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  • Writer's pictureMissy & Lucas


Preparing to leave for the airplane

Up bright and early for our flight to New Zealand

She has been my girlfriend for over two years now and it has gone by so fast! It seems that we just met at Geo's yesterday when we both showed up for our first day. I knew right away that we would get along just by the way she talked and joked around. She is the kind of girl that always wants to have fun and to fill days with excitement until you're standing off a cliff with a rope that is supposedly going to keep you safe. She keeps her priorities straight, her goals right in front of her, and pays attention to detail, but can also be a loving and gentle woman. She is simply amazing and I love to call Marissa mine. When Missy first told me about going to New Zealand to finish her schooling, I didn't hesitate at all. We had only been dating about 3 months and it was already sounding like the "time of your life" kind of trip with someone I knew would make it the best.

And it was!

At the start we had planned a six week trip before her schooling started, and to be honest, Missy did a lot of the planning and it turned out amazing. I don't think it could've gone smoother. The way she went about the schedule was just perfect, with optional amount of days in every city and the perfection of the bus schedule which was even more impressive. Throw in a couple three to four day treks and some hitch hiking and that was just the start.

But, even then, there's a lot more than that to make a good travel partner.

Haka at All Blacks rugby match

The famous Haka brought to you by Missy and I

It's easy for me to say Marissa is my best friend now, but when we first left there was still a lot to question. I knew I loved her but there is still that uncertainty of travelling with someone, in that maybe they don't like the way you do certain things? Maybe the things you eat are different? Or maybe there's a way you eat that disgusts your significant other? (Totally me).

For us though, our chemistry on the road couldn't have been any better. When it came to cooking or sleeping arrangements we were both happy. We had very similar ideas on what we wanted from this trip, and that helps a lot.

I feel there are those who like vacations at resorts, "beach bums", who enjoy free alcohol and lots of people in close proximity. I'll agree it isn't the worst, but it's not my cup of tea. Then there's the people who can only go for two to three weeks or maybe a month at the maximum, "the norms" I'd like to call them, that want to visit a country or city and do the main itineraries and see the big sights and go back home with some good stories and maybe try a different country or city in another year or six months again. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact I enjoy that as well, like when I was in Uruguay and Argentina for three weeks.

Then there is Missy, a traveller who wants nothing else than to pick a country she wants to visit and spend all of the time there, really live there, making sure that every square inch is done so that the country and cities are completed to the maximum, which I absolutely adore. I like it so much that she changed my idea on travel altogether.

The way that travelling can be waaaay too rushed and you end up missing out on so much, like really getting that feeling of being a local or knowing your way around. Eventually getting to that point where you can help other tourists get around and have an idea where to go. What she taught me was when you slow down the plans and start to get a feel for that country it makes the travelling seem so much better. For one, you aren't exhausted everyday from trying to fit everything in. Two, you have all the flexibility in your schedule if something doesn't work out in your favour like a certain tour or excursion. And, of course three, where you can actually maintain a routine and not just be fishing around in your suitcase looking for clean underwear and realizing you have none left and cannot do laundry for another two days!

For me, travelling with Missy was an eye opener on how to travel. Luckily we are young and have the time, but even so I hope we always travel like this! Why not use it and make the experience that much better. Missy finished her business degree in Auckland in June 2016 and I would say she has quite the knack for it. Before we even left we had a budget set in mind and a budget that we were hoping to stick to. I was worried because I thought maybe we didn't have enough money for all of this, and if I didn't get a job right away when we got back we would be hooped. However, Missy, being herself, had other ideas on how to manage that budget and get the most out of it. We had set ourselves a daily limit on what we could spend and spread out the expenses throughout those six weeks.

Off the start we start we worried and went to the grocery store and rationed very carefully. I think over the first week we had spent less than one hundred dollars together on food. That helped us both relax and realize that this budget she had come up with would really let us do more and the worry went down the drain. We got to try everything we wanted like the all-natural waters of Rotorua day spa and even the famous Blue Cod in the Catlin Coast city of Kaka Point. It also helped us come back to Auckland and settle nicely without too much stress. When I travel with someone I also find it very important to have similar thoughts on budget and being able to use it together.

Marissa and I found out a lot of new information about each other while on our travels which of course comes as no surprise but what you find out can be surprising. For instance, how much we both love food, especially curry. Cooking it, trying new recipes, playing with our taste buds and trying new foods that we don't have here in Canada were a real treat.

Like I said previously, the start of the trip was a little worrisome. We really wanted to do everything and I remember when we went to the first grocery store everything looked so good, but we had to be smart. So we picked up a few things that could last a few days like oatmeal, rice and a couple small tins of meat, a couple fruits and some veggies that we would use that evening. We also bought spices which were the real game changer on how we both liked our food. Hot as hell. Curry powder and pepper were some of the main staples, jalapeños weren't far from that either. It was a perfect example of what I love about travelling with Missy we can always find something we can agree on. Except she doesn't like many sauces or condiments, which I find strange, because I love ketchup.

After all this I still have one more thing that absolutely makes Marissa the best travelling partner for me. She's just down right fun. She isn't scared of much, except for bugs. She is the first one up in the morning ready and wanting to do everything (but only after breakfast). She will call you out and push you out of your comfort zone, sometimes gently and sometimes not <3. She's very outgoing and likes to meet new friends. She loves to plan and she loves to make things work. She loves to be lead navigator and is always looking for the next best opportunity, not only for her but for us.

This is why I want to travel the world with you Marissa, I love you and everything you do.

Color Me Rad run

Fun from a paint run!

From, You're travel partner


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