Wednesday, May 30, 2007


One thing I promised myself when coming back to the USA is that I will take advantage of all the things that this country has to offer. I was shocked when I met Kiwis who had never even been to the South Island--how could they miss out on seeing such amazing sights right in their own backyard? But, pot and kettle, I'm not much one to talk. I've still never been to, for example, Mackinac or Sleeping Bear Dunes. Oops. So this past weekend I actually followed through on my plans and went down to Fayetteville, West Virginia for some whitewater rafting on the New River.

Now I should preface this by saying that I had an amazing time. It was so great to go camping with good friends, and whitewater rafting was exhilarating, exciting, and healthy amount of scary. Overall a fantastic weekend.

However... I couldn't help but compare it to New Zealand. It's not just that driving through Ohio was less scenic than, well, even the worst things I saw in New Zealand; that was to be expected. But the good things just weren't as good as that I've seen in the past year. The area where we stayed in West Virginia was really beautiful--nestled right in the mountains--but it paled in comparison to the Southern Alps. Whitewater rafting was super fun, but it just didn't give me the same adrenaline rush as whitewater sledging. I was less than pleased about having to think about dangerous wild animals and poisonous plants. And frankly, the West Virgina accent lacks the charm of a Kiwi one.

Am I going to spend the rest of my life (or at least the rest of the month) adding to my list of ways that America is inferior? Probably, but eventually I'll forget just how great New Zealand was and I'll start being amazed by the things here. Maybe.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Sounds like your "working holiday" has come full circle...didn't you hear a dance remix of "Country Roads" when you first arrived in Australia a year and a half ago?

As a West Virginia girl, I must say that while our mountains and rivers may not compare to New Zealand's, they do have the distinct advantage of being within driving distance of the majority of the US population, including you Michigan folks. That must count for something!