Meet Me

Hey yah.  My name is Angie Campbell.  I am an expat from the United States living in Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. My love affair with landscape, culture, and learning has led to a life filled with travel and academic institutions.  So far I have managed three degrees in civil/environmental engineering, landscape architecture and environmental science at two institutions University of Michigan (Go Blue) and University of Colorado (Go Buffs?, I didn’t really associate with sports there), while exploring all 50 US States and nearly 30 countries around the world.  I have a lot of the world left to see and who knows, maybe I will pick up another degree along the way.

I wouldn’t describe myself as an intellectual, I just love to learn and formal institutions and travel have been the best means for me to fulfill this desire.  I am a free spirit, a loudly passionate, contemplative person who adores my partner and photos of cats.

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Endowed with endless curiosity, I spend a great deal of time philosophizing about anything and everything, but very often this thinking pertains to environmental issues. I should note that I am not formally trained in environmental philosophy (besides a handful of classes) nor do I have the vocabulary competency to pass for someone who has. My writing is somewhat tongue and cheek, unfiltered, and riddled with errors and improper grammar (beware).

Since moving here, I desperately missed conversations and opportunities to explore some of things I plan to write about.  I am using this blog (firstly) as a means to work through some of this thinking and to follow my own pathway of inquiry.  The blog name, haere hinengaro is the Māori (indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand) translation for intellectual journey….intellectual in a psychological sense not a highbrow one.

I am also hoping to provide some meaningful insight of what it is like to live as an American in Aotearoa New Zealand.   I found there to be a limited selection of fair and balanced sites for expats considering a move here.  Most sites are either in the ‘pure bliss’ category, written by young people traveling and making a living blogging about it or the ‘pure despair’ category written by people that regret their move here for a variety of reasons and can’t find a single nice thing to say about it anymore.  While I am happy to be here, Aotearoa New Zealand is far from perfection and I think I am generally pretty honest about that.  I think that it is important to be prepared for what you might be giving up and what value you might gain in return by moving here.

I am also documenting my travel adventures here and around the world in a very unprofessional way; no fancy cameras (iphone only) and no hours spent getting the perfect shot. These posts are simply overviews of place for those more interested in travel ideas and is motivated by our desire to have a digital memory of our journey together. Someday maybe I will move from my iphone to my fancy camera, but I am not ready to live my life behind the lens just yet.

Right now, most of my writing will be about Aotearoa New Zealand, a place I have known for only two short years.  I don’t pretend to know everything or even a lot about this place, but I enjoy using this blog as a means for taking the time to think about, research (at a non academic level), and write about my experiences, while also using this writing as an instrument for inviting a digital dialogue.

By the way, there is a random hydraulic fracturing tab attached to this blog spot, leading to an old blog Reflections of the Watering Hole. I doubt many would be excited for that read, but the information is there and I didn’t want to let it go.  I started this blog (which focuses on water quality) during one of my academic stints studying the social and environmental impacts of oil and natural gas development in the Denver-Julesburg Basin in the United States. While some of the information is a bit ‘dated’ (2013), many of the conundrums remain relevant today.