New Zealand is one of the most interesting places in the world for many reasons – beautiful scenery, safe and pleasant places to visit, spectacular places for bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, skiing, and it is very easy to travel there once you have overcome any money issues with buying tickets for cruises, plane travel, hire cars and hotels.
I have a lot of personal reasons for loving New Zealand, both my married partners have been born there, my sisters partners have been born there, and way back in 1907 to 1909 my grandfather ran a business there, and one of my aunts was born in New Zealand. My Dad wanted to migrate to New Zealand, it is a small place to live, a parliamentary democracy, and he must have known of his father’s failed attempt to live full time there, he envisioned his small family being happy in a climate not unlike Great Britain, and there are a lot of expats on the two islands. It was not to be – we didn’t have much money and my mother is very conservative when the choice was a cheaper well supported migration to Australia versus a more expensive trip to New Zealand where the government expected us to be more independent and find our own jobs, homes and initial accommodation.
I decided to go to New Zealand in the middle of my University degree, I had lived at home for the first two years and was finding it limiting. I had a younger sister who was not very communicative – just finishing her schooling, and tied up with her own friends. And a younger sister and brother just starting their school lives. Mum and Dad were happy to encourage me as I had found out that the Women’s Hospital in Auckland would accept students studying allied health ( I was doing Social Work) – would be accepted to work as Nurses Aides in the University vacation, I applied and found they would allow me to stay at the Nurses Home, feed me – all for a modest amount from my pay. Bring it on….
I organised my place trip (return) – all of $Au350 and a bus trip at the end of my stay for $Au200 with a plane trip back to Auckland from Christchurch. Off I went – I spent hours sewing a new trouser suit in pink, so I would look smart for my trip! I arrived in Auckland, and had a taxi to the Hospital, got setup in the Nursing Home. I worked for eight weeks there – I made friends with the local girls, even had a date with one of my friends friends on a motor bike, flying around Auckland! One of the Sisters there drove us to Rotorua ( she was terrified of our plans to hitchhike) – we hitchhiked back safely. Then we decided to be taken with Maori friends up north of Auckland near the Kauri forest to a Batch for the weekend. To this day I am convinced that is was near Ballys Beach near Matakohe, Ruawi, Dargaville etc where my current husband grew up.
Then I ditched my bus trip and got my money back (unheard of today) and hitchhiked around to Dunedin with a new found friend. Then bused to Queenstown where I stayed in the local youth hostel and boringly bused it back to Christchurch where I met a mountaineering friend who took me to a movie where I promptly fell asleep. I stayed with his friends in the front room of a house ( I seemed to spend a lot of time in Students housing – and old New Zealand front rooms with my new found friends). Before I flew back to Auckland picked up luggage and got home safely.
I was an attractive single girl and had been very conservative in my choices so that I was unscathed but I had met some scary people on our hitchhiking jaunts and I must admit – it was a much subdued and experienced person that returned.
Since those years I have had several hospital experiences including a broken hip – hospitalized for six weeks, marriage with two children with illnesses and various hospitalizations, and divorce, a remarriage, two stepchildren, one who is married (step daughter-in-law) and a step grandchild who is so precious!, several overseas trips with others – after all these crazy experiences I have decided to go on another overseas jaunt by myself.
This one is a biggee! It is to New York – why New York you ask. Well I have never been to America and the first taste of that continent was a two week visit to my cousin on Vancouver Island – with a trip to the Rockies, because we were there and we decided we needed to fit that in. Moose tours are the greatest.
My eldest daughter is going to be there for work and I want to be with her on that fantastic experience. It’s now booked I have to go, and I booked my first three nights – I have got my work holidays – prepared my husband who does not want to go at all, and I am ready to go! Bring it on…..