Queenstown: Snow, Sun and Some Life Lessons

I have been a little MIA from Mia Bella over the last week and a half but for good reason. I was taking a break from reality with a group holiday to Queenstown, New Zealand.

From the moment we landed, Queenstown was showing off with an amazing mix of wonderful white powder on a backdrop of bright blue skies. Something I had been looking forward to for months, the holiday didn’t fail to deliver.  It was 10 days of ‘firsts’ that left me feeling like I need a holiday from my holiday – complete with first time snowboarding, bungy jumping, jet boating and target shooting.

With an apartment overlooking the Frankton Arm of Lake Wakatipu and onto mountains layered with snow like cupcakes dipped in icing, you couldn’t ask for a better view. There’d be no bad starts to the day if that’s what you opened your eyes to every morning.

The only downside to the accommodation was no wi-fi, however even that turned into a good thing. When everyone’s first question upon check in is “what’s the wifi password?”, it was refreshing to take a break from real life in every way. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t once check my work emails while I was on holiday. I certainly didn’t care what the latest social media craze was (hint: the ice bucket challenge). I wasn’t concerned about my online life looking exciting with check-ins and photos – I was too busy actually being excited.

Aside from a getaway from reality, this was a snow holiday and learning to snowboard, particularly for someone who had never seen snow before, came with a few setbacks. I couldn’t tell you how many times I fell or how slow it felt like I was going compared to everyone else. Snowboarding, it seems, is kind of like life though, for two reasons;

1) No matter how many times you fall over, the best thing to do is get straight back up, wipe the dirt (snow) off your shoulders (butt) and keep going, learning a lesson from your fall and;
2) You may not be the fastest, strongest or most intelligent, but so long as you’re moving forward, you’re still 100 times better than all the people standing still.

All that said, now that I’m back to reality I am going to share with you some snaps from the trip, if only to continue that holiday buzz for as long as I possibly can!

Balcony view in QueenstownView from our balcony in Queenstown

Snowboarding at RemarkablesSnowboarding at Remarkables

Cardrona skifieldCardrona Skifield

Queenstown by nightQueenstown by night


6 Holidays Everyone Should Go On

I am off on holidays in 2 days time and in celebration, that’s exactly what I’m writing about. Everyone loves a good holiday – the time off work, places to explore, experiences to be had and photos to be posted on Facebook; travelling creates a sense of euphoria. There are so many holidays to be had and, below, a few everyone should experience;

  1. The family holiday
    Whether it’s when you were 7 years old, the activities were endless and you never wanted to go back to school, or 27 holidaying for a relative’s wedding and sharing a bottle of wine with your olds, family holidays remind you that sometimes the best times are shared with your own kind. Plus, you can usually count on mum and dad to pay for at least some of the trip!
  2. The group holiday
    Gather up as many friends as you can, partners included, add a few cases of alcohol and experience the group holiday. Usually at an easy to reach destination (a mate’s holiday home or Bali) and anywhere from a long weekend to a week away (any more than a week and your liver will start to seriously hate you).
  3. The girl’s/boy’s getaway
    While I’m not exactly sure what a boy’s getaway consists of (golf?), I do know that a girl’s getaway is a must. Take two or three of your closest girlfriends, drink wine, eat chocolate, soak up some sun and gossip like there’s no tomorrow.
  4. The contiki
    Most people contiki with one or two mates. This gives you the perfect balance – the comfort of a good friend combined with the fun of meeting new people. A whirlwind adventure where you get to visit 10 countries in 20 days. A great holiday for anyone who wants minimum input, maximum output. Or anyone in their early-mid twenties.
  5. The solo trip
    While the idea that great memories are made when you have someone to share them with certainly holds true, everyone should experience their own solo trip at least once. Be selfish with your time, spend as long as you like wherever you like, the choice is yours and yours alone.
  6. The romantic getaway
    Escape from realities and live in your own little bubble for a few days. Drink up as much love and romance as you can stomach. Location wise, choose the extremes – glorious sunshine with some sort of beach front view or wonderful snow with an open fireplace. Simply add yourself, your partner and a king size bed.

Having listed all of these, the holiday I’m about to go on a holiday has a slight twist – it’s a group holiday, but not with my group. It’s not even anyone else’s group, either. Sure, we’ve all met before and are friends of friends, however this group isn’t one that spends time altogether.

While slightly nerve-racking spending 10 straight days in a country I’ve never been to (New Zealand), doing activities I’ve never done (snowboarding) with people who aren’t my direct group of friends, I am really looking forward to the extra dimension this will add to the holiday.

I’m excited to spend time with different people. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine and never venture outside your comfort zone. Going on holidays with your normal group of friends means you tend to know how it will be and what will happen before you’ve even gotten off the plane or out the car. With this holiday, I can look forward to brand new experiences and get to know brand new things about everyone I’m travelling with. It’s a holiday I can’t predict and that’s part of what makes me so excited. Wish me well!