There And Back Again: Traveling to Middle Earth

I just spent two weeks in New Zealand.

That is a sentence I never thought would be factual. Since watching The Lord of the Rings many making-of documentaries, I’ve always wanted to travel to New Zealand to visit the wondrous locations used to re-create Middle Earth.

Thankfully, my wife is also a huge nerd and would be more excited to meet Richard Taylor than Orlando Bloom. We decided years ago to save up both vacation time and money to make the trip a reality. And this month, we set forth on our journey. I realize this is not a travel blog, and it is not my intention to update everyone on any future comings and goings – excluding GenCon, of course! But the trip invigorated my inner geek because I spent two weeks trekking through a living, breathing fantasy-like landscape. Knowing how fortunate I was to spend an extended period of time in this magical country, I wanted to share my experience with those interested enough to read about the trip. And to encourage everyone with every fiber of my being to travel to New Zealand. Especially if you are a nerd. Do it at some point in your life! I know it is expensive; it’s worth every dollar.

Below, I provide some reactions to the trip and describe how my journey to New Zealand inspired me as a roleplaying gamer.

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