Sirens, horns and the sound of a million cars rises 14 floors to where I’m sitting now, admiring the view of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. I can see boats skimming along the ocean, their crisp white sails contrasting the beautiful blue of the Hauraki Gulf.
At night the view might be even better, as all I survey becomes a sea of lights – the Auckland Sky Tower standing just off the periphery.
This is my new home.
After nearly five years on the road, living first in London and then backpacking through Southeast Asia for the past nine months, I’m finally back where I started: New Zealand.
Earlier this year I went back to NZ for the first time in four years – but this time it’s more than a fleeting visit. As of yesterday I’m the proud tenant in an inner-city apartment with a view so impressive that I never want to leave this cosy little shoe-box that I now call home.
But leave I’ll have to – I’ve got a job to think about, bills to pay and a new city to explore. That’s right, Man vs World is rejoining the rat-race that non-travellers like to call “real life”.
But that doesn’t mean I’ll be hanging up my travel-blogging hat just yet (it’s a sombrero, in case you were wondering).
The amazing travel blog that you’re reading right now may have started at the end of January but I’ve been travelling for much, much longer than that. I’ve still got hundreds of future travel features, stories, reviews and advice stored up that I’m simply dying to tell you about.
Besides, it’s high time I explored my own country – don’t you think? I hear it’s supposed to be pretty good.
I was born in Whangarei, the city of 100 beaches, and I studied and worked in Christchurch, but much of the country remains a mystery to me – including this sprawling new city that I find myself writing my latest blog post in. Auckland, like London, boasts thousands of fun things to do and see – all of which will make for interesting reading in the future.
Meanwhile, do you remember how I got engaged in Bali earlier this year? (You should, I’m always banging on about it!) Well, my fiancé will be calling me up on that offer next year, with an exciting honeymoon to follow – a US Pacific Coast road-trip.
Man vs World has simply made too much progress to stop now. As this travel-themed behemoth continues to grow, each month getting better and better results, it surpassed 13,000 total hits this month and it had its single best day ever (more than 300 people read my recent 30 nicest people to follow on Twitter post on its first day).
In fact, it’s highly likely that my travel blog is one of the reasons I got my new job; as of Monday I will be the new content editor at a brilliant online guide to Auckland’s many wonderful restaurants, cafes, bars and takeaways.
These are very exciting times indeed.
Also check out my sailing trip to Auckland’s Waiheke Island.