The most important thing you must do in New Zealand
There are hundreds of different websites and articles about New Zealand, including this one. They all write about the treks, how to book huts, describe the Milford, Kepler, Routeburn and other New Zealand's great walks but they all miss one thing that is, probably the most important one. Before we get to it, let's try this theoretical experiment:
Imagine you are about to climb a very high mountain. This is a dangerous 2-week climb, in freezing temperature, harsh conditions and almost no food. You would have to train for a whole year to get properly physically and mentally prepared.
After careful consideration, you have decided to take the challenge! And then... you are notified that after you do succeed climbing the mountain and come back - your memory will be erased. Will you still want to take the challenge?
I guess not... But why not? You still climb that mountain, you will also overcome the difficulties on your way, you will just not remember it afterwards. So what...?
Not remembering anything, is in fact, the reason for not wanting to take the challenge. Experiements show that people experience happiness and excitement not only by living certain moments but also while remembering, reliving and re-experiencing them in their hearts and minds in the future.
Unfortunately, this is not only a theoretical experiment. This is indeed what will happen after your travel in New Zealand (and any other location you go to).
As researches show, after 6 months you will forget ~30% of your experiences. After a year you will forget nearly 50% of your experiences. After several years you would barely remember anything and would only remember the biggest highlights and flashbacks that have resided in your mind. Though unfortunate, it is true. Think about it - how many details can you remember from the places you have visited 5 or more years ago.
The good news are that there is an easy solution. The solution is a diary. Sounds tiring and impractical? Yeah, I know. Writing a diary takes a lot of time and it is very hard to commit to. Luckily, there is a great workaround we have used.
We have downloaded a voice recording application to my smartphone and have been voice recording the diary. I was traveling with my wife and we have been recording every day (or once in several days) while being on the roads. It was very easy and you would be surprised how much information you can record in a 3-5 minute a day.
When we have returned home, I have listened to it, written it and have merged it with the pictures we have taken.
Don't put yourself in the memory loss as mountain climber I have told you about. New Zealand is a once in a lifetime experience and you probably do want to remember it after a while. Yes, it is as simple as that - keep your memories!