Thank you everyone for all of your love and support! As you all know by now I’m back at home but it’s not the end of my travels! I had to leave the country in 9days and didn’t have time to update you all on the fact that I was coming home because it all happened sooo fast! And although I thought I wasn’t going to see my friends for a long time, I am going over for the International Convention in Melbourne, Australia in a couple of weeks!! I will also be stopping in Abu Dhabi for 12hours on my way there!! 😀 I will be sure to share all of my pictures here when I get back but feel free to look at my instagram account as well for faster updates!
So we are going into winter now and it’s been ok weather so far. I’ve already been through a winter in a colder place so hopefully the city and house I live in now won’t be as bad. I have a heater and electric blanket so I think I should be fine. Plus I’ve been knitting up a storm and am currently working on a huge custom blanket! That’s been really fun and NZ wool is pretty good!
This past weekend I went to SheepWorld, it’s exactly what it sounds like, and dragged some of my friends with me. And we all ended up enjoying it! I was singled out for being the only American in the audience which turned out to be a great thing because I got to shear a sheep and bottle feed a lamb.
I am still working on extending my visa. For how long, I don’t know because it’s up to NZ Immigration. But I hope to know something in the coming weeks.
I hope everyone at home is doing well!! I will keep you posted on my visa application status.
So I’ve been having a great time here. Been 9 months now and I feel like this is my normal life now. Other than the fact that I don’t get the same benefits as a citizen lol But my job is going great, I have an established group of friends, and a good routine of work, play, etc… I have a hairdresser (mainly myself) but another lady who did my braids, I have my favorite grocery store, restaurants, places to shop (online really). But basically I have finally found a groove and hopefully I can continue that for a little bit.
My mom has been back for home for 3 months now so I’ve been living on my own for 3 months of this experience and that has been going pretty good as well. My flatmate, Sharla, is awesome and I have felt at home since I moved in. We really enjoy each others’ company!…right Sharla! lol 😛 So there’s not a whole lot to report on right now. I’ve seen most of the country in the first 6 months I was here but I hope to go to the tip of the North Island next summer and to the South Island one more time maybe next fall.
As always, I’m brainstorming and planning for more adventures in the future, let’s see what happens there!!
“A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish”
So, most of us know what it’s like to be around people in a different culture. Even traveling from state to state we have to explain certain terminology that we use, for instance people in Chicago say Pop and we in the south say Soda. We are intrigued at the different accents that people have and the different way people look. Now, imagine living in the everyday…Being stared at everyday, and asked the same questions constantly. Thankfully I was prepared for it, having traveled before, but sometimes it gets tiring. Especially the staring!! One thing about the New Zealand culture that I’ve learned is that they call themselves “reserved”. So the biggest thing that bothers me about the staring is that they stare and don’t speak…It has definitely taken a lot of getting used to and is kinda funny 🙂 And it’s not until someone is around me a lot that they realize it for themselves. That’s why it was so nice having some other North Carolinians here to bring it up around some of the Kiwis. We were not making this stuff up! Right mom?!
There are a lot of immigrants from Africa here so most people assume we were from Africa. More particularly, Zimbabwe. If I had a nickle! Funny short story, one day I told this guy “No, I’m actually from The States” and he says “But you would originally be from Africa right?”…I said “Not necessarily but I actually don’t really know that.” And just briefly talked about how genealogy records were lost over time. And he continued to insist “Well but I’m sure your people are from Africa though”
Sigh, so many things to tell you! Stayed tuned. I’ll try to remember some of my crazy moments here.
So it’s been a little over 8 months now. I really like living here to the point that I am currently in the middle of applying for a work visa (I am currently on a working holiday visa) so I can stay longer. But let me tell you, I think I have come to a point where I can clearly tell what I struggle with living here as far as the little differences go.
1) I am NOT looking forward to winter. I understand that people are concerned with the environment and want to conserve energy and save money but c’mon!! The majority of the houses here are not insulated and a lot of people don’t want to turn on the heat. So it’s a catch 22, no insulation means a higher energy bill but it also means pneumonia and frost bite! But I have come up with my own ways of dealing with that so, thankfully, I can stay a bit longer.
2) Small cultural differences. Now there are people at home that do this but it almost seems like the norm with a lot of Kiwis. Asking waayyy to many personal questions!! When I meet you, don’t ask me questions like “Is my hair real?” Some people don’t know how to refer to my race and end up offending me in the process, I’ve heard things like “we don’t say black here, we say negro”…….Thankfully that doesn’t happen a lot but I’ll just leave that alone. And the Nationalism, but I can’t speak too much on that because we have a lot of it too in the States lol
There are other things too but I’ll leave those for direct and personal conversation. I would love to share as much as I can with you all but I don’t want to get too controversial on this blog! 😛 I would like to keep it as upbuilding as I can!!
Obviously if I didn’t like it here I wouldn’t be trying to stay longer. There are waaayyy more pros than cons, as you have probably seen in all my other posts. Definitely a place to visit!! So I hope to see some of you soon!!
Not much has been going on, on this side of the world. I’ve been laying low and just relaxing while I get into the groove of my new life here. I really like it here so I’m working on extending my visa for at least another year. So pray for me!! I should know at the latest by June if I’ll be staying. If not I have some other places I may go. We shall see!!
BUT, I do plan on coming home for a visit if my visa gets extended. So many ifs!! But only time will tell how everything works out! Hope to see you all soon!
Here’s some pics of what my mom and I were doing before she left. We visited a good amount of friends that we had met over her 6month stay and visited new places like The Coromandle and Tauranga. The only pic I have of her leaving is the one where she’s pointing at the airport lol It was too sad to take pics. And then some of my adventures after she left. There will be more to come! I’ll be better able to update once I have internet at home 😛 I’m working on it!