You, today: *posts that Justin Timberlake “It’s Gonna Be May” meme*
Me, an intellectual: May means that the World Cup starts next month!!!!!!
Whether you’re an American who only follows the USMNT, whether you’re living in New Zealand and realising that most of the games are going to be on in the middle of the night, whether you’re just not that into soccer, you might not be feeling too hyped about the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup being held in Russia this June/July. However, I regret to inform you that this opinion is wrong and that instead you should be extremely hyped. If you need a little bit of assistance coming around to this valid and correct mindset, here are a few things you can do to help yourself out so that you’ll be ready to scream at your television and swear at the ref by the time June 14 rolls around.
Earlier this week Steve and I headed a few hours north of Wellington to Tongariro to do the Tongariro alpine crossing. One of the highlights of the North Island, this 19-kilometre hike is known for some pretty epic natural formations including turquoise-tinted geothermal pools and the intimidating Mount Ngauruhoe—or as you might know it, Mount Doom. It’s also known for its changeable weather, especially this late in the season. When we arrived at our hostel, we were told by the owner that the shuttle hadn’t run for a few days, but that the forecast was good for the following day and she was optimistic we would be able to do the hike. The next morning, under an overcast sky, the shuttle operator told us that he would take us up but that he recommended we wait for a less ominous day. We decided to go anyway and luckily—after two hours of rain—the skies miraculously cleared up and we were rewarded with incredible views.
Going on a holiday often means stepping out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it means trying new cuisine that kinda grosses you out, sometimes it means navigating a country where you don’t know a word of the language, and sometimes it means venturing into the great outdoors when you’d normally rather be at the mall. There were definitely a few people we saw doing the crossing who weren’t particularly well prepared—like the folks on the shuttle with us who had to be driven to a local gear shop so they could rent rain jackets! While Steve and I only did our first overnight hike a few months ago, we’re experienced trampers and were ready for anything. If you’re thinking of exploring New Zealand or anywhere else known for its hiking, here are a few tips to help your tramping experience: