I can hardly believe it—I have been traveling now for half a year! I left on September 1st for Iceland for 10 days, continued on through Germany for 6 weeks, Thailand for 1 month, and I’ve been traveling around New Zealand now for over 3 months. Over the last month, I’ve had the chance to travel with two people whom I met during my travels: Carolina from Northern Sweden whom I met in Iceland and Jonathan from Napier, New Zealand whom I met through Samart in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Traveling separately with both of them, I’ve had all kinds of new experiences and seen some awesome sights in New Zealand’s South Island and North Island. Currently, I am with Jonathan traveling Northland. There’s hardly any cell phone service let alone Wi-Fi up here which explains the tardiness of this post! But I’m really looking forward to sharing all of my adventures with you in detail over the coming weeks since I'll be slowing down a bit in my travels. I plan to start living and working here in New Zealand! A different kind of travel but all a part of deviating!
What I’ve been up to this last month
- I continued my south island adventure with Carolina
- I sought out many LOTR film locations in the south island
- I played with kiwi children in a park
- I wild camped on farmland when a flooded road blocked our way
- I met and stayed with a few locals in Central Otago, New Zealand
- I ate white bait fritters, lamb, tuatua, hokey pokey, and other NZ food favorites
- I took a cruise on Milford Sound and watched seals bathing in the sunshine
- I laughed under the rainbow spray of a waterfall in the fjords
- I walked barefoot through “Fangorn Forest”
- I hiked part of the Kepler track and swam in the Lake Manapouri fjord
- I saw a double rainbow in Southland near Invercargill
- I gazed upon Monkey Island at high tide
- I experienced the wind of the south coast of the south island
- I stood on top of the Moeraki boulders and saw a penguin
- I bathed in the blue glacial water of Lake Pukaki while gazing at Mt. Cook
- I visited the best astronomical observatory in the southern hemisphere
- I viewed the stripes and moons of Jupiter through a telescope
- I watched dozens of shooting stars and the southern cross move across the night sky
- I tickled a hedgehog
- I relocated a car from Wellington to Auckland
- I climbed Mt. Ngauruhoe (“Mt. Doom”)
- I celebrated Pride in Auckland
- I reunited with Jonathan
- I said goodbye to Carolina and began a Northland road trip with Jonathan
- I strolled through towns and along beaches on Northland’s east coast
- I water-taxied the Bay of Islands to Otehei Island
- I snorkeled and free dove in Cable Bay
- I swam alongside giant sting ray, Moray eel, and tons of fish
- I SCUBA dove the Canterbury wreck and lighthouse bay
- I received my advanced diver certification in the Bay of Islands
- I pet farm animals at a local field day
- I caught and ate snapper off the 90 mile beach in Northland
- I reflected at Spirits Bay
I am now 3 months into my time here in New Zealand and I’m finally ready to take advantage of my working holiday visa. It only lasts for 12 months in New Zealand, so time is slipping away...
When I first arrived here I signed up on SEEK (seek.co.nz)—New Zealand’s “Monster.com.” I haven’t seen any jobs I wanted to apply to until a couple of weeks ago. I submitted a few applications and now it’s the waiting game.
The future of deviating
If I get one of these jobs, I’ve decided I will stay here through the end of my visa which is mid-November. I figured I should use it—you can only get the visa once in a lifetime! Besides, I like it here, have made some really great contacts and friends, and I’m nowhere near ready to go home yet. In fact, I want to travel more.
My tentative plan right now is to head back to New York for a short while to visit friends and family for the holidays after my visa ends. Then I will plan my next trip! Yes, that’s right. I’ve been bitten by the travel bug hard. Just as settling down is the life for others, settling into travel is the life for me (at least for a while).
I’m really excited about the places to which I’ve applied to work here in New Zealand, but the reality is I might not get hired! If I don’t get hired, it’s no problem. I still have money to keep me going for a while, and I’m sure I will eventually find a different gig (working on a boat/yacht?) or another adventure (traveling to Australia or Indonesia?). I’m just not sure what that will be!
Stay tuned to find out what I do next and, if you haven’t done so already, sign up for the weekly newsletter to be alerted to new posts and other updates!