Living in Munich quite close to the Alps we are used to mountains. We love seeing them, hiking to places we don’t know and check our physical abilities by getting up there.Of course nowadays we’re a bit limited as to the hikes we choose, as we have to carry our two little ones as well, even though Linnéa already walks amazing distances for her age on her own two feet. In her own speed, with some kind of reward expectation at the end.

Since we started the trip we were thinking that it should include a helicopter ride. First of all because we had never done it before. On top, even though the kids are doing great, we cannot hike as long as we’d wish for…

Recently Linnéa and I were talking about various things. How she likes all the travelling. What she likes best. And what’s still ahead of us. Niklas was sleeping during that time. I love those moments. To discover how she’s thinking. What she’s worrying about. And how this changes so much over time, especially during the last year. For me it feels like there are three phases of developing since she was born with a clear focus on one visible ability.

There are few occasions when you actually realise the forces of nature and how little you can do when you experience them. Just accept it. Twice on our trip I felt full of respect, a little fear and quite a bit of curiousity. Once in Cairns, when a type 4 cyclone was expected to hit the city, but turned out to hit the shore further north. It was interesting how it was the topic in the city over days.

Now, as we’re about to leave our second place on our tour, it’s noticeable how the every day life changes depending of the environment you’re actually in. Daily routines, things you do, you enjoy and look forward to change from one day to another when the environment changes. The kids and myself didn’t even notice it so much at first, but now looking back it feels like we’re living completely different.

It’s been a while that we are in Cairns now. Today exactly three weeks.We are stunned by the tropical nature all around us. Rainforest and the reef just around the corner. Linnéa loves, that she has the opportunity to swim almost every day. Now it’s the rainy season, even though we didn’t see a lot of rain here during the days. And the rain forest without rain must be boring as well.

We started planning our trip in May last year. First we planned what countries we wanted to see and in which order. When we decided that New Zealand would be the starting point, we tried to figure out where to stay. Our goal was to be close to nature and everyday life, and not far from the sea. This counts for most villages of the south island. Now we tried to find our special place where we wanted to be, depending on the availability of affordable accommodation.

There’s so much to say about the drive from Wanaka to the west coast along the Mt Aspiring National park. Stunning. Amazing. Beautiful.It was definitely the nicest part of our 17 days around New Zealand. We were so lucky with the weather, so that we could enjoy the mountains, lakes and rivers in a beautiful sunshine. The road went right to Haast, where we continued towards Haast Beach to avoid the big Holiday Park and Top 10 campsites, which dominated the tiny little town.

As I’m writing this post, it’s Niklas’ birthday!Now he’s 8 months old and we are already more than two months away from home. Compared to the little helpless baby he was, he’s developing his own personality more and more and turned from calm, charming baby to restless charming explorer. His will is tremendous and if he wants to reach something which he cannot get immediately he underlines his trying with a loud “aaargh”.

Daniel Wilms

living in tel aviv. parent of two kids. husband. explorer. enthusiastic about my family, bike-swim-run, photography, cooking, baking. traveller. idealist. optimist. passionate triathlete.

Tel Aviv