Over the past few months when I have told people what I am doing I am often asked a handful of questions. I thought I’d share them here in case you had the burning desire to find out for yourself.
Number One – Why NZ?
Well I can tell you why I didn’t choose it: it wasn’t because LOTR was filmed there, it wasn’t because my sister has already been, it wasn’t because friends had studied abroad and had the most awesome time ever and it wasn’t because they drive on the left side of the road.
It’s because well it looks incredible – thats the scenery and the views and the culture. I mean come on I can’t think of a country which has better views from horseback. It’s been THE country I’ve wanted to visit since I went to the US for 3 months and got the travelling bug.
Number Two – What do your parents think?
I get asked this alot from people who are parents/grandparents themselves, and before they asked, it hadn’t crossed my mind. My parents have always been supportive in what I do so I hadn’t actully asked their opinions of this trip. My dad doesn’t really have a leg to stand on as after he graduated from university he took a bus from England to India and then went on to work in Australia for a few months.
Number Three – Who are you going with?
I get asked this alot and the usual conversation goes like this
Friend/colleague/person “Oh New Zealand that’s awesome, who are going with?”
Me “No one, I’m going by myself” *Huge cheesy grin*
Friend/colleague/person “Say whaaaaaat!! By yourself?! Corrr you’re brave”
Me “Just me and my backpack but I am going to meet lots of people out there”
Number Four – What are you going to do out there?
WWOOF to put it simply, which stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In NZ they have expanded from just organic farm hosts to cultural exchange hosts which is pretty awesome because this includes places like trekking centres. These are the places I am looking at volunteering with, so I will work for a few hours a day in exchange for accommodation and food. I hope its a really cool way to see NZ and get to know its people and ponies. Some places I will stay in a bit longer like a couple of months others I will stay a couple of weeks. I have confirmed the first host I will be staying with for the first few months and they are going to be picking me up from the airport.
Number Five – How did you find out about this WWOOFing thing?
I stumbled across it on the internet as you do when you have exams to revise for and you are procrastinating efficiently by researching your travels for 9 months time. During my January exams I was researching ways to combine my need to travel and my passion for all things horsey and as luck would have it came across WWOOFing which looks great as its very flexible and you get to know New Zealand from a kiwi point of view.
Number Six – It’s pretty quiet in New Zealand, not a lot going on.
Err I didn’t really know how to respond to this question. New Zealand is as far as I’m aware one of the most action packed countries with a huge variety of adrenaline fuelled activities. I explained this to him and his response was yes but they’re all in the middle of no where, I mean New Zealand only has small towns, the night life isn’t going to be very good. Ah so he was concerned I wasn’t going to get a “gap yah” experience of boozing it up in every place I visit. Well sorry to disappoint but that’s low on my agenda of what I want to get out of this trip. And after 4 years of studying hard and partying harder at university, the last thing I am looking for is a wild night.
Number Seven – What about Christmas?
Christmas comes every year so I am not worried about missing Christmas at home as I know I’ll have many more in the future. Plus me and my family celebrated Christmas before I went, even Father Christmas visited and left me a stocking! I am quite intrigued to find out what you do at Christmas when it’s sunny and hot outside though?!