Work on a farm? I asked again this super adventurous English guy who planned to do farming in New Zealand. No way. I’m a banker. I earn real money. I didn’t study to work on a farm.
By the time I reached New Zealand, I was luckily less stupid. I ended up realising I’m so far not in order to earn money. I’m here for new experiences. And that does not include a shitty customer service job in Queenstown either. At least not in a touristy town like this squeezed village, when just next to it you lies gorgeous Wanaka with all the space in the world and far less rain.
And after working at Rimu Grove vineyard that was it for me. I could do anything. I didn’t care. Until I got depressed.
I ended up working and living with people I didn’t like. It drained the energy out of me and I was ready to go back home. I was actively looking for excuses for why I should leave this beautiful corner of the world. Winter, too much travelling, miss my sister. Anything.
Before leaving I still had some things to check off my list, though. So I got together with Vikki and set off for a winter road trip.
South Island is stunning in winter. I froze my ass off at Milford but I wouldn’t trade it for any other day. Vikki turned out to be my cure. The bundle of energy that I truly needed. You can google any landscape in the world. But sharing ideas and experiences with other people is the true beauty of travelling. At least for me.
Vikki has a degree, but had a clear idea from the very beginning- she was not in New Zealand to import her French lifestyle. She was going to do woofing- work for other people in exchange for accommodation and food. Aiming to learn practical skills that we are no longer taught at school or university. Money was not the aim. Experience is what truly mattered to her.
I found that really inspiring. Her love for Wanaka was contagious as well. And then the Mountain Film festival with two last tickets for Alex Honnold’s presentation happened. He so bad-ass.
Next thing I know, I’m not depressed anymore. I too want to try new things. Get out of the comfort zone. I don’t wanna go back to Europe and get sucked into the routine and lifestyle I think I’m ‘supposed’ to have.
Unfortunately, Wanaka by that time was buzzing with CVs of desperate backpackers. I was too lazy to fight for some 20-hour cleaning job and an unheated kiwi room.
So I ventured off to the middle of nowhere in the mountains. That’s good enough for getting out of the comfort zone right? Well hello there, Arthur’s Pass. New Zealand, I ain’t goin nowhere.