Covid's international travel restrictions have spawned a commendable desire to explore our own backyard. Now, every journalist and his or her dog is writing about Kiwi must-sees.
Spewing from the nation's keyboards we have articles along these lines:
New Zealand's Seven Best Small Towns
The Bits of Taupo You Didn't Know About
Bucket List Beauties
Eketahuna Full of Surprises
Reefton: There's More Than Meets the Eye
Tararua Region: More Than Just Horizons
One lucky writer was even given the use of an electric vehicle in which to travel the length of the country and report on the battery-powered experience. Well, I'm in the market for a bit of local trekking about the place too so I'll throw in my two cents' worth.
You see, for the past five years or so, I have had big plans for April, May and June, 2021. I was planning to board a series of flights and write a light-hearted travel book called Around the World in (a bit under) Eighty Days©.
I had a rough itinerary planned – well, scribbled on a paper napkin – and it included places as diverse as Uluru, Egypt and the Caribbean.
Alas, that idea is a goner! Vacuumed into the vortex of a virus.
To fill the void I need a little domestic travel but I'm afraid I don't feel there's going to be a book in it.
The Cook Islands might open up but, even if I travelled to most of the outlying islands in the group, the end result would be something like A Cook's Tour of the Cook Islands – A Very Short Book. Or maybe just a pamphlet.
One friend suggested an A to Z of New Zealand destinations but I couldn't find anywhere beginning with Z. Or V, X or Y. Open it up to the international arena and I could have included Zanzibar, Venezuela, Xingcheng and York. But, in matters alphabetical, Godzone has gaps.
I definitely don't consider myself a significant enough character to write an autobiography. Who would care? That said, there would be some very amusing little anecdotes. Like the time I … no, sorry, I can't tell that story in a family newspaper.
Another friend, a musician, suggested New Zealand by Bus(king). Chronicling the reactions of Kiwis to a 71-year-old busker certainly has potential and could paint an interesting picture of our country's people. That idea is still on the "Possibles" list.
It would also be interesting to see whether busking would draw enough income to pay for the trip (travel, accommodation and food). I would certainly need to keep all my receipts in a bulldog clip for the taxman.
I would religiously count up my takings each day and enter the total amount into some sort of ledger with margins and columns. Of course, I would take a calculator with me. Sometimes, I suspect, I would pick it up and try to send a text from it. Or make a phone call.
The idea of an unplanned road trip also has some appeal; just head off in the car with no real destination in mind and see where I end up each night. Trouble is, I can't really see a book in that either.
Anyway, perhaps you would like to become involved in my decision-making. Regular readers will know me well enough to be able to offer some suitable suggestions. Please share them with me via this news medium.
If nothing suitable comes up, I might just need to stay home and do some of the many jobs that need doing around the house. Alas, that would yield neither Airpoints nor royalties!
But I would score big in the brownie points department.
Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.