Tag Archives: New Zealand

The Other Fellow First

If you don’t know me, it’s simple. I have a life saying, The Other Fellow First, which has been preached to both of my children since day 1. The motto comes from Camp Dudley. Sebastian & Louisa will be going for their 4th season this summer and are the 3G of Gammills.

So why mention a camp motto now? Let me explain. When you put yourself out there in the world, in places that you have never been, have no idea about the language, and are basically in a vulnerable position, you find that many people from many cultures have the same life motto simply by experience.

For example:

  • A friend of my cousin’s welcomes us (strangers) into their home in Wanaka, New Zealand, serves us a delicious steak with plenty of wine, and then says we are welcome to stay as long as we want.
  • Air BnB host takes her day off to drive us around Sydney and then to share a secret beach to swim.
  • Another Air BnB host uses her day off to drive us to the Barossa wine country and takes us to exclusive wineries that she has access. Cool!
  • Australian volunteer in Nusa Penida, Indonesia, notices that Sebastian really likes fireworks on New Year’s Eve (shocker!) and gives him an armful to take on our journey to Bali.
  • The sister of a friend not only hosts us in her apartment but takes us out to dinners and arranges our sightseeing in Malaysia.
  • An elderly Thai woman with her adult daughter are sitting next to us at a food stall in Bangkok. Daughter hands my wife a local drink and says, “Here, this is for you and what Thai like to drink.” Then her mother turns around and hands us a grilled banana. Yum!
  • I’d like to close with yet one more example of why I feel strongly about education through experience for my children. Onn is a longtime high school buddy and I am glad that we’ve stayed in touch over the years. To put it simply (and I will be sharing a separate blog on our Penang experience), Onn took us into his home with his family and provided a place to stay. More than that, he showed my children the meaning of The Other Fellow First. He embraced them, taught them some martial arts, fed them amazing foods, and played with them on ziplines and ropes. I could go on and on but the moral of this story is that both Sebastian and Louisa saw how happy Onn was to share his life and talents. How he truly practiced and lived The Other Fellow First.

My perspective is quite one-dimensional when it comes to teaching my children (just as many parents, we want the best for them). It’s a wonderful feeling to experience and share similar values with both friends and strangers from all walks of life. And even better when those people impact your children in a positive way, much like that teacher you always loved!

The Other Fellow First – a darn good reason to get outside, meet others, and share your values! Thank you to Onn, Wai Fung, Sue, Mel, the Turner Family and everyone of you that practices The Other Fellow First!

P.S. Just off the press are these two articles for you to enjoy and they apply to this blog: Timeless Appeal and NYT Solo Traveler


We did this shot over jet boat ride in New Zealand and it felt like we could almost feel the rocks thumping below us it was so shallow. Our Driver did a bunch of 360’s and we got SOAKED!! It was our first real fun adventure to start our trip. Then came bungy jumping and so on.


AJ Hackett Bungy Jump

I can’t believe I bungy jumped in Queenstown!!! Dad, Sebastian and I discussed the day before that I would be bungy jumping first! I was a little nervous but, I am the daredevil in the family. We had just gone to the shotover jet boat ride the day before and Sebastian and I wanted to go bungy jumping right after it. I have no idea what I was thinking then but it was pretty stupid because myself right now, would NOT go bungy jumping. So we finally got to the bungy jumping spot in the morning and dad couldn’t go because of the “hole in the van”. Also because it was around $200 for an adult to go. Sebastian and I got our forms filled out and blah blah blah. I was going to pee in my pants because I was so nervous! I went to the restroom and believe it or not, the sign to the restroom was a bungy jumping person instead of a person standing up which made me a bit more nervous! So here I am, about to bungy jump, and the front desk guy tells my brother and I that there are NO refunds. So, if we go out there, on that bridge, there is NO chickening out! I am outside now, thinking to myself, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, OH MY GOSH!” Finally, the guy is getting me geared up and I have to do a little hop shuffle jump to get to the platform where you jump off because they tie your feet together. I wave to the cameras that you can pay a fortune to have a few photos of yourself bungy jumping and to my family of course. I am scared to DEATH now but I keep thinking I have to be strong!! The guy goes so fast, 3…2…1…BUNGY! I jump off and the next thing I know I can’t even hear myself screaming REALLY loud. And I know it’s really loud because of the GroPro attached to myself. I am spinning round and round so fast that all I see is a blur of green and blue and brown and I feel kind of dizzy. Luckily, I love roller coasters so, I was pretty used to it with loopty loops and such. Now the raft boat is coming to get me and I grab hold of the pole. They bring me down and I’m so excited and happy I did it! I jumped down 43 meters (140 feet)! When I get up to see my family, my dad says, “You now have bragging rights!”


I watched my brother bungy jump and he DOES NOT like roller coasters. He lifted up his head during the bouncing of the bungy and yelled “Yoha!”. He liked it! I was happy that he liked it and I could talk about any part of the bungy jump and he understood. Plus, they gave us free T-shirts! They’re pretty cool!

Sebastian and I did the AJ Hackett zip line next because it was only $20 more instead of paying full price. This zip line, was a special kind of zip line. It was freestyle. You could do superman, forwards, upside down, two people, etc…Because I was so awesome to bungy jump, I decided to go zip lining upside down. I have to say, it wasn’t the smartest of decisions. Blood was rushing to my head and it felt big. I felt alright though. When you zip line there, you hit this big stopper kind of thing and let me tell you, IT HURTS! Our legs were up because we wanted to go upside down and I had to almost put them down! It hurt my calves and they were sore afterwards. I felt like I had accomplished a lot though!


About to Bungy Jump in AJ Hackett






AJ Hackett Zip line