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If you had to bring one book with you to New Zealand

If you had to bring one book with you to New Zealand

It would kind of have to be The Hobbit, right? Lord of the Rings is too long/big/bulky to bring the entire three-book volume. And anything not Tolkien-related would be silly. This is a trip to Middle Earth after all.

Obviously, we’re not talking about a Kindle situation here (in which case bring whatever you want), but rather a scenario where you’re carrying everything you need for weeks on your back and have to make some hard choices. And if you’re still into actual, physical books, the “deluxe pocket edition” of the Hobbit is a pretty awesome choice. It’s leather-bound, which means “cool” (but also “expensive” and “easily damaged” apparently) and has gold trimmed pages. There are also some really nice old school illustrations, including maps and hand sketched images of locations and creatures from the book.

The adventure and travel themes of the story make it easily adaptable to any journey.

Because The Hobbit itself is such a short book, having a small version like this means it can easily fit in the smallest backpacks or even in a cargo pocket.

Ain’t that the truth…

And as a fun bonus, when you bring a physical book like this, you can mark up passages or even take notes on some of the blank pages at the end. Pretty cool thing to do while actually being in the actual locations described in the book. Well, not REALLY the ACTUAL locations I guess. But still…

What books are on your must-have list for travel?

Here we go…

Here we go…


I’m Liran.

This is me today. Getting ready to go on what is likely to be my last adventure for a while.

Over the past few years I’ve been bitten by the travel bug in a big, big way. For most of my life I was content to live a pretty sedentary lifestyle, spending the vast majority of my time in New Jersey and the surrounding states. Outside of some regular travel to Israel to see relatives, I generally was confined to my own “Shire” – much like Bilbo Baggins, the hero of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I would get up in the morning, go to school, go to work and then go home and go to sleep.

But at the end of 2009, I decided to blow up the quiet life I had built for myself and see what was outside my comfort zone.

Since then, I’ve been to 44 US States, 3 Canadian provinces and 19 new countries. I embarked on an epic 14,000 mile road trip to every corner of the United States, stood on the deck of a ship along the open seas and was blessed to see some of the most incredible sunsets this planet has to offer.

I also met the love of my life, Ariel.

This is Ariel and I this morning.

Ariel has been an enthusiastic partner on my adventures over the past few years. In fact, it was on a road trip together to the Pacific Northwest that I realized I could marry her. We were married in 2015, combining my passion for exploration with her impeccable planning ability, we have become the perfect travel team.

Now, as we begin planning for a future family, we are on the eve of what is likely to be our last true “adventure” trip for a while. This time to New Zealand, or as I like to think of it, Middle Earth.

Even before the movies and before I began my own adventuring, the works of JRR Tolkien always held a very special place in my life. Luckily, while Ariel isn’t quite the Tolkien nerd I am, New Zealand happens to be one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. So it made sense that this would be the place to indulge our wanderlust one more time before making considerations beyond ourselves.

So we hope you will join us on this journey with us and stick around afterwards as I reflect on past travel experiences and try to find a little adventure in everyday life. I’ll also be talking about hard lessons I’ve learned in my travels so that you can avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made over the years.

Now we’re about to board the plane. The trip of a lifetime is about to begin.

Here we go!