I arrived in my new home in Plimmerton yesterday. It was windy and rainy, even worse than in the city (Wellington), but still w beautiful beach town.
It felt very bittersweet to say goodbye to all of my new friends from the Dwellington. They walked down to the train station to see me off. Bastienne insisted on carrying my bag the entire way!
In my short time there I had developed so many wonderful friendships, almost like a little family in Welly. I feel like I have known them all for years. It is amazing how there is this entire worldwide subculture of young travelers. In many places you don’t hear about them, but in New Zealand it is much more visible. They are people in their 20s and 30s (and sometimes older) and they are searching for adventure or a new home or something else. It is different for everyone, but despite that, there are so many commonalities. Nearly everyone that I have met is open-minded, friendly, smart and self-sufficient. I’m not sure if traveling creates these traits, or if the people who have them tend to seek adventure. I feel so fortunate that I have been able to take this trip and gain new perspective.
Anyways (self-reflection moment over), I am now living about fifteen minutes from the train station. With my bags and the weather, it felt like the longest walk of my life! Fortunately, a nice woman named Jackie saw me struggling along and picked me up in her car. (Yes, I accepted a ride from a stranger.) She dropped me off at the hostel where I will be working. My new roommate, Noemi, is from Stuttgart. We are sharing a tiny little cabin with bunk beds (I can’t even sit up on my bottom bunk), but it is very homey. Noemi works a second job in a nearby town, where the grocery store is located. She dropped off another one of our coworkers, Joy, and myself at the store for my first major NZ grocery shopping trip! I finally see what everyone is saying about NZ being expensive! It was insane! We went to the bottom of the barrel, cheapest grocery store called Pak & Save. The produce was very dodgy and the ambience left something to be desired. The staff was very friendly and helpful though. I ended up spending an excessive amount of money on a very small amount of food. Joy and I walked with our groceries to the station to catch the train back to Plimmerton.
I ended up being trained with another new addition to the staff, Anna. She will be working during the weekday evenings, while I will be at reception all day on the weekends. We learned about the computer system and the other responsibilities. The job seems fairly easy and we took frequent breaks (I am technically working while I sit in front of the fireplace and write this post).
Since I arrived it has been too stormy to explore the town, so I have been hanging out inside with my coworkers (or woofers, as they call us here). Apparently any type of trade of work for accommodation is considered woofing, not just farming. There are seven of us, although one person leaves on Saturday. I am the only American here. The guests mostly keep to themselves and I’ve only seen them in passing so far. It is a much different atmosphere than I experienced at my last hostel. It is calmer and more relaxed. I think that I will adjust to the quiet fairly quickly. This has been the only time that I have had more then 15 minutes to write a blog post in the past few days. Also, the wireless here is much better, which is a huge plus.
I am heading back into town tomorrow and while I am there I’m planning to drop by and visit my friends for the weekly movie night. They are also hoping to make it out to see my new home, sometime this week.
I apologize for the lack of pictures today; it was way too rainy to take any outside yesterday!
I do have one more though, I thought it was too cool.
(Yes, it’s a toilet seat with shells in it!)