Gidday!  Hello!  Hi!  Kia Ora!

Greetings to you, in many of the forms in common use in my home country, New Zealand.

I'm a third-generation Kiwi (New Zealander), and proud of it!  We're not rare, but rare enough.  My great-grandparents arrived here as children, from England, Scotland and Ireland, in the 1860s and 1870s. In a country that was first settled by European immigrants from 1850, my great-great grandparents were undoubtedly adventurous, although 'desperate' is perhaps more accurate.



New Zealanders are known as travellers.  I was born in 1961 and many of my generation engaged in what we call 'OE' (overseas experience) after finishing university and a high percentage of those headed to the UK.  My first overseas trip was with a group of work colleagues in 1980 - to Australia.  But in the mid-80s I enjoyed a ten week around-the-world trip which took in the USA, the UK, several countries in Europe, and Egypt.  A whirlwind trip, and challenging for me at the time.

I've enjoyed several holidays to Australia since, and in the mid-1990s took my then seven year old son and my Mum to the USA - to Disneyland, LA, and Minnesota, where we spent a couple of weeks visiting my American pen-pal, Kathy, who I'd been writing to since I was eleven years old.