It’s either hit or about to hit the sixth month mark of being in New Zealand. The past few months I haven’t really gone out of my way to do anything worth mentioning – my visa is for 23 months, though limited to only 12 months work and I’d rather just do the travelling in one go when the weathers nicer. For the first time in a few years I have grown up things to deal with – being signed on a lease, paying bills and ignoring everything else that constitutes as grown up.
Over Easter whilst I was in Taranaki, I’d realised that in the prior three years I had shown more commitment to having pizza on a Sunday (20 weeks in a row was my personal best) than having a full time job. It’s something that I really am quite proud of myself for. With that said, next Thursday that will be broken, and working will overtake that.
I’m still doing cafe work – it’s the most chilled job I’ve ever had which is something that I’m really glad that I found, and with the hours 6.30 – 2.30, I don’t think I could go back working 16+ hours/day. Waking up at 5.15 is something that I have come to realise that I will never get used to, no matter how hard I try. The best bit about it is having the work/life balance – I’ve stuck with the yoga which I’m really noticing the benefits from, and am being a bit more sensible with my spare time compared to how much time and money I spent on going out in Australia.
The winter here isn’t as cold as in the UK or Melbourne – just more wet and windy, so if it’s not that bad over the weekend it’s good hiking weather. A few weeks back I went to the Red Rocks to see the seal colony, and another up to a World War II base near my house. I doubt this weekend I’ll get up to much – I have either a sore throat, tonsilitis, or irritated my throat from eating too much peanut butter chocolate. The weather is meant to be not so great too, but there’s one 12km trail that is probably to be done next.
In terms of where I’m going to go to next, I am intending to save most of it for the summer. Recently I’ve looked at spending a weekend in Mt Cook, but it’s -19 there, so I’d rather just wait for spring/summer to come. In the near future I’ll be working out visas to try to stay on this side of the world, but for next time I’m back in Europe I’ve been looking at a trip to South America and/or Mexico on my way. If I make it to both Mexico and Peru, I will see both the remaining seven wonders of the world that I’d like to see. Back when I was 20 and starting to plan my travels I just had the intention to spend a few weeks in Europe and then a bit of time in Aus, and it’s interesting to see how it’s all worked out fourish years later.
It’s been around six weeks since I’ve moved into an actual house. There was little thought as to why I should move to Wellington; I had my mind made up before I even got to New Zealand, and it’s worked out pretty well. Now I’m out of hostels, it’s so, so nice not sharing a room with anyone, to chill out in a blanket burrito with Netflix on, and to sleep without much disturbance.
Trying to balance waking up for work is a bit tricky – I snooze until 5.25 and leave at 5.40am, and finishing at 2.30 gives me the rest of the day to myself, but I’m also sleepy by that point. I also feel as though I’m catching up on around 8 months worth of sleep so I’m taking things easy. My job is going well; it’s probably the easiest job I’ve had to date.
Since my second year in Australia, I’ve learnt that I should try to look after myself and have learnt that my body(/liver) is not a machine. I’m not turning up to work in questionable states as a result of the previous nights shenanigans, working less than ten hours a day and I’ve been taking good care of my back. I’ve even Googled dehumidifiers for my bedroom, so I guess I’m a grown up now.
Outside of work and the house, I’ve completed the beginners yoga course which I’d signed up to – it’s been a while since I’ve completed something that isn’t a packet of party mix or a book, and have moved onto taking classes without having to trek into the city. Been out for drinks a few times, but nothing really of much interest. The other week I experienced my first earthquake and a bit of sideways rain, which I guess adds to the list of expanding weather conditions I’ve experienced.
This past weekend was the first where I’ve left the house to do something somewhat touristy, and I returned to Zealandia which is an eco-reserve for birds. By the time I’d woken up and taken the 20 minute bus ride there it was 2pm, but only really spent a couple of hours there. There was more wildlife when it was hot outside a couple of months ago, but now winter is about to start, there were less birds around. There’s also night tours that run there and thinking of going within the next few weeks.
Over the Easter Weekend I’m off work so I’m going to be going away, maybe hiking but haven’t really looked too far into it besides car hire and booking accommodation.
The last week in Wellington I’ve prioritised finding work and a place to live, and I have successfully done both. I’m working in a cafe where my hours are 6.30-2.30, Monday to Friday with public holidays off. After all the dramas with my back last year, I feel as though 40 hours a week for work definitely suits me.
As for the place to live, I was going to a lot of viewings and every time being rejected. Presumably because I’m limited with the amount of time in the country, and the demand is ridiculous – most people had upwards of 20 people viewing their room.In the end, I posted on one of the Wellington Flatmates Facebook pages. Someone messaged me, and now I’m moving into a house with three other people on Saturday. It’s unfurnished so earlier I spent a weeks pay on a mattress, and I’ll get a few more things as I get paid. The past week and a half I’ve stayed in hostels and have barely slept, so I am looking forward to having four walls and a door that I can close.
I can definitely see myself wanting to be antisocial the next few weeks. Instead, I’ve signed myself up for a beginners yoga course – I’m not really too sure if I genuinely want to do it for reasons other than strengthening my back, but it’ll also get me out of the house and around people who I don’t live or work with.
Hopefully, next week when I’ve settled into the new place and managing to sleep for more than four hours a night I’ll go and see what I can do in Wellington. I may go climb up Mt. Vic, and see where the seal colony is.
It is really, really nice being unemployed again. I’d anticipated last Saturday as my final shift of the year, but have since worked two and have one more to go – just a bit of extra money which should cover my living costs until I go.
For now, I’m on track to having my shit together: everything I own doesn’t even fill up a backpack, flights are booked and seats are booked tactically so hopefully no one will sit next to me, vaccinations are sorted – three boxes of malaria tablets are more expensive than my laptop, my Japan Rail pass is somewhere in my room and I have accommodation booked up until halfway through August. With that said, I have a fair bit still to do, mainly with sorting out money and creating some kind of budget for myself; with the amount that I have saved in Australia, it would be nice to stretch this beyond Asia and be able to go to Iceland when I’m back in Europe.
A couple of weeks ago I said that I was going to go to the Grampians for some hiking, but as usual, I have another injury: this time it’s my ankle. I haven’t been pissed since April so don’t know what’s caused it, so just taking the opportunity to rest. With that said, my back is heaps better and almost back to normal.
Next time I update, I will probably be in either Melbourne Tullamarine or Perth International Airport, probably trying to sum up the past two years, and to start the next chapter in my life – travelling the world a bit further.
I haven’t really done that much over the past few weeks since I last updated. My back is still a hot mess, though heaps better than what it was, which means that if I’m not working then I’m usually laying down with a hot water bottle somewhere.
Despite the shitty back, I’ve still made it out to go for dinner near enough weekly. One restaurant we couldn’t decide what to eat so went for their option called ‘The Feast.’ The restaurant is a five minute walk from the flat and I felt as though I needed to order an Uber to get home. Also spent at least $250 on gin a day in Healesville to visit the Four Pillars Gin Distillery, and had a lot of cheese in addition to the volume of wine and gin that was drank. No regrets.
Next Saturday is my last day at my job; I was going to spend a week or so longer but I just can’t be arsed. I may have a few shifts in between then and leaving the country at another job. I’m now having to be a grown up, so today I’ve repaired a balls up on a flight I booked a few months back. Tomorrow I’m off to apply for a visa to get into China, with accommodation booked in Beijing and a flight going from Shanghai to Seoul.
I was intending to travel with hand luggage like I did for five months in Europe, but this isn’t really logical. It’s not really that interesting but I have to stock up a bit better with stuff like first aid (I didn’t even take plasters on my Europe trip), I’ll be carrying Malaria tablets, insect repellent, a copious amount of suncream, now have a laptop, chargers, clothes for different weathers etc., it’s just going to make my life a lot easier to have more space.
Between now and leaving the country I was planning to go up to the Northern Territory to escape the cold for a few days but it’s upwards of £400 for a return. Was thinking about Tassie but it’s going to be cold. If my back feels up to it I may hire a car in a couple of weeks time, go to the Grampians for a day of hiking and come back the following day.
It’s been a while since I updated last. Not really been up to much besides the usual – working, going out for drinks, dinners, wine and cheese and chilling. The weather now is not so great, so between now and when I get to China I’ll be refraining from sending snapchats with the temperature on.
I injured my back and had to have it x-rayed around a month ago which I’m having treatment on still, so I have to try and be sensible. With that said, I did go to the x-ray place a little worse for wear, so thankfully it was just my back and hips that they were looking at.
This week I may make it out to do something but I have two days off together and am off to a distillery at the weekend, so will be taking it easy up until then.
For the first time in a couple of weeks it’s not been that much of a big one.
Was supposed to go out during the week, but instead I to cover a shift at work, however, I made up for it by going out last night for a wine and cheese night and turning up to work surprisingly ok on a red wine and gin hangover.
One thing that I did outside of work that was slightly productive was sort out my visa for China, so now all I need to do is go to the Chinese Consulate in Melbourne and hope they approve it. I’ve been looking at the big trip coming up in a couple of months time now – I think it’ll take six or seven months, and am looking at going to Jordan, Egypt and Turkey in addition to the twelve or so other countries.
As for the opposite of slightly productive, I watched 42 episodes of Designated Survivor on Netflix over four sittings.
For this week I don’t really have a lot planned. Maybe going for a drink or two a couple of times but have 8 shifts this week and don’t really fancy writing myself off before I know when my next day off is.
On Monday I hired a car and drove to Phillip Island. I visited in my first week in Australia with a friend from back home, but it’s quite close and the weather is still pretty decent. I caught the train to Frankston instead of driving through the city as I wanted to miss rush hour traffic and there’s a lot of dickheads on the road in the city.
Once I’d gotten into the car, I’d already established my first world problems:
The WiFi in my flat is pretty bad and didn’t download the Spotify playlist properly
I was probably going to run out of battery on my phone, for which I was relying on the GPS, and my portable charger wasn’t fully charged
The indicators and windscreen wipers are controlled on the different sides of the wheel than in the UK, and I have to overthink which side they are on. This was the first time I’ve driven a car in Australia and not used the wipers instead of indicating. Go me.
An hour or so later I reached an animal sanctuary and petted some kangaroos.
Half hour after leaving the kangaroos behind, I drove to the Nobbies Center, which is a boardwalk on the coast. Really nice views.
The weather was still clearing up, but after reaching Cape Woolami the sky was blue. Bearing in mind that I work on my feet all day and had done around 15km of walking just a few days before, I opted for the shortest walk.
Next week or the week after, depending on my shifts, I’m going to go to the Mornington Peninsular for a day. At the moment I’m working not a lot of hours with two jobs, this week it’ll be around 30 hours and am expecting the same next week.
Not really done anything that amazing this past week. Had my first day off in 15 days and think it was only one piss up.
As I’m quite conscious of the fact that I don’t have that long left in Australia, I’d quite like to explore more of the state that I have lived in for most of my time here. Wilsons Prom is a three hour drive away and I just don’t want to spend six hours driving, so again I used the tour operators Hike and Seek.
We did a couple of hikes, both with amazing views. The second one the view was just so worth walking uphill for around 40 minutes in the weather that we were lucky enough to get. The pictures don’t really do the view justice, but they’ll have to do.
This coming week I don’t have a lot of work, so tomorrow is my sort-my-shit-out day, depending on what time I wake up. Monday I’m thinking of hiring a car and going somewhere, but that is dependent on the weather and if I can find a really good playlist.
I’m currently sat on 13 days of work consisting of 16 shifts in a row, very tired and a bit hungover.
Over the past week I’ve had a couple of evenings out which have been great – the first I went out to a nice restaurant with a couple of friends for dinner and cocktails. We must have eaten enough for probably six people between us three and the struggle was real getting up and walking to the station. The second night I went to a pub quiz with a group of people and came second; turns out that I’m shit at this kind of stuff in Australia because of being English.
The past weekend at work wasn’t so good and today I was just over being on my feet for so many days straight and not dealing too well on not a lot of sleep. I ended up asking if I was to serve some of the food that should not have been in the fridge which didn’t go down too well and I got told to get changed and go home. Having cleaned the deep fryer every day for a week prior, I was just happy to get a day off from cleaning it.
Over the next week I think I have a night out in the works and I’m going to see if I can do something that isn’t work.