Here one day, gone the next

Trip Start Jun 10, 2009
Trip End Sep 07, 2009

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Where I stayed
Elijah and Kristen Peters' house

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yes, you read the location correctly. I am now in New Zealand. Tropical summer one day, southern winter the next. A curious person would be asking for an explanation, as the last plan I had was to be in Phuket, Thailand, for four more weeks. My response would be, "It was a whim". But of course, it's a little more complicated than that.

The closer I got to the start of the class, the more I realized that I don't particularly want to teach English, or anything, really. It was never a great desire, more of a means to an end, and while my attitude toward teaching in abstract has remained the same, I came to realize I didn't really want to have to spend six months or a year in one place, especially a foreign country where I don't speak the language, doing something that's just a "means to an end" and that I wouldn't enjoy. After that decision, canceling the class before it started was the natural progression, as if I began the class, I would have had to pay for all of it and then have wasted all the money if I didn't end up teaching, where as now I only lose the deposit I had already paid.

I might have still done the class, however, if some other aspects hadn't come into play. I've wanted to go to New Zealand for a while for different reasons, from the scenery to the people to all the things to do, but I didn't come initially after graduation because I thought it would be too expensive to travel there for any amount of time. It still is to one extent, but then I found out about the year-long work holiday visa that I could get. It is what it sounds like: I can stay in the country and work for a year as long as the main thing I'm doing is being on holiday. That way I can get different work such as at hostels or doing seasonal stuff like picking fruit or working in vineyards.

So I got into Auckland today and met up with Jacque, who is a fellow Harding graduate who has been on a mission trip in New Zealand for several weeks, and the people she is staying with, who are letting me stay at their house tonight. I flew from Phuket to Bangkok, then to Kuala Limpur, Malaysia, to Sydney, Australia, and finally, Auckland, New Zealand. I'll be in Auckland for at least a day or two sorting out my working holiday visa (I'm currently on the free 90-day visa US citizens get), then who knows. I have a line on a job on the northern tip of the south island in Blenheim at a vineyard that I may head down and do, or I may try to find a bit of work somewhere else. I'm pretty solid in terms of money for the moment, but a plan I'm thinking about would require a decent sum, plus the adventure sports (bungee jumping, skydiving, snowboarding, etc.) all cost a pretty penny. I would love to work at a ski place, but I doubt I could find a job as I imagine they're fairly popular.

Well, I don't like talking about the future. Suffice it to say, I'm happy with my decision to come to New Zealand, even though there are some things I'll miss about Thailand (and that I missed doing). But I can always go back later. My philosophy is that I'm young and can do whatever I feel like; if something goes wrong, I'm just out a bit of money.
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sbarber on

sounds good
Well, that's cool and a surprise. I just find it hilarious that you went half way around the world to end up connecting with Jacque!

jwatson on

@ Steven
Yeah, I had talked to her about how I was planning on coming eventually, and she said I could stay a night with the people she was staying with, so I left then instead of waiting a couple of days to plan things more.

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