third time’s the charm

Posted from Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand.

No plan. None. I headed into summer with a completely obscure idea of what winter would bring. What would happen to me now after the freedom of eight glorious months of worldwide travel? How could anything compare to the blissful days of wanderlust and zero obligation? Money was running out though. I had to do something. What would I do? Where would I go? Would it be the lashing cold of Canada? The dry sort of warmishness of the American south? Would I have to get a real job to maintain myself over the bitter frigidness and necessity of an apartment in the north? Would I have to succumb to five months at mom’s during the darkest most dreadful days of the year? You would not begin to believe the wishes I sent out to the cosmos that things would fall in place. Somehow. Please. Pretty pretty please. First world problems.

It took the universe only ten days from my re-entry into the workforce to send me a solution.

The solution came via a Facebook text.

“Would you be interested in working in Queenstown, New Zealand for the up-coming season.”

If you’ve followed my blogs at all, you know I’ve been to New Zealand twice before. Once for five months in 2009-10 and again for four months in 2011-12. This new contract will have me working for six months.

Back to work.

Back to work.

I told my friend I would need a few days to think about it. Going to New Zealand – again – was a big decision, one I couldn’t take lightly. A lot of thought would have to go into this. Then I texted her about two hours later and accepted the job. A few weeks later the HR lawyer contacted me with the necessary paperwork to obtain my work visa. I printed it off, filled it out, got my photos done and mailed it in to the NZ Embassy office in the U.S. along with my consent for them to withdraw the couple hundred dollars in fees. I got the visa in less than two weeks. No sweat. This was really happening.

For the next two months I continued to work until it was time to fly home to repack for my time in New Zealand.

Queenstown is in the mountains, so I know it’s not going to be as hot and humid as a Toronto summer. Some people say they can get four seasons in one day there. Just like Ireland. All I had with me for the past two months were summer clothes, so it was definitely necessary to head home and root through my storage stuff for some warmer things. After all, it will still be spring when I arrive there and autumn when I leave.

Getting up to no good this summer.

Getting up to no good this summer.

I’m not saying it’s going to be frigid. No no no. It will get hot. The ozone layer is fairly non-existent there, and that makes the sun burn. But it’s not short and tank-top weather just yet. In fact, I think they had snow the other day. Hmmm.

I had to book two separate flights, which ended up becoming three separate flights. All the travel search engines had me connecting in LA with a 12-hour layover and there was no way I was doing that. Flying through the US also means going through the hassle of US immigration. Hard pass. So I booked a flight to Vancouver via Winnipeg. Three hours in the most boring airport in Canada and another four hours in Vancouver I was soon on my way to Auckland. And luck would have it that the middle seat in my row (on my 14-hour flight) was empty. And I had a window seat. And I brought a feather pillow from home – which made some people laugh and some people revere me as a great genius.

The awesome people who build your parachutes at NZ Aerosports.

The awesome people who build your parachutes at NZ Aerosports.

The great plan included three days at Skydive Auckland for the Oktoberfest Boogie, which ended up being two days. And ended up being a non-jumping boogie for me. I’m a fair-weather jumper. Though there was a fair amount of drinking and a kick-ass Hallowe’en party. But I did get to visit the NZ Aerosports shop – twice! And I got to geek out inspecting their awesome machines and gadgets. So many parachutes were in production by such a small staff. It was really cool. And I got some free swag!

I got to Queenstown on Oct. 29th. I started work on Nov. 1 by packing a whole four tandems. I packed my first cutaway (at my new job) on the 3rd. On the 5th I move into my new shared apartment and test drive a car I’ve never heard of but may just buy. But for now I graciously sleep on my friend Inbar’s couch – my friend who also asked me if I wanted the job. And my friend who has so humbly driven me all over Queenstown to view rooms, closets and dumps. It’s amazing what some people will list as accommodation and what they expect people to pay.

The view from my friend's apartment.

The view from my friend’s apartment.

So the new era has begun. Am I happy here? Hell yes. More to come.


14 Responses to third time’s the charm

  1. So happy that you are happy. Onward bound through the most wonderful of journeys.

    sKY November 4, 2013 at 8:56 am Reply

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