The patriotism is well and truly thriving in one Poppy Wortman. 

Mate, I can’t put across enough how immensely proud I am be a Kiwi. I’m so chuffed to come from a country that despite its small size and location at the “end of the world”, is so well known all over the globe. And always, always, in such a positive and glowing light. 
Even all the Indian people know it; I’ve only encountered one who shook his head in a dismayed no. Usually it’s the cricket aspect that they link (“Stephen Fleming!” “Daniel Vetorri!”. I took great delight in telling one batting and bowling fanatic that my brother has in his possession one of Vetorri’s test vests). Otherwise it’s Lord of the Rings, the Kiwi, the beauty of the place or (with other travellers) the rugby. 

Countless encounters have had other backpackers telling me of their amazing adventures in New Zealand/their plans to go/their wish to visit as their number one destination. This morning a lady from Leeds shared her South Island exploration with me, saying how it’s unlike anywhere else in the world. The other night in the lobby of the hotel I got chatting to a group of girls from the UK. On hearing of my homeland, one exclaimed, “Why on earth would you ever leave?! Even for a holiday?! It’s incredible!”

It is. And it’s going globe trotting and seeing the way the world is in other locations that intensifies the love for home even more. Living in Brisbane for a year was enough of an overseas move for me; NZ is where it’s at and where my heart lies.

I was stoked to discover on arrival in India that on the back of my scrapbook, unbeknownst to me, was a map of my country. How ideal! So I carry it around all the time and whip it out whenever the opportunity arises (and I make sure it does dozens of times in any given day). 

Unfortunately I haven’t met a fellow New Zealander so far; I met two Aussies yesterday which is the closest to home I’ve gotten (and let’s face it, that’s worlds away in comparison. Sorry Hervey Bay-based and Newcastle-nestled Whatman clan). I’d love to cross another Kiwi to delight in how fantastic we are. I’m hoping Nepal may hold a handful. 

This pride also extends to my family. Those I’ve met along my Solo Sojourn are so interested in seeing photos so I either show them some of the eons in my phone or the few I’ve glued in the front pages of my diary. 

Indian females comment on how handsome James is, the kids loves the Schnauzers, the Indian boys ask if Micahel protects me as my older brother and others marvel on how youthful Henio and Deb look. People seem really touched when they see the photos of both sets of my grandparents taped in as well. 

I love showing them off. My chest puffs out with joy on talking about everyone in turn. It makes me realise how great my family is, how lucky I am. 

I’m proud of who I am and where I come from. It may be considered by some as the end of the earth, but I’m on top of the world with it. 

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