I banged my forehead against the wall, silently cursing myself for signing up for this class.
Scattered in front of me were several novels, each at least four inches thick.
On my computer screen, the blinking cursor in the middle of a blank Word doc taunted me. Where, oh where, was my paper that was due in less than 10 hours?
I felt like it was jammed down the back of my throat. Jammed to a place I’d never been and couldn’t find. A place that I didn’t know existed until I signed up for a course on J.R.R. Tolkien and found out that place’s name: Middle-Earth.
Definition: Middle-Earth: A fantasy land populated by dwarves, elves, hobbits, and the like; a world set in a wild, rugged world that looks remarkably like New Zealand.
Instantly recognizable to movie goers as the visually-striking world that director Peter Jackson, director, brought to life in the stunning Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
Many years ago when I was yanking a paper out, word by word, for my midterm in a Tolkien class, I never thought I’d want to visit the Shire.
Peter Jackson, you charming devil, changed that feeling by filming all three Lord of the Rings movies in jaw-dropping New Zealand.
Basic Packing List
If you’re headed to New Zealand, this is your basic packing list. Start here and then tweak for the region you’re visiting and the time of year. There’s a big difference between the sunny north coast of the north island, with palm trees, and watching penguins surf ashore outside of Oamaru on the cold, drizzly south coast of the south island in winter.
- Waterproof and windproof jacket
- Scarf to ward off chills
- Long-sleeve layers
- T-shirts to layer
- Tank tops to layer
- Fellowship of the Ring
- Two Towers
- The Return of the King