After 4 months as an Au Pair in Stratford, it was time for our adventurer Sarah 24, from Grimsby, to move on to Auckland and start a new job with Tito Mike!
I spent my summer in Paihia, in a beach house up a huge hill which overlooks the bay. I managed to get a room in the house that Toni rented, the $115 a week is worth it for that view every morning! From a mountain to a beach - insane :)
I found a job easily when I got to Paihia, I worked in a restaurant called Titos. I loved working there. It was a new place that had only been open for 3 months when I started, I learnt how to make AWESOME coffee now, and got to meet some cool people :)
Christmas was a weird one! We had decorated the house, with snowflakes made of cut up leaflets, and beermats with hand drawn pictures on, and Isabel made an advent calender. I had my Christmas dinner at work, then went for a swim in the sea, and then had Hash Browns for my 2nd Christmas dinner ... It was strange and I missed home, but I had a nice time :)
New Years I spent on Waiheke Island which was beautiful! I went with Claire, Carl, Claire and Phil (all BUNACers)... I had SO much fun!
I bought a bus pass from a company called Stray Travel. The pass I bought was valid for 1 year, and allowed me to hop on or off where and whenever I liked along the route. I think it took me to 42 different places all over both Islands, and Stewart Island too.
I was a bit unsure at first, moving on every day, knowing no-one etc, but I completely, totally loved it.
I have been to Thames, Hot Water Beach, Hahei, Paeroa, Raglan, Waitomo, Maketu, Rotorua, Taupo, Whakahoro, Tongariro, Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Abel Tasman, Cape Foulwind, Pancake Rocks, Greymouth, Hokitika, Franz Joseph, Haast, Makarora, Wanaka and I am currently in Queenstown, about halfway done on my trip :)
I have been caving and seen the glow worms, hiked a glacier, went on a lot of bush walks, seen some of the Lord of the Rings filming areas, partied in the Capital, saw a seal colony, enjoyed a traditional Maori night, hiked lots of mountains, corrupted a young American and laughed so hard I cried ... I have done so much I can't even remember!
And so it was time to live New Zealand ... only temporarily of course! My destination? THAILAND!
After my trip to Thailand I spent another month with my Au Pair family in Stratford, before returning to the UK.
My advice to anyone is to travel. Anywhere. I truly believe there is nothing better for a person than to widen their knowledge - and what better way to do that than to go and experience life in a different culture, with different customs and ideals. Travel until you feel like you've seen what you want to. Don't say to yourself 'maybe one day ...' because before you know it 'maybe one day...' will have turned into 'I wish I had...'. Just do it!
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Check out the rest of Sarah's travel story HERE .