We have now a little more than three days before our long-awaited journey to Australia and New Zealand begins - FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY!!!
On the one side, I am glad that the planning phase is finally over and just want to start enjoying. On the other side, there is still a bit to prepare for which we will definitely need the remaining last days.
Why Australia and New Zealand? To be honest, I cannot really tell. One day - about 15 years ago - I just knew I wanted to go there for once in my life with following prerequisites:
- Younger than 30
I always wanted to do this in my 20s... Well, as time passes by quickly, I am now at the age of 31;-) Never mind, I am still young enough (luckily at best health) and uncommitted.
I never wanted to do something like "Work & Travel" as I am a woman of extreme - either I work or I travel. Whatever I do in my life, I do it with 100%!
So, now a few points regarding our preparation.
Normally, our vacation planning consists of choosing a destination and - if required - booking flights. But this time, we are very well prepared as our planning phase started about one and a half years ago. On the internet, you can find tons of information on the normal preparation stuff such as insurances, route planning, flight booking, camper reservation or packing lists. But there are two points on which I could not really find valuable information:
What rucksack size is adequate for three months traveling?
I have two rucksacks: One has the size of 50+10L, the other has the size of 30L. Is this enough capacity for three months??? I have tried to pack my stuff into these rucksacks and can tell you: If you like squeezing your stuff into your rucksack every day, this will do. If you wish a little bit more luxury (and this does not necessarily mean taking more stuff with you), take rucksacks with more capacity.
I have bought two additional rucksacks: One has the size of 60-80L, the other has the size of 35-45L. Again, I tried to pack them and I did not regret having bought both of them! The 60-80L rucksack has an additional opening at the front side which makes it easy to access all your stuff. The 35-45L rucksack is small enough for cabin baggage and big enough for multi-day hike.
Do I necessarily require hiking boots?
This question is not yet finally answered as it is a highly complex one which I am trying to answer since three months now.
We both have crampon-compliant hiking boots. That means, these boots are heavy and chunky. If you have ever been on vacation incl. air travel with such boots, you know that there are more pleasant ways of traveling. During our last vacations (South Africa, Namibia, USA), we realized that we did not really need them. So, in the end, we had uncomfortable journeys (incl. sweaty and stinky feet upon arrival) and lost a lot of space in our hire cars. Even though I am sure our boots were pleased to get out of our basement and see the world, I was quite annoyed each time I had to rearrange them in our hire cars.
Now, you may think that I already have four rucksacks so why not have two pair of hiking boots. The problem is the following: I can use all four rucksacks but I do not need normal hiking boots. Either, I do alpine tours for which I need crampon-compliant hiking boots or I go on walks with normal shoes. Remember the woman of extreme;-)
In order to solve this problem, we have both bought approach shoes. These are normal shoes with a vibram sole and increased abrasion resistance.
After having looked at the Great Walks in New Zealand, we are discussing the crampon-compliant hiking boots version again... Luckily we have three more days to drive ourselves crazy with this;-)