in New Zealand or elsewhere in the world.  I’d also be more than happy to provide any advice I can on travel to New Zealand once I’ve had a chance to settle in.

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