Date we leave: Sunday, June 28!
How we’re getting to the airport: My parents, Lyle and Jimalee, are driving us.
How long it’ll take to get to New Zealand: From leaving our door to arriving at our home in Christchurch, we expect it to be about 32-34 hours. Of that, about 24 hours will be in air.
Where we’ll stay when we arrive in New Zealand: The University of Canterbury, where James will teach from July to October, is putting us up in a three-bedroom house just off campus. (If you’d like the mailing address to keep in touch, comment below and I’ll email it to you!)
How we plan on getting around during our time in New Zealand: For the first few weeks at least we don’t plan on buying or renting a car long term. Most essentials are within easy walking distance of our house in Christchurch. At least at first, the plan is to walk, bike, and/or use public transport exclusively. That being said, we do plan to rent a car on weekends to do day trips or a weekend trip outside the city.
How long we’ll be in Christchurch: From when we arrive on June 30 through the end of October.
Where we’ll be after that: Our intinerary still has some fluid spots, but when we’re done in Christchurch we plan to travel from region to region, mostly on the South Island, from November through January. In February we will be in the North Island before flying home on March 1.
How the kids will be schooled: All three kids are on NZ Student Visas, which means they can attend school while we are in New Zealand. We’ll be arriving in the middle of the school year and thus they’ll be joining classes already in session. Thankfully, though, the actual week we arrive is a national school holiday (schools operate on quarter terms, with two week breaks between each term) so we can get settled in and registered when classes aren’t actively happening. Calvin, at 4.5, will be attend a preschool near our home for a few hours per week. However, when we leave our home base in October, we’ll take the kids out of school and homeschool the remainder of our trip.
What James’ll be doing in Christchurch: Teaching and working with researchers at the University of Canterbury.
What I’ll be doing in Christchurch: Caring for the kids, writing, connecting with a babyloss support group in the area, and considering career options upon returning to the states. I don’t have a work visa, just a visitor visa, so I’m not allowed to work for NZ companies. I do, however, have a couple freelance writing/editing gigs underway that I can continue while traveling.
What we’ll be doing after leaving Christchurch: Vacationing, hiking, camping, boating, adventuring…
Check back tomorrow for a post from the kids sharing what they are most looking forward to (and also what they’re most nervous about) on our upcoming adventure!