Introducing, My “Little Sparrow”

The Little Sparrow
The Little Sparrow

I wasn’t like a lot of other 16 years olds back in my day. I mean, in some ways I fit the bill of a kid in the ’90s: shopping at the Gap, wearing lots of flannel, doing my hair up in scrunchies. But then, while other kids were getting high and heading to see “Laser Pink Floyd” at the planetarium, I was hightailing it to RV shows.

Yes, it’s been my dream for as long as I can remember to travel around in an RV, camping, eating BBQ, seeing the countryside – all that good stuff – and now, in New Zealand of all places, I’m making my dream come true … sort of.

We have rented a camper van to see the North and South Islands, and to call it an RV would be, well, a monstrous stretch. But still – it’s a camper! There’s a sink, a gas stove, a cooler, and the back converts into a bed. The amenities are pretty weak, but we’re making up for it at some nice campsites.

We’ve named the van, “The Little Sparrow,” in honor of Edith Piaf, and yes, I do make panicked tweeting noises when we try to pass another car on the highway.

Keeping with all things adventurous, I’m psyched to say that in addition to getting to cruise around in a camper, and, er, camp – I’ve also gotten to drive on the left side of the road for the first time. Watch out, Kiwis … I’m on your roads til April 10!



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  1. Oooh, the left side of the road! Isn’t it bizarre?? I spent a semester studying abroad (or rather not studying) at the University of Waikato on the North Island. I was lucky to have a car to drive around the country, however I was not so lucky the (very!) first time that I took the car for a spin. Petrified, I pulled out of the parking lot, and made one horrible left turn at the first intersection. (Cars were honking and giving me dirty looks.) Scared shitless to be on a main road, I turned off as soon as I could – onto a one way street going the WRONG way – and a cop pulled me over! And gave me a ticket! Oh the humanity.

    • Valerie Conners says:

      oh my gosh – that story is hilarious! though i’m guessing not so hilarious for you in the moment 🙂 Studying here must have been phenomenal – I can’t get over how darn gorgeous this country is!

  2. Have you witnessed the Haka yet? I’ve had a dream for a few years now that, instead of people getting in beefs with one another or throwing down in the streets, you can do the Haka to show your displeasure. For instance, someone steps on your foot on the bus, you do the Haka to express your displeasure. Then, when it’s done, you both turn around and go about your day.

    My Haka would be fierce.

    • Valerie Conners says:

      oh bri! your Haka WOULD be fierce. we should definitely haka when we see each other next. I think your plan is amazing – do you think the world would be a kinder, gentler place if everyone just did the haka to relieve tension?

  3. I love that you and I often had the same flannel shirt and the Conners / Duffy show meant we always sat by each other. Yupanqui!

  4. First Montana ranching and now NZ RVing/Camping – awesome! RVing is definitely on the list. And guess what we’re covering in Road Trips shortly – RVs! RVs! RVs!