How to Ruin Your Life
Go to New Zealand. The title may seem harsh, but you'll understand my point fairly quickly.
The first step in our journey to destroy your life would be to research this country called Aotearoa, or 'Land of the long white cloud'. You'll be flooded with images of some of the most grand and green places on Earth. Nothing shattered my way of life like the vast landscapes of the Islands.
I should make the obvious distinction: I wanted my life ruined. Photography, adventures, and exploring new cultures weren't on my radar until I found a place that brought them all together. New Zealand could do the same for you. Here are my top reasons why:
1. The Landscapes
There is nearly every type of land feature imaginable. From Glaciers, to rain forests, to the sweeping sands of Ninety Mile Beach, you won't be left searching for more. The Southern Alps rise sharply from sea level, sending reflections to the mirror-like lakes below. Green palm trees and ferns contrast against the white glow of the Franz Josef glacier. Bring a camera, or don't. Take in the splendor in the way best for you. It was because of these landscapes that I took up photography more seriously.
You'll soon see why New Zealand is called the adventure capital of the world. If classic bungy jump is your thing, then you must try Nevis Bungy in Queenstown. At 134 meters, or 439 ft, you will definitely get your rush! I wasn't left feeling queasy in the least bit. Instead, I was left with one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Why not try one of the many jet boat tours? Even better, you could go sky diving over Lake Taupo, rafting over the highest commercially ran waterfall, or visit White Island volcano.
We can't forget about New Zealand being one of the greatest scuba diving locations in the world. Poor Knights Islands, and the Rainbow Warrior are a diver's dream. The Rainbow Warrior has a very interesting story involving the French Intelligence services and the sinking of this ship. My two months adventuring through NZ ignited my love for exploring new places and getting away from the comforts of home.
3. Food and Wine
New Zealand has perfect conditions for vineyards. With it's fertile volcanic soil, grapes perfect for fermenting grow quickly. There are wonderful wines from nearly every part of the country with their own unique flavour. Many of these can be found in wine stores throughout the world if you care to try one for yourself!
Of course, fish and chips are a very large part of a 'Kiwi's' diet. Don't pass up an opportunity to unwrap one of these meals on the beach as you watch surfers hit the waves at Mt Maunganui. I could go on forever about food, but I won't. You will have to explore new tastes on your own.
New Zealand set a standard so high that there is no other place that will satisfy my adventure-seeking needs. If you go to New Zealand, mingle with the people, try new foods, and just plain wander around, your outlook on life will never be the same again.
Written by Dean Chytraus.
Dean is a thisworldexists Adventure Ambassador. See more of his photos and adventures on Instagram: @chytrausphoto