I was introduced to Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth and the tender age of eleven. Unlike most schools, mine did not require us to read the Hobbit during the year or over the course of the summer.

So, the story only reached my radar when the first movie came out. I was transported into another world and even more so, I was enthralled by the scenery. I could not get over the beauty of New Zealand.

I was mostly taken with Hobbiton (which thankfully still exists) because I loved hobbits the most. I was especially taken with their love of food and nature. They respected the earth and lived a carefree existence, ferreted away from the horrors of the outside world.

I vowed I’d visit each and every landscape, even the ones only accessible by helicopter. I’d travel the same path as the Fellowship. Even now, more than a decade later, it is still my number one travel destination.


Sometimes I wish I could just scurry into a hole under the hill and live life by tending a garden, enjoying a pint at the Green Dragon and smoking a pipe full of pipe weed. Maybe one day, on holiday, I will.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.