US travellers blown away by Kiwi kindness

cycling in marlboroughWhat makes a trip to New Zealand so special? For many people it’s the beauty of our natural landscape. For others it’s our unique culture or first-class wine.

For US travellers Lucas and Lisa Barber it’s our Kiwi kindness. In a recent post on their travel blog, Barbers Go Global, Lucas writes,

“When I think of culture I often think of food, fashion, music, or the arts, but by doing this I fail to recognise the values that are at the centre of those outward expressions … During our first seven days in New Zealand, we had been recipients of so much unsolicited kindness and generosity that our human interaction paradigm was spinning.”

“In those first few days people that hadn’t known us up until a few hours beforehand offered us rides, invited us to their homes for coffee and cake, invited us out to dinner in the city, took off work to show us around the country they were so proud of, engaged us in deep and meaningful conversation, bought us lunch and dinner, offered the use of their vehicles and homes to us, prepared us dinner, brought us home to meet their family, and even invited us to cross-fit with them.”

The couple, from Rochester in New York, quit their jobs and sold their house in order to travel the world, with New Zealand their first stop. Lucas says the level of kindness they’ve experienced has been so foreign that it’s exposed his “cynicism towards strangers”, and challenged him to re-examine his attitudes.

“Although I’m sure you have your own problems as a country, it has been a breath of fresh air for an American who did not realize how tired he was of being guarded. You reintroduced me to the magic of human interaction…If you take nothing else from this letter, take this – please don’t change! Some of us need to have our worlds rocked, our paradigm flipped on its head, and our kindness recalibrated.”

Makes us proud to be Kiwis!

Have a great week,

P.S. We’ve got brand new cycle tours coming for summer 2016/17 – details coming soon!

P.P.S. To get you even more inspired to visit, here’s Tourism New Zealand’s latest video, featuring US director James Cameron.

Top image: Phillip Capper