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Hotel review: Novotel Lakeside, Queenstown NZ

 

 

backside of hotel fronting the lake, vinnevefoto

This hotel serves like a second home to us almost every year visiting Queenstown since living in New Zealand and before we leave last 2015. Now back home of course we visited first our favorite place & stayed in this hotel. It’s good for families though we saw a lot of groups filling up a big tourist bus. The hotel is fronting the lake, playgrounds & the Park. If you are keen to walk thru this Park there’s a way to Botanical Park so it’s a long walk indeed but full of beautiful nature and fresh air.

Restaurant, Parks and the Lake, vinneve foto

The bedroom and the views.

NovotelLakesideQtwn, vinnevefoto

Balcony viewNovotel, vinneve

Just a walking distance to a lot of tourist spots and restaurants.  It can get pricey so better book early as comes peak seasons this hotel can get full. If you are a member of Accor like we do they give you free welcome drinks and can enjoy it beside the fireplace.

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QtwnGondola, vinnevefoto

I have so many photos but I cannot put it all in as I need to save my space for later.  So this is it for now.  Thanks for reading and checking out my blog, appreciated.  Cheers!!

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Destination: Queenstown, Nz

On top QTWN, vinnevefoto

This is one of my fave City here in New Zealand. Even before we left in 2015 to be an expats in Abu Dhabi, we often travel to this awesome City every year since I started flying domestic. It’s stunning sceneries is something special plus there’s a lot of outdoor activities for families & single people too!

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On the way to Queenstown, vinneve

Queenstown is known as the “Adventure capital of the World” there’s a lot of activities here for adrenaline junkies, all types of indoor & outdoor activities & wholesome family adventure too for somebody like us whose not into “too much” thrill coz we have a child to take care of while we’re having fun!

Here are just a few activities that we either partake in or passing by for a snapshot opportunity.  Please note there are some more activities not on this list.

1. Playground just around the hotel.

near Queenstown Park, vinnevefoto

2. Visit Queenstown Park fronting the lake.

Maori carving, vinnevefoto

3. Join the gold diggers literally speaking! 😂 it’s in Arrowtown. If any luck you will get a wee bit of flakes and to let you know this is the same water that Gollum in LOTR had been seen fishing.

Arrowtown river, vinnevefoto

4. Visiting Arrowtown Lake District Museum. It may be smaller than any other museums you are used to but it’s full of “goldmine” history etc. and you can soak up the village history after just a few minutes walk.

ArrowtownMiningtown, vinnevefoto

5. Bungy Jumping actually originated in Vanuatu as part of their ritual perhaps thousands of years ago, but Nz is the Country who made it famous. AJ Hackett established the very first bungy site in Queenstown.

BungeeJumpingNZ, vinnevefoto

6. Gondolas & Luge. Families favorite! Rugged biking as well are held on top of this mountain.

Gondolas&Luge, vinnevefoto

7. Skydiving (indoor & outdoor) & Paragliding. If you’re afraid to do it alone there’s always a tandem guide to help or be with you!

ParaglidingNZ, vinnevefoto

8. Going through the Park showing kiwi birds & other reptiles.

KiwiBirdlifePark, vinnevefoto

9. Jetboat, Million Dollar Cruise and the oldest Steamship are on this waters. 

Jetboattours, vinnevefoto

10. Or if you aren’t tired enough, there’s always this stairs to make a play who comes first on top! Just like what my men did! 🙂

Around townQTWN, vinnevefoto

Be sure to pack yourselves for some fun and long walks as I may not included a waterfall hiking track on this as we don’t have enough time but it is just a walking distance from all this activities.  Just ask the local where to find it as I just stumbled on it a few years back with my 6yrs old son and a 67 year old father!  

I hope I give you some tips that you can use when you travel in stunning QUEENstown!  Please comment if you have been here already and tell your story!  Cheers and wait for my another post… Thanks!

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W.O.T.D. – Expectation & Worth

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Here I go again… 

It’s been hard for me to write this post as I seemed lost for words and it takes time to tell you dear readers… I will finally coming back HOME.  I sure hope it is still “my home” though as I am a bit afraid after about being an expat for more than 3 years without even visiting the place unlike many other expats.  I have been to anywhere except holidaying in my home Country isn’t it weird?  It’s because of the tedious flying time of 18 hours straight or cut it in two to Australia 14 hours + Auckland 4 hours = 18 hours. Which is better?  Even going back to my birth Country for a holiday is more or less 9 hours away from where we are at the moment (Abu Dhabi) which is really in the middle of  Europe and Asia.  So going to Australasia down under so to say… feels like so far far away!!

WOTD Expectation

What to expect?  I am freaking out actually.  I heard so many stories about expats coming back home realizing it’s NOT the same as before or perhaps WE ARE NOT THE SAME AS BEFORE?.  Even the roads will not be the same as when we left New Zealand in 2015 there are a lot of road works going on and adding some lanes and a tunnel etc.  I’ve read that the almost rural place we go to for Farmers Market are now in demand and becoming a posh suburbs that we cannot even afford to buy a small land. Auckland is now one of the most expensive Cities in the World.  Though our place is farther away from the City it is still ridiculously expensive!  Good thing we have a house to come home to.  There’s a scarcity in the housing market.  A big problem indeed.

I think it’s better NO EXPECTATION.  It can save me from whatever fear facing the future.

WOTD Worth

One thing for sure we will try to make this worth it.  My son is growing and need more stability as for the past 3 years or more he has been to 3 different schools.  Yes, it’s hard to say goodbye again.  I cannot say No to being an expat again if this is the only way our family can stay together.  Depends on the next contract of hubby.  Just hoping he will also come home to us for good, that would be great! though not financially.

Now that I finally adjusted to the life here, I will miss a lot of brunches, friends parties, events and celebrations around here.  I surrounded my life with many groups of mom’s like me in school, in our place, my closes friends and even acquaintances. FYI, I am one of those they call “trailing spouse” so yes I choose not to work (after working almost my whole life in 3 different Countries) so I am the nanny of my own child but unlike with nannies, I have a much better social network. It took me two long years to finally adjusted and accepted the life here and now we have to go for personal reason that cannot wait.

Life is easy here and less stress (except when driving haha!!) and I get used to this somehow that having to begin a new life in NZ seems a bit scary though exciting too to be honest.  So many things to do and see places perhaps seeing it as an expat.  We have to be re-acquainted to the Country.  I am hoping we can adjust quickly… hopefully!

Anyway… I often read some advice and hopefully I can be able to apply on it.  Here’s the LINK1 and LINK2 if you are curious and have time to read.

Are you an expats who came back home after years of life overseas?  Please tell me your stories and perhaps I can learn from those.  Feel free to give me an advice.  Thanks!

Any expats coming home to New Zealand like me?  Let me know or you can PM me.

Thanks for reading and cheers to the next journey!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A dream… a premonition.

This is for the Daily Post: PREMONITION

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Everybody dreams.  

I have a dream a long time ago, in fact a decade ago perhaps… even before my son came into our lives.  It was a feeling of happiness, wonder and then all of a sudden a feeling of losing something.  In my dream… it was a greyish cloudiest day or night. Me and hubby was checking out some beautiful houses and the road was not easy to navigate as it has a steep hill… up and down slope just like in some Auckland roads and streets.  Found “the one” and I believed I told hubby to stop looking for others as I have found the one I want us to live.  Unfortunately, he didn’t share the idea and told me we better check out other houses though the one that I liked was really “the one” for me.  It was a very vivid dream as if it’s real and up to this day I can still remember it and strange but true… I can still feel what I was feeling that time.  A feeling of disappointment and wonder.

And yes, it was a PREMONITION, alright of what was to come in the future!

NEW ZEALAND

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Auckland Ferry, vinneve

From our beautiful Auckland City, in the WEST particularly we headed to a BIG adventure of a lifetime in the …

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Abu Dhabi – as an expats.

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Abu Dhabi Skyline, vinneve

To live temporarily in my birth Country THE PHILIPPINES, Manila – to try to see the other side of the World and talking about my old childhood to my son which was great but unfortunately, it’s not the same as I thought it would be. Lot’s of things changed.

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MOA bridge, vinneve

And now going back again to Abu Dhabi and God knows where we going to stay for good this time!  Had talks about living in Switzerland and Australia.  Both we have the right to live and be happy.  But it seems the premonition lingers up till now.  I guess you better stay tuned and follow me what part of the World we’re going to end up!  Besides, wherever we will be … there will always be some TRAVELLING and ADVENTURE.

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There is always a reason to travel. 

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Complicated & Confused Switzerland vs. New Zealand

via Daily Prompt: Complicated

via Daily Prompt: Confused

Now that our long holidays are over… a piece of advice from some relatives and friends keep on bugging me and it is so hard to choose.  Really it is not that easy!

How can you choose between the HOME you come to love and missing so much and the other ONE that is very similar in looks yet far different in characters, values, and life but family wait?

Yes perhaps some of you who come to really know both Countries will find it hard as well to choose like me.  Both have their own merits and demerits.  It is almost poles apart in geography and I find it is indeed CONFUSING and/or COMPLICATED.

Perhaps I will wait until I get a sign from above?.. WISH.

NEW ZEALAND

SWITZERLAND

So now I leave you the quote below… Up to you if you agree.  Feel free to give some nice comment and let me know how you well know these two beautiful Countries and which one will you choose and why?

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The Door’s Castle

This is in response to The Daily Post:  The Story Behind a Door.

 

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Larnach Castle, Dunedin New Zealand

We were here in June 2014.  Just me and my small buddy which is my son.  Had a great tour around the grounds and the castle but yes in every castle there is a story behind a closed door.  So much history and it’s up to you which version of the story you prefer.

If you like Paranormal then click this LINK to know about what is happening in this beautiful small Castle in  a breathtaking surrounding.

If you just want a normal/ regular tour and history then click this LINK.  Surely you will not be disappointed and perhaps if New Zealand is on your bucket list then you would not want to miss this chance to go to Dunedin and  see for yourself the famous castle.  The more the merrier so you can also enjoy strolling around the grounds with your friends or loved ones. I tell you, there are so many photo ops in this location. Ehem! Peter Jackson? 

If you just want information or other FACTS then click this LINK.  What else? but my favorite Wikipedia.

At the end of the tour… stroll around the garden (top hill) and appreciate the simple beauty outside.

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At the hill, garden, Larnach Castle Dunedin, NZ

 

Thanks for your time!  Until next time 🙂

 

 

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Missing something. It’s just a “phase”.

This is in response to The Daily Post/Prompt: PHASE.

“The honeymoon phase always ends, for everyone.”  by Rose Leslie

It is indeed my true feelings that come and go and I believe some or most Expats all over the World are experiencing the same thing like me.  After all, we are only human.

I have saved this writing under a draft for such a long time and finally dig it out again just in time for this particular theme.  Having a negative feeling is not nice if I put it mildly.  There were times that all I need is a little more push and I will be booking a ticket to my home.  Yes, there is a but… family sticks through thick and thin. This is just a phase… and I will get over it.

“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”  by Oliver Wendell Holmes

BACK HOME.  Sure I have said before that home is where the heart is.  Perhaps with regards to family life yes it is better that we stick together. But… still something is missing.  Something I left behind that matters.  That I felt suffocated and anxious sometimes thinking it will take so long before I set eyes on them again.  I never felt this way before when I was younger and want to explore the possibilities of making my dreams comes true.  It did come true when I settled in New Zealand.  A place I longed to come back to.  A place where I felt the stronger ME, the better ME and the freedom that comes with it. I miss the natural beauty that surrounds me in all honesty over there.  I miss the car that I have sold a month before coming here in the UAE.  I miss all types of birds that I fed every morning from our back garden, thinking back then that sometimes it annoys me when a particular bird make a noise (Pukeko) in the morning like an early wake-up call when all I want is to sleep in. I miss our big comforting house compare to our apartment hotel we have now though I am not complaining it’s just I am missing those things that I was taking for granted just because it was there.  I miss earning my own money without depending on anyone and I travel when and where I want to within reasons,  I miss talking with my friends that I left behind, though I have new friends here but being an EXPATS they too cannot be too attached so not to hurt so much when one is leaving after the contract ends.  This is the reality of life here being an expat.  I miss the 4 seasons though not as much the long winter months but the colours it brings and the feelings it evokes.  I miss all the wonderful places I have been inside the Country and still not finish exploring it as it was cut short even after staying there for more than a decade and the awesome feeling of being proud of its natural beauty!  I just felt the need to write and confirm this feeling of sadness sometimes.  All expats have this feeling resurrected once in a while I am sure of that.  And someday once it’s all done and dusted, once the responsibilities and future established then we WILL go back home… where our hearts hoping for a better tomorrow!

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New Zealand flag on top, vinneve photo

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Auckland Ferry, NZ, vinneve photo

Up the hill in Dunedin

somewhere in Dunedin,NZ (vinneve photo)

Thanks for your time reading this.  Cheers! 🙂