My kiwi anniversary: One year in New Zealand

One year ago today, I landed in Christchurch, New Zealand, with nothing more than a rucksack, a small backpack, the knowledge that I had a job and a place to live. I knew noone and was excited to start my adventures.

I remember my first day, driving from the airport, thinking how different the roads and neighbourhoods looked; and thats not just in relation to earthquake damage. I had my first Skype session with my sister, and shed a few tears after the conversation: a mix of emotions and jetlag. I walked the 15 minutes to McDonalds to get something to eat, as well as drove to Countdown to buy basic food for breakfast the next day. I think I was asleep by 7.30pm.
So much has come and gone from that day, and I am glad I have documented it on my blog and through pictures on Facebook.

I know I have been saying it throughout the year on my blog, but it is hard to believe that it has actually been one year. The time has flown by so quickly, but I have done a lot of amazing stuff, travelled a lot, met many wonderful people and created memories that will last a lifetime (that all sounds a bit cliche I know).

Originally I was supposed to be in New Zealand for one year, as my Working Holiday Visa stated, but as it approached October, and I had the application for a work visa sitting on my bedroom shel for over 2 months I bit the bullet and decided to apply for a work visa, which was granted at the end of October.
I don’t honestly know if I ever came here with a plan, it was always a wait and see what happens thing; but I actually love it here. I think if I hadn’t felt a settled I would have hopped over to Australia. However, I do love my job and I’ve made friends here and enjoy the lifestyle. Although it doesn’t mean I will stay forever.

This years focus may be less travel and more focusing on my own local community now I am classed as a resident (sort of; I would be in 2 years, but I am eligable to most things New Zealanders are). Last year was an immense time for travelling and some of the time I did tire myself out, but I ticked off a good bit of my bucket list for 2012:

I do still have things on my New Zealand bucket list, such as going back to Te Anau and Milford Sound, visiting the Coromandel, cycling the Central Otago Rail Trail, and maybe doing the Milford or Heaphy Track.

I still have my sister here, and I am enjoying being able to be a local guide for her, as well as others that may come my way (I have a friend here early March, and possibly another later in the year).

The desire to travel a lot more is still there; and often I do wish I could take 6 months off and travel around Asia or South America, but that requires a lot of money. One day.

Living in New Zealand is still an exciting adventure; immersing myself in culture different to my own, and being based in an area which is closer to places I may never have visited if I was still in the UK.

To quote part of my blog title “The World Is A Book, Those Who Do Not Travel, Read Only A Page.” Saint Augustine.
Happy travelling everyone.

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