Friends have said I’m like “Mr. Magoo behind the wheel.” Okay, I’ll admit that I’m not the best driver. Besides having a lead foot, living in New York City doesn’t allow me much practice because I don’t need to own a car. But here I am, driving on the other side of the world—and on the other side of the road. In New Zealand, you have to drive on the left, but the steering wheel is on the right.
Renting a car turned out to be the cheapest way to travel from the North Island to the South Island. Plus, we have the freedom to pull over if we see a cool winery or souvenir shop. Amanda and Jen laughed as I flipped on the windshield wipers instead of the blinker and held tight to their “Oh shit handles” as I almost turned into oncoming traffic. (Mom, don’t worry—we obviously survived). But I quickly got the hang of the new traffic rules as Auckland’s crowded city streets gave way to winding country lanes. I’m gearing up for the ultimate road trip.