An Overseas Experience is almost a rite of passage for Kiwis.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 is likely to keep borders mostly shut for another year or two. Until a vaccine is developed and dispensed, the Kiwi OE birthright is on pause.
For those with the travel bug (no, not that kind) an international travel quarantine might not be a bad thing after all – it might even be an opportunity in disguise.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is great and all, but have you seen the Gumboot Capital of the world, featuring… wait for it… a giant gumboot?! What about the legendary Big Carrot of Ohakune? Or the spectacular oversized L&P bottle of Paeroa?
Sure, Canada has the Rocky Mountains in British Colombia and the US has a cliff called El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, but have you every been to Mt Eden or Mt Wellington?
In all seriousness, Kiwis now have an opportunity to see more of what their country has to offer.
How many times have you chatted to tourists visiting New Zealand about their visits to wonderful places in the North and South Island?
Worst yet, how many of this country’s world-leading National Great Walks have you recommended over a beer in London, but which you have never walked yourself? Likewise, the Fox Glacier, Te Puia Geothermal Mud Pools and the Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove are just a few popular local attractions often without a Kiwi in sight.
Yes, the collapse in overseas travel isn’t so great. You won’t be able to taste the exotic cuisines in East Asia, see the historic landscapes in Italy or visit the vast National Parks across North America.
But, with Covid-19 uprooting everyone’s life Kiwis must make lemonade out of virus lemons.
Go and see hairy feet at Hobbiton, line-up for a selfie at Roy’s Peaks or strap on a pair of tramping boots for a hike through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. The Hundertwasser Toilets in Kawakawa sound great too – if you need a nature break.
Besides, with the exchange rate so low you are better off spending your hard-earned lockdown dollars here anyway. The thousands of local Kiwi businesses would love to see you, I am sure of it.