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Life Visioning in New Zealand

We’re glad that you are considering joining us on this adventure of a lifetime! We are both excited about this opportunity to spend time in one of the most beautiful places in the world, with a group of women inspired to live authentic, meaningful lives. Life Visioning in New Zealand is more than the trip itself- it is a springboard for the rest of your life.

Overview

This adventure is an outward exploration of the world, and an inner journey of learning to say YES to your life. In everyone’s life there are cycles of change- times when the old lifestyle gets stale, when something inside is calling for a new direction. Yet often the very life that needs to change is so hectic or compelling that there is little time to explore and incubate a vision for the next stage. For women, this seems to be especially true. Many of us have lived a life that may have brought satisfaction, ‘success’, and recognition, but has been based on an outdated role, or fulfilling the path we were ‘supposed’ to take. With the passing of years the realization suddenly hits us- its time to figure out what I want to do with my life.

This journey includes a trip to the amazing South Island of New Zealand, but it is more than just travel. Our journey uses the transformational potential of international travel, social support, and structured reflection to ask two fundamental questions-

  • What do I really want?
  • How do I create it?

Through repeating cycles of reflection, intention, incubation, and action, with the support of others on a similar path, we will listen as the answers begin to emerge.

Adventure is not only about travel- it is an attitude towards life. For some people, the word adventure is scary- evoking memories of sleeping on the hard ground, or being scared or uncomfortable. For us, the word ‘adventure’ simply means trying new things and being open to the present moment, which are also the core elements of change. Adventure can be playful, fun, and have the feeling of support and excitement. It can be the adventure of listening to a longing in your chest that you have never paid attention to. It can be the adventure of creating the life you want; of stepping out of the way things have always been. Or the simple adventure of going sea kayaking in New Zealand!

The Three Phases

Preparation

Any significant journey starts with preparation and intention. During the month prior to the trip, you will be given a series of exercises and activities to begin to identify a vision for your life, and an understanding of the internal and external paths to create it. You can expect a holistic process that involves creative activities, journal writing, selected readings, and discussion. Those who live in the Boulder/Denver area will meet three times during this period, and those from other areas can be included through speakerphone or email discussions.

This will be an active trip, with some kind of physical activity nearly every day. We strongly encourage you to physically train for the trip, so that you can thoroughly enjoy the hiking and kayaking. The daily commitment to caring for your body is an excellent metaphor for your commitment to crafting a new vision. Once you sign up, we can give you some training guidelines.

New Zealand

Travel is a stretch. It introduces us to new perspectives, new routines, and different ideas. The familiar reference points that keep us moving in the same directions are gone, and with that comes the opportunity to re-define ourselves, our purpose, and our patterns. During the travel portion, you will have the opportunity to expand yourself in whatever way is appropriate for you- whether that is physically, through challenging the stories or beliefs that stand in the way of change, or through cultivating the spirit and attitude you wish to embody.

Integration Phase

Living, adventuring, and sharing with other women can create close, supportive relationships. And that doesn’t end when the trip is over. Two follow-up meetings in Boulder ensure that you have the supportive network to put your new lifestyle in place. Those from outside the Boulder area will be included on speaker-phone.

Katie’s and Ashley’s Roles

We’re there to support you in getting what you want, not to herd you through an itinerary. We have coordinated the logistics of the trip, and will take care of the details while we’re in New Zealand. We will provide as many options as possible, and are open to shifting the itinerary where we can to accommodate the group’s interests and individual needs. We will arrive early to get settled, and although we have both traveled in New Zealand, we will surely be learning right along you.

Our role is to ask the questions, and to support you in finding your own answers. Although much of this process is deeply personal, we see our role as coaches rather than therapists. We will provide information, activities, non-judgmental feedback, and support for you to look at your life at whatever level of depth you choose. We feel strongly that every participant needs to make her own choices, and we will never push you in a direction that you don’t want to go, or require any sharing that you aren’t comfortable with.

We both have many years as outdoor guides, and will establish safety guidelines for our outdoor days. We are both certified as Wilderness First Responders, an eighty-hour course in backcountry medicine.

Physical Fitness

General health is important, and a moderate degree of physical fitness will help you enjoy the trip. We will spend four days hiking and one day of sea kayaking in mountain and coastal national parks. There will be plenty of opportunity for additional walking and swimming.

The Routeburn  hike will be the most physically challenging element of the trip. The longest day will be approximately 7 miles and 1000 feet of elevation gain. We will be staying in the huts, but you will carry a backpack with sleeping bag, clothing, and your share of our food. You can expect your pack to weigh around 25-30 pounds.

Aside from the Routeburn walk, all hikes and physical activity are optional and can be modified for your energy level. If you can walk several miles when you sign up for the trip, with two months of training you should be feeling strong, energetic, and ready to thoroughly enjoy the physical nature of the trip.

Logistical Details

Transportation

We will gather in Queenstown on February 21. This will most likely mean flying out on the afternoon of Feb. 19 (since we cross the dateline and lose a day). You will arrive in Auckland early the following morning, and take a connecting flight to Queenstown. Please note that airfare to New Zealand is NOT included in the trip price. Round trip airfare from Denver is approximately $1900.

Within New Zealand, we will fly across the south island from Queenstown to Nelson. This flight IS included in the trip price, along with any additional transportation costs throughout the trip. We will occasionally take public transportation or chartered bus, but most activities are within walking short distance of where we will be staying.

Accommodations

We will stay in three different places during our trip. The first night we will collect ourselves and recover from the plane trip at a private home in Queenstown. Our next accommodations will be the huts of the Routeburn Track in Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park. Our third home will be in the beach town of Kaiteriteri, one hour north of Nelson and just outside of Abel Tasman National Park on the northern end of the island.

Our homes will be comfortable, family style accommodation. Please let us know if you would like a single room- there are a limited number available and there will be a single supplement fee.

What to Bring

We’ll put together a list of suggested clothing and gear. You will need a good pair of hiking boots, a backpack, rain gear, and casual outdoor clothing, but otherwise you shouldn’t need anything special. All kayaking gear will be provided.

Remember that you will need a current passport! New Zealand regulations require that the expiration date on your passport must be more than six months later than your date of travel. Please obtain or renew your passport asap- it can take three months or longer to get it.

What’s Included

Everything that you’ll need during your stay in New Zealand is included in the trip price. This includes three meals a day plus snacks, lodging, all fees for the activities, and transportation. You may want to bring some extra money in case you want special snacks (ice cream!) or if you want to buy gifts or souvenirs, or think you may get a wild idea to do something extra that’s not in the plans.

Food

Food in New Zealand is delicious, primarily because most of it is locally grown and much of it is organic. We will eat good, healthy food with plenty of choices. Because we are staying in vacation homes, we have the luxury of preparing our own breakfasts and lunches with food bought according to the preferences of the group. In Queenstown our dinners will be a combination of dining out and a barbeque at home. In the Routeburn huts we will prepare our own dinners. In Kaiteriteri we will have a private chef cook our dinners.

Weather

February is the New Zealand equivalent of our August, so we should have warm, comfortable weather. Everything is backwards- the southern part of the island is cooler, and ‘north facing’ is the sunny side! We can expect mostly warm and sunny days, and mild evenings. Overnight lows are around 50 degrees, and daytime highs are around 70.

Please feel free to contact either of us by phone or email if you have any questions!