Month Two Summary: March 2014

With two months under my belt, I was starting to get the hang of this long term traveling thing!  I KNEW this month was going to be expensive and likely the MOST expensive of this trip.  There were too many amazing experiences that all seemed to cost a pretty penny!  This month’s expenses will include all transportation (flights, buses, trains, etc.) where last month’s did not include New Zealand transport (I paid for the flight and bus pass well in advance).  Let’s see what transpired over the last months and what the damage was….


1-31 March 2014

Days traveled:                   31

Countries Visited:               2

  • New Zealand
  • Australia

Cities/Places Visited (Overnight Stops):    10

New Zealand

  • Marahau (Abel Tasman National Park)
  • Punakaiki
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Wanaka
  • Queenstown


  • Sydney
  • Katoomba (Blue Mountains)
  • Byron Bay
  • Brisbane
  • Cairns


Number of Flights:                        2

  • Queenstown, New Zealand (ZQN) to Sydney, Australia (SYD)
  • Brisbane, Australia (BNE) to Cairns, Australia (CNS)

Distance Flown:                             2,074 miles (3,340km)

Time Spent on Flights:                5 hours 10 min


Bus Segments:                           6

  • New Zealand                           5
  • Australia                                 1

Distance on Bus:                         1,119 miles (1,801km)

Time Spent on Bus:                  25 hours, 56 min – too long, thanks to the nearly 13 hour haul from Sydney to Byron Bay


Ferry Rides:                              3

  • New Zealand:  Wellington to Picton
  • Australia: Sydney Harbour to Manly Beach, return



Train Rides:                          2

  • Sydney to Blue Mountains, return

Distance on Trains:             150 miles (244km)

Time Spent on Trains:        4 hours


Different Beds Slept In:                  15

Number of Top Bunks (ugh!):    3 – I am getting better at snagging the bottom!

Best Hostel:                                        Te Nikau Retreat/Mamaku Lodge, Punakaki – absolutely awesome, a real house set right in the rainforest!

Worst Hostel:                               Bunk Backpackers, Brisbane – the 4 share room was the size of a shoebox


Our cozy house at TeNikau/Mamaku Lodge!


Items Lost/Broken:

  • Chaco Sandals – These are some of the most durable and dependable sandals out there, but somehow mine broke during a walk in NZ.
  • Small mirror – Just realized I didn’t have it the other day, so that tells you how much I used it.  No need to replace
  • Yurbuds – at nearly $40 and “developed for athletes”, these were such a disappointing purchase.  I used them almost daily for long bus rides and also to workout.  The plastic buds that are supposed to stay in your ears worked well for about a month then they wouldn’t stay attached to the actual earphone.  Poor product.

Items Purchased:

  • Icebreaker Sweater – I needed something warm that was a bit nicer
  • Havianas Flip Flops (NOT thongs…as the crazy Aussies call them) – My $6 pair was worn out after a month.  Time to upgrade considering I now live in flip flops.  Rough, I know…
  • Dress – Total splurge while in Byron Bay.  I needed something to feel pretty and girly 🙂
  • GoPro LCD Screen – allows me to actually see what I am taking a picture of while using the camera
  • GoPro Filter – red filter allows for better underwater photography (as you go deeper, you lose your colors) – had to be prepared to dive the Great Barrier Reef!
  • Earphones – cheap and much better


Books Read:                       3.5

  • Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese (finished the last half)
  • The Girl who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson
  • Everything That Remains, The Minimalists
  • Love with a Chance of Drowning, Torre DeRoche

Nicknames Earned:                       1, Peter Pan – any guesses how I got this?  Let me know your guess in the comments below 🙂

Hours of TV Watched:                   0, zero, zilch

Famous People Met:                  Chris Pine, aka Captain Kirk – he watched me do my Kawarau bungy and said my dive was “bitchin” 🙂

Vertical Distance Jumped:             16,739 feet (5,102m)

  • Karawau Bridge Bungy                   141 ft (43m)
  • Nevis Bungy                                    440 ft (134m)
  • The Ledge Bungy                            154 ft (47m)
  • Fox Glacier Skydive                        16,000 ft (4,876m)
  • Top Bunk Dive                                 4 ft (1m)

Kawarau Bridge, New Zealand


  • Skydiving over Fox Glacier from 16,000 feet
  • Bungy jumping 3 times!  Kawarau Bridge, Nevis, and The Ledge
  • Visiting the amazing Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki on Pancake Day (England)!
  • Flying in a small plane over beautiful Lake Wanaka
  • Hiking through the gorgeous Blue Mountains via Wentworth Falls
  • Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef – 15 times!!

This was truly an epic month of amazing experiences that I was able to check off of my bucket list!

Money, Cheddar, Moola, Dough….

Money Spent*: $5,375….Sweet Mother of Jezebel, that hurts.

This month definitely hurt the bank account, but I knew it was coming.  I had saved the “fun” things in New Zealand until the end and they added up quickly.  Tack on a liveaboard on the Great Barrier Reef…I am surprised the bank didn’t cut me off!

  • This encompasses nearly my entire trip in Australia – inclusive of all transportation (which was excluded in last month’s summary)
  • I have truly LOVED my time in New Zealand and Australia, but I am so excited to be heading to a country where I will be spending a fraction of the money I have in the last two month.
  • I have stayed in shared (dorm room style) hostels my entire trip

Budget Busters:

  • Bungy Jumps (3) + photos & video – $505
  • Skydiving + photos & video – $494
  • 4 day scuba diving trip on a liveaboard – $913
  • Advanced Open Water certification – $185
  • Flight to Australia – $370

Thank goodness I am now in a country where 1.5L of bottled water costs me $0.20 and a meal of pork noodle soup is $0.90!  My wallet is going to be much happier after the last two months.

Anything really surprise you about the last month?  What else do you want to see?  Let me know in the comments below!

*All figures are in U.S. Dollars

Photo credits:

Photo #1:


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15 Responses to Month Two Summary: March 2014

  1. Gloria Charroin April 11, 2014 at 01:44 #

    Peter Pan guess….I won’t grow up!

    • Amy April 11, 2014 at 02:25 #

      Oooo…good guess, Gloria! I will wait to see if anyone else has any guesses and then tell everyone how I managed to get it 🙂

  2. Terah April 11, 2014 at 02:09 #

    Dude, you fell off the top bunk?! Ahahahah! Hope you didn’t hurt yourself 🙂 You spent a lot, but for the experiences you’ve had they are totally reasonable prices. Keep up the good work – love seein the pics and posts as I remain here in the wild flatlands of Ohio. 🙂

    • Amy April 11, 2014 at 02:28 #

      Hahahahahaha….you got that one, Terah!! In my defense, there was no railing to keep me in the bed. Stupid, cheap bunkbeds! And, no…I didnt injure myself 🙂 It was important to me to have the experiences and do the things I really wanted to do. If that means I cant afford to travel for quite as long, so be it, but I wont have any regrets!

  3. Kerri April 11, 2014 at 04:02 #

    Peter Pan
    1 miss goodie two shoes
    2 miss always happy
    3 miss be nice to others
    4 miss always having fun
    5 miss infectious laughter
    Am sure a few more will come to mind. Not letting Mike in on this one as his comments will be risqué I am sure!!

    • Amy April 12, 2014 at 11:03 #

      miss goodie two shoes?? really? I must have really impressed you during my visit, Kerri! I appreciate that you have kept Mike away from this one…he would have a real poke at me! 🙂

  4. Jama Hare April 11, 2014 at 05:59 #

    Because you turned green when you were flying off the bridge? And I am gonna need to see proof of the chris pine meeting.

    • Amy April 12, 2014 at 11:04 #

      Hahaha, that’s a good guess, Jama. Chris wouldnt take pictures with anyone while he was there (he was jumping too), but if you look at the picture of me getting ready to jump off the bridge (former FB profile pic), he is standing in the background watching me 🙂

  5. Jessica April 16, 2014 at 02:44 #

    hmmmm – peter pan… fearless, adventuring, flying about – off bridges and bunk beds??

  6. Amy April 18, 2014 at 01:26 #

    Check out my new post….I Fell Out of the Top Bunk and you will see how I really earned my nickname! 🙂


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