WE WANTED TO SEE New Zealand but we would only settle for the road. I spent almost all my money putting in my half for the van and off we went, my boyfriend and I. With three months of travel ahead of us and a van with a bed in the back, we hit the road, ready to explore both of the islands from top to bottom.

Daily life was different, and a whole lot slower than what we were used to. But, we fell in love with it nonetheless.

It was our first overnight trip in the van. We bought a cheap bottle of red wine and parked the van at a local beach. Hiking into the woods, we settled on a hill and watched the sunset, finishing off the bottle.

We spent the rest of the night sleepless, murdering hundreds of mosquitoes with our reading books when they infiltrated our van. The ceiling was a bloody mess and full of little legs when the sun finally rose. We started putting plastic wrap in the cracks off all the doors for the rest of the trip.

The van came with a stove and propane tank so that we could cook on the go. All of our non-perishable food and cooking pots were stored under the bed and fresh produce was kept in a cooler. The beach campgrounds were particularly windy so we kept this handy piece of cardboard around to shield the flames.

We named the van EZG, for obvious reasons and we had no idea what the decal meant but we kept it up there anyway. EZG liked to take breaks in some pretty gorgeous places. This one was overlooking Mt. Cook.

Life was slow paced, much slower than I was used to. Let’s just say that I read a lot of books over the course of our journey.

Josh found this Homer doll at a thrift shop. I thought it was junk but he thought it was treasure. Homer quickly became our road mascot, one of the many compromises we made over the course of our trip.

This was pretty typical. I would cook dinner while Josh took photos. Almost every night. The dinner wasn’t always good but the views were.

It was hard to hate the long drives when the scenery looked like this every day. Seriously, almost every… single… day.

We couldn’t bring our own cats to New Zealand, so I lured in strays whenever I got the chance. I always left them where they came from though.

Living together in a van for three months wasn’t always easy, but it certainly was romantic at times. I wouldn’t trade our experience for the world.

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