A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Friday, 18 January 2019

Happy 2019! || Thoughts on My First Month in New Zealand

Lake Tekapo at sunset
Happy New Year everyone! Slightly belated, I know, but the past month since I came to New Zealand has been pretty non-stop and this is the first chance I've had to sit down and write about it. I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve though and that 2019 will be good to you.

First things first, how are we already over midway through January of 2019?! (It wouldn't be one of my new year posts if I didn't comment on how quickly time is going.) That's sped by far too quickly for my liking but perhaps that's because nearly every day has been full to the brim for me.

My first month in New Zealand has been amazing. I spent four weeks at my sister's in Darfield (about forty minutes outside of Christchurch city centre) and had the most wonderful time. As I've mentioned before, my sister has lived in New Zealand for nearly ten years and I've been desperate to get out here since she moved. And I'm finally here!! Since she's been here she's been busy marrying my brother-in-law who's a Kiwi and having my adorable two nieces who are five and three years old.

Finally having the chance to spend some proper time with them was honestly a dream from start to finish. I did a load of babysitting which was great fun and on my sister's days off from work we did day trips (which I'm going to write about hopefully over the next few days) to some really amazing places. It was just a perfect way to start my trip because I can't tell you how comforting it was to get off of my flight, which all in all had taken around thirty hours, and have my sister and a bed in her lovely house waiting for me so that I could fully recharge my batteries and not head straight to a hostel. It was a definite luxury and something that I'm super grateful for.

Also I have to quickly talk about Christmas here. Like everyone said it would it felt a little wrong. We had such a lovely Christmas, especially with the girls being so young and being desperately excited when Father Christmas paid them a visit, but sitting around the table in a vest on Christmas day is just not right when you're used to wearing approximately ten layers to keep warm typically. We had a lovely roast ham and some whitebait fish that my brother-in-law's aunty had made for lunch (apparently it's a big deal out here and I did like it) - an odd combination but it worked. So I've now had my first hot Christmas, something I think everyone should experience at least once in their life!

Anyway, towards the end of my stay at my sister's Liam came to meet me with the campervan that we've been using since we left for our travels (and that he'd been using beforehand when travelling around with one of his friends). It has been so unbelievably lovely to be reunited with him and my nieces absolutely adored him. Since Liam and I left we've had four nights travelling around in the van (post to come on what we've done also in a few days) and are now staying just outside of Dunedin doing a housesitting job for a week. To be honest, it's absolute bliss to have a week to chill out in a lovely house when all we have to do is feed the family's animals while they're away. And with fresh eggs every day from their chickens, there's really nothing to complain about while we have this time to plan the next few months and gear up to hit the road again on the 25th.

So all in all my first month away has been incredible. I haven't really felt homesick - it probably helps that I was with family straight away once I got here - apart from the first morning when I was jet lagged and woke up thinking about just how far away I am from my home. But actually since I've got over the jet lag and my brain has been working properly again, I've not felt far away from home at all. I've been in touch with friends and family at home almost every day and I'm so lucky to have spent the past month with some of the best people I know. Travelling (so far) is amazing and I'm so excited for the next few months to come.
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