Chris’ New Zealand working holiday
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Why a working holiday?
To be honest, I didn’t want to get in the rat race of climbing the career ladder just yet! I wanted to live and work in places rather than just see them as a tourist a week or two. I wanted to experience them as a proper local. I think only then can you really get to know a city or country.
What’s your travel style?
Solo travel, 100%. When you travel alone you meet people from all around the world and become friends with them because of the unique experience you share together. It’s not like at school where you are sort of just friends with people because you’ve known them for so long, when you’re travelling you have more freedom with who you socialise with. I’m still in contact with the great friends I met in various places. I live in London now and live with a Kiwi couple that I met in America.
What was your favourite place in New Zealand?
Queenstown – it’s in the South Island of New Zealand. It’s pretty much known for being the adventure capital of New Zealand, if not the world. It’s a thrill-seekers paradise full of adrenaline, and when you live there you feel part of a close community, particularly where I lived in the central part of the city. But then at the same time there’s always travellers passing through, so there’s always interesting people to meet.
What jobs did you do?
I worked part time in a surf and skate store. People would pass through there everyday, everyone is so friendly and will chat to you about anything, and I think it was the best way to meet people. I had a full-time job working for a bar as well, the regulars and the locals became my best mates.
What would you say to someone thinking about taking the plunge?
So many things! I left my door unlocked for the full year and a half that I lived there, even with the over a million people that pass through every year nothing ever happened. It’s just what people do, and it would never happen in big cities in the UK. I think that just sums up New Zealand as a whole. It’s safe, friendly and such amazing fun.
And lastly, what’s your travelling philosophy? When it’s good it’s great, when it’s bad it’s an experience.
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