Why didn’t I unpack my bags in New Zealand?

The most common question asked since I came back to Europe. Every time I get this question, I ask myself that same question. Why didn’t I?

And indeed, why wouldn’t I wanna settle on an island? Find a job in Auckland. Learn how to stand on a surfboard? I’m becoming less and less ambitious about my surfing career..

Then start a business in South Island and enjoy the mountains whenever I please?

From what I heard it seems pretty straight forward- you just need to find a sponsor. Even travellers working in cafes get sponsored by their employers. And if you are a nurse, they will roll out a red carpet upon your arrival. In these terms, kiwis seem to be super welcoming unlike the big island just west of them.


But I left. Actually, when I went to NZ, I only planned to go there for a month. I missed my sister. It felt wrong to be so far away and go work for a bank. I already had a cubicle waiting for me back in Europe. Yeay. And me working on a farm? Right.

I thought Queenstown must be the answer. But it was full of English teenagers/ wannabe snowboarders. And Latvians. And Brazilians. And everyone else.  And shitty customer service jobs and overpriced dodgy rooms.

Planning is stupid. I ended up picking grapes. Those were my hippy beginnings. Those were good times. This is where I worked for probably the best boss I will ever have. A chilled–out dreaded rock climber who told me about a climbing campground just an hour away from the vineyard. I somehow managed to end up there half a year later despite almost leaving NZ like 100 times.

And so a chain of short-term jobs lined up and with it people who never intended to make this island their home. All of the sudden you feel a bit more normal in the company of other lost souls. No place is better than the next one.

And once you’ve got a taste of travelling on the other side of the world, it’s impossible to resist the rest of it.


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