E-mail Update 2004-12-23

Subject: Happy Holidays (Fiji & New Zealand Update)

Hi Everyone,

First off I would like to wish you all a Happy Belated Thanksgiving (by a few days), Happy Belated Nicholas, Merry Christmas, Happy New Years & Happy Birthday to all you December kids (like me - Dec 30)!

The web site has been my main place where I have been keeping people updated with news of my travels (www.genextsoftware.com/travel). I just changed the background to be a picture from the trip (Kaikoura whale watching). My main focus has been keeping the pictures updated. Due to time restrictions, because a traveler's work is never done, I have not done very well keeping a diary or thoughts posted. So I changed the diary to highlights & will just start listing the high points of the day, or at least that is the plan :) It seems like I am too busy doing things to be able to write anything down, but that is good thing.

The trip is going extremely well, but way to fast. I can't believe it has been 3 months since I left. It has been more than I ever expected & some how just keeps getting better. The skydive I did was incredible, I had an adrenaline high for about 2 days after I did it. Yesterday (12/22) I did a 40 meter (approx 40 yard) bungy jump off of the Auckland Harbor Bridge. I have also seen so many things that just seem like they are movie special effects. I have met so many people & made great friends. It is incredible how similar backpackers, even though we are from different countries. I am having a blast & this has been the trip of a lifetime.

Here are the highlights of the individual places I have been. The only thing you will notice missing is the highlights from New Caledonia. I was only there 4 days & the highlight was flying back to Fiji (although I did meet some nice people there as well). I did this quick so I probably missed some things I should have added.

Top Ten Highlights of Fiji
- Wailotua Village Visit
- Nananu-I-Ra Scuba Dive
- Mana Island
- Coral Reef Fishing Trip
- Suva's Colo-i-Suva Rain Forest (Walk & Swim with Rob)
- Suva's Colo-i-Suva Rain Forest Rope Swing
- Mana Island Walk
- Fish Feeding at Robinson Crusoe
- Snorkeling at Kuata Island & Beachcomber
- Night out with Fijian friends in Nadi
- Volleyball at Korovou Resort

Top Five Places of Fiji
- Mana Island
- Nananu-I-Ra
- Raintree Lodge & Colo-i-Suva
- Korovou Resort
- Coral View Resort

Top Fifteen Highlights of New Zealand:
- Lake Taupo Sky Dive
- Auckland Harbor Bridge Bungy Jump
- Franz Joseph Glacier Walk
- Milford Sound Cruise (Plus Bus Trip there & back)
- Luge Rides
- Sandboarding
- Rotorua Wall Climbing
- Able Tasman Trek
- Lake Taupo Mountain Bike Ride
- Pancake Rocks & Caverns of Punakaiki
- Rotorua - Night Out at Hot Rock's Bar with Friends
- Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World
- Thanksgiving Supper with Jeff
- Whangarei Falls
- Swing Set in Queenstown with Peter (I'm just a big kid)

Top Seven Places of New Zealand:
- Lake Taupo
- Franz Josef
- Milford Sound
- Rotorua
- Punakaiki
- Cape Reinga and Te Paki
- Dunedin

As I write this I am flying from New Zealand to Sydney, Australia (Oz). I want to thank all the people (especially Emily, Becky, & Caitlin) that helped me in my last minute search for a place to stay in Oz. I will be staying in Cronulla in an apartment with two people I met in Fiji (Caitlin & Jordan - both from the States). It will be packed over the holidays, people say Sydney is incredible for Christmas & New Years. I hope to spend 3 to 6 months in Oz. I am still working on the exact plan for how I will be traveling in Oz. After that I am going to Asia (Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, India & wherever else sounds good). I will probably not get to Europe on this trip. I may do that in a few years after I have been able to go home & save up some more money again. I actually would like to just never come home (with the exception of wanting to see my friends & family). But then again who would want to be home working when you could be away traveling :) Since we are talking about work,...if you need any computer programming, web site design, or web site hosting choose GeNext Software. Visit us online at www.genextsoftware.com or e-mail me :)

Please let me know what you have been doing as well ;) As I have said before I respond to all e-mail's eventually :)

Happy Holidays!!