Je bekijkt de reis...
11 april 2016
Dit reisverslag is ook geplaatst in de activityinternational community.
The outcome of this was that the majority of people wanted to keep the old flag and that wasn’t a big surprise. So in this case nothing changed. I remember that there was a big fuzz in the Netherlands about the waste of money for the King’s song (around 570.000 euro), but that’s nothing compared to the 25 million dollar New Zealand spent on eventually NOT changing their flag.
And more recently, while looking forward to the long Easter weekend, I heard and read about the bombings in Brussels. Even though I’m at the other end of the world I do realize that Brussels isn’t really that far away from my family and friends back home. It also reminds me how f*cked up this world we are living in actually is and that’s something I sometimes easily forget while I’m here. This cowardly act of terrorism changed the lives of thousands of people. Not only will the lives of families and friends who lost someone during this attack never be the same again, also all the people working on that airport will never go to work again the way they did before.
And I know you can’t compare the two with each other and it might sound strange, but reading the news a few days later about the passing of Johan Cruijff affected me even more. I never would have expected that I could be so sad about the death of somebody I had never met. But then you read some of the comments from people all over the world, you see tribute videos and you read comments of other people who feel the same as you do. Right then I realized what an impact this man had during his life. He changed the game that so many people all over the world love. The game of football as we know it today wouldn’t be as it is right now if it wasn’t for him. And that made me proud, not just because he was a Dutch man, but more because of the things one man had accomplished and the respect he got for it.
And then a few days later I got to escape all reality with Anita, having fun, laughing with and at each other under a waterfall with the water splashing down on my head while trying not to slip and fall of the slimy and slippery rocks. That’s the great thing about Auckland and New Zealand, within less than 30 minutes you can escape the city to some amazing places nature has to offer making you forget about the real world for a little while.
What also changed recently is the season. Sadly enough summer has come to an end meaning it’s autumn now over here and even though it still can get quite warm during the day, at night and in the morning it’s a LOT colder I can tell you. Another thing that has changed is the time difference between New Zealand and the Netherlands, instead of 12 hours it’s now back to a 10 hour difference. So for those texting me from the Netherlands please keep that in mind, because I still like to get some sleep on Sunday morning.
But enough about all those changes let me tell you about all the things that have happened here in the last couple of months. Starting with January, which was an exciting but also a bit stressful month for me. My internship with Premier Skills was coming to an end and my next adventure, a 10 day road trip was coming up after that, but for a while it was unsure if I would be able to stay here because I sort of ran out of money. Luckily someone was willing to help me and three months later I’m still happy and all in New Zealand. It did mean that I needed to get a job over here as soon as my internship with Premier Skills was over. Also my contract with the apartment building I had been living in all this time would come to an end at the end of January. So next to finding a job I also had to find myself a new room somewhere in Auckland. And because I was going on a road trip soon and didn’t want to be homeless when I got back I had to find something before I was going on this great adventure. Hoping to find a suitable room in the city centre, I went from room viewing to room viewing, but unfortunately for me the available rooms in the city where either to expansive or just not liveable. Eventually I found myself a room in one of Auckland’s suburbs in the west, Avondale. At this point my road trip was only a week away and my last week of my internship was about to begin. That week Premier Skills had their summer courses and I got to do some goal keeper coaching again. It turned out to be three extremely warm days, but luckily I got to work with some enthusiastic young goal keepers which made it once again a good experience.
After five months my internship was really over, a weird feeling, but it also meant a new beginning with new adventures, new experiences and new challenges and I was looking forward to it. On Sunday the first new adventure started, a 10 day road trip from Auckland to Wellington and back with Elena and Vikram. If I tell you every detail about this trip this blog would become way too long, so I will try to give a short summary. I also made a video about the trip which you can see at; https://youtu.be/Cq43ODFUtAY.
We left on Sunday 31 January and this first day we were going from Auckland to New Plymouth at the west coast of the North Island where we would spend the night with friends of Vikram. Before we would arrive at our final destination Elena and I wanted to stop at Waitomo to take a tour at the famous Glowworm Caves. I can’t show you any photos of it, because you weren’t allowed to use any electronic devices, but I can tell you it was amazing to see (google it!). After the Waitomo Glowworm Caves it was time to go to New Plymouth where Vikram’s friends would show us some nice places. The next day we would continue our trip further south. In the morning we first did some hiking to the Wilkies Pools (the water was freezing cold) and after Vikram and I could feel again that we actually had feet we also hiked to the Dawson Falls. Next stop was Himatangi beach where we would spend the night at a really nice holiday park. On day 3 we left early in the morning to go to our main destination Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. In Wellington we would stay for two days to see some of the things this nice city has to offer. After two days in Wellington we continued our road trip, going back up north via the east coast. Our final destination for that day was Napier, but the best place we visited that day came by surprise. While we were on the road I was searching on my phone for some nice stops on the way and I found this place called Castle Point. To get there we had to leave the main road and drive for an hour on some curvy roads, but when we got there we were amazed with what we saw, a truly wonderful place. And this is exactly why I prefer to travel New Zealand with own transportation instead of with a bus tour, because you never know what you find when you go exploring yourself. Castle Point definitely gets a spot in my top 5 favourite places of New Zealand so far. After five days I could already say that this road trip was totally worth it while knowing that the best was still to come. So we spend that night in Napier and the next day we would go via Gisborne to Te Araroa so we could go to East Cape the next morning to watch the first sunrise of the world. Luck wasn’t on our side, because that day it was very cloudy with a lot of rain, but we still left at 5 am to go to the East Cape light house hoping that the weather would clear up in time for the sunrise, but it didn’t. Pretty tired and a bit disappointed we went back to the creepy house we stayed in that night to have some breakfast, get our stuff and hit the road again. Next stop Taupo, where I would have the best experience of my life so far the next morning.
So the next morning is there, it’s been a week ago since we started this trip, it’s the 7th of February my birthday, my 30th birthday to be exactly. And what better way to celebrate that by jumping out of an airplane at 15.000 feet. YES you’re reading it right I did a 15.000 feet skydive. Elena also skydived that day, but she did the 12.000 feet jump. Ever since planning this trip I was looking forward to this day. I don’t know why, because normally something like this will just get me nervous and everything, but instead of having nerves I was excited all morning. Even at the Skydive centre I wasn’t nervous at all which kind of scared me, but I was like, yeah let’s do this. The weather was perfect that day and Whoowww what an experience it turned out to be. I don’t think I have ever felt so great. Once back on the ground Elena and I were smiling all the time and we looked at each other and said proudly: “Woooww we did it!” I think we were both smiling the rest of that day and this experience is something I would never forget and I’m glad I did it. After the skydive we first got some lunch before we would continue our trip to the last destination, Vikram’s family beach house in Pukehina. On our way from Taupo to Pukehina we made another stop at a place I came across on the internet while planning our trip, called the Blue Springs in Putaruru. The pictures I had seen of it already looked amazing, but in real life it even looked more stunning. Too bad we got to go there during a long weekend so we weren’t the only ones there (it was crowded!), but that didn’t change anything about the wonderful looking clear blue water. A lot of nice photos later it was time to go to Pukehina where we would spend the last two days of this trip before going back to Auckland. The first morning I watched the sunrise (this time the weather was good enough to see it) and after some breakfast Vikram and I went fishing and I actually caught a nice size fish. No snapper unfortunately but it was still good to at least catch something. Like all good things this great road trip came to an end the next day. Back to Auckland, where I would move in to my new home and Elena had to pack her stuff, because she was going back home to Germany the next day.
Moving from the city centre to the suburb Avondale has been a big change for me so far. In the last two months I got used to it, but I still miss living in the city where there’s always something to do plus I sometimes miss the social contacts with the people I know in the city even though most of them already went back home.
So back in Auckland my next challenge was to find a job. At this point I had for about 3 to 4 weeks of money left to pay rent and food. Spending my days searching for jobs, sending CV’s and writing cover letters time was slowly running out for me. Thankfully for me Roger was willing to help me to find a job and after a short talk on the phone with him he called some of his contacts. Later that day I got a text from Roger saying that I had to call Shane, a man I had met a couple of times at the Premier Skills courses who has his own roofing company. So I called Shane and he got some good news for me. He could use somebody to work for him and if I was ok with doing roofing work I could start working the next day. So it looked like I found myself a job and even though it wasn’t really what I was looking for I didn’t care, because all that mattered to me was making sure I could stay in New Zealand. Just like with any new job you have to get used to it, but I also had to learn a lot of new things that’s part of being a roofer and I’m still learning new things every week. The last five to six weeks have been a big change. I’m no longer the intern or the traveller without a job; I’m a roofer now working outside every day on top of a roof. I will still keep an eye open for a job that’s more related to my background, but at least I now no longer have to worry about rather I have money to pay the rent and to buy food.
So my last weeks have been about working, but I still get to do some nice things most of the weekends. In February I was offered to join the Goldmine and Beach trip with Student Trips if I would make a promo video of this trip for them in return. I had already been on this trip before and I remembered it was a nice trip, but to be honest all of those trips I’ve been on were pretty awesome so that didn’t really matter too much. It did mean going away for the weekend with a group of new interns who hadn’t been in New Zealand for that long. Some of them just arrived a week or two before the trip. For me it was a chance to meet new people and to try out the software I was going to use for my own video projects I have planned. The trip once again turned out to be great and just like the first time I joined this trip we ended up skinny dipping in the ocean at Saturday night (this time all the way). The next two weekends I mostly spent on making the video for Student Trips and I’m glad that they were happy with the final production.
The next weekend I went one day to Pasifika, a free two day festival in a park close to where I’m living where they had created all small villages of the islands in the Pacific. The weather was great that day and it was really nice to see so much different things from these islands and I tried some amazingly tasty island food. The day after that I went to probably my favourite place in Auckland again, Bethells Beach, with Anita and her dog Brady and as I mentioned earlier I also had a great day with Anita on Easter Sunday chasing waterfalls.
I’m pretty sure I forgot to mention a thing or two I experienced over here in the last three months, but I think the above sums up pretty much most of it. Once again I apologise to those who had to wait all this time to read about my adventures in New Zealand since my previous blog. I can’t tell you when I will write my next blog, but I promise that it won’t take three months again.
Hope all of you enjoyed reading this (feel free to comment below) and don’t forget to check out the video of the road trip. If you don’t want to miss a thing of my life and adventures over here then you can also follow me on Instagram @aaldersronald
Foto's bij verslag (21)
14 april 2016 19:03 | Door: Catharina Aalders
Worth waiting for your story about the last three months. Nice reading and good to hear and see you are having a wonderful time! Keep up the good work and lots of fun for the remaining time.
Greetings, Your aunt Catharina