New Zealand: First Impressions

Arriving at Christchurch International Airport, I see a young man walking up to the rental car counter in bare feet, and then in town some kids are standing in the school yard or walking home without shoes.  To be sure the vast majority of people out on the streets have civilized footwear (or at least flip-flops), but occasional barefooting seems to be a mark of New Zealand’s laid-back culture.  And possibly a good omen for my visit, as I’m here for two weeks of hiking in the mountains, some barefoot and some in shoes or sandals depending on conditions.

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New Zealand: First Impressions