Happy New Year to my beloved friends and fellow bloggers!

I can’t believe one year has passed and I didn’t go to work a single day (yeah man, time flies when you’re having fun)! In case you wonder, I quit my job in 2016 and traveled Europe until a scholarship offer landed in my mail box and sent me to the other side of the world. Still, I managed to spend the first day of 2017 snowshoeing in Mt Devero (northern Italy) and visit the Renaissance Florence city before beginning the New Zealand chapter.

Things weren’t easy on my early days being an international student, being lonely and culturally shocked. But then I learned to improvise, spending more time in nature, surrounding myself with those who radiate positive energy, and educating myself about mindfulness. Mindfulness, to put it simply, is living in the moment.

2017 turned out to be an awesome year. I joined folks at the Auckland tramping club for a muddy trek in the lush rainforest, had fun time watching Kiwi farm animals and Rotorua‘s erupting geysers with my new besties. G and I also took a number of road trips across the Pacific island country, covering some of the best attractions in the north and going as south as the Waipapa point. Together we hiked through the volcanic terrains of Tongariro Alpine Crossing, napped on the black sandy beach of Rangitoto island and, for the first time, we saw with naked eyes the yellow-eye penguin in the natural environment. What was my favorite moment you ask? I would say the encounter with the penguin in Curio Bay – a longggggg wanted one, but I’ll tell you more in another post. 🙂

Anyway, have a look at some of my best travel experiences in 2017, and here’s to another tremendous year!

2017-01-01 12.24.41.jpg
Trekking in Mt Devero – Italy (1st Jan, 2017)

Florence-110.jpg360 degree view from Piazzale Michelangelo – Florence, Italy  (7 Jan, 2017)

IMG_2959Steam hovering near the Emerald lake in Mt Tongariro – New Zealand (25 Mar, 2017)

IMG_3242
Unspoiled landscape of Rangitoto island – Auckland, New Zealand (28 Mar, 2017)

IMG_4728.jpgPohutu geyser erupting in Rotorua, New Zealand (30 Aug, 2017)

2017 NZ South islands 1462.jpgA yellow-eyed penguin in Curio Bay, New Zealand (8 Dec, 2017)

Featured image: A damp winter day in Auckland, New Zealand – Photo courtesy of Giang Moon

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