Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Five more weeks in Welly


It's been a while since I've posted so here's an update. I started working full-time about 4 weeks ago at the same hotel and since I'm not paying rent to live here I've been able to save a lot of money. So what am I going to do with that money, you ask? Well, in five more weeks I'll be leaving Wellington and going to Australia for a couple weeks! I'll spend eight days in Sydney and eight days in Melbourne. Then it's back to Wellington, where I will catch the ferry down to the South Island and then the Stray bus down to Queenstown where I plan to stay until I come home on June 29th! Very exciting plans. :-)

I'm definitely ready to be moving on here pretty soon. Overall wishing I was doing something a little more substantial and kind of getting over the hospitality industry. Not sure what that means for plans when I get home, especially considering the job market is still not so hot. I have a lot of things I'm interested in pursuing though and I suppose having a lot of ideas is better than having none. Depending on how much I like Sydney and/or Melbourne when I'm there I may consider trying to move there and get a real job, possibly in advertising. Otherwise I may look into going to school there, maybe for graphic design, maybe for something else. Or I may look into going back to school back home. Who knows! I probably should, but I definitely have learned a ton on this trip and I think it's probably the best thing I could have done for myself. So even if I haven't answered the question of "what do I do with my life?" it's definitely been worth it. And if nothing else, I've learned that "what you do with your life" is what you're doing right now. And this was it for now. And maybe that's enough as long as you're happy and can sustain yourself. Anyway, enough philosophy...

I've still been having fun in Wellington. The NZ International Arts Festival was this month and part of it was the "Writers and Readers Week" where they had a bunch of authors come and speak. I went to see Audrey Niffenegger talk at The Embassy Theatre. She's the author of The Time Traveler's Wife. That was pretty neat. It's interesting to hear what made an author create a story the way they did. Made me just want to read all day long. :-) A musician I really like, Newtown Faulkner, is coming to town in April and I'm going to the show with this cool English girl I've been hanging out with.

Other than that, not too much new here! Just working a lot and trying to get out as much as I can when I'm not working, but most of that consists of running along the waterfront, which is actually pretty cool. Oh, and going to the Sunday farmers market (since I work Tuesday through Saturday now, instead of Saturday and Sunday) and getting all my fruits and vegetables for the week. But these are things that I seem to immensely enjoy so it's nice.

I think I'll definitely miss Wellington. A big part of me wishes I had more time here, and more friends, and a real job and that generally it wasn't so far away. But perhaps I can come back sometime. Anyway, here are a few pictures of recent sunsets and such.Talk to you all soon!
Love, Laura

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Long overdue update


So it's been quite a while since I've updated this!! Hopefully most of you are somewhat in the loop of what's new in my life, but here goes anyway. I'm still working in Wellington and enjoying things here. Definitely gotten to know it pretty well and done almost every touristy thing there is in this region! The summer here isn't really very "summery." At least not compared to Colorado. It rains a ton, especially in Wellington, but it is at least warmer than winter was.

Eric came out from December 25th to January 10th, which was great. We made a pretty long list of things to do and see (and eat) while he was here and we made it thru most of it!! Besides just walking around Cuba Street, going to the Pompeii exhibit at the museum and walking thru the Botanic Gardens (where the roses where actually in bloom this time), we ventured out of the city a few times. One very rainy, gross day we braved the rocky waters and took the ferry over to Days Bay, just across the harbor. There's a cute town over there and some beaches. I could see it being super popular on a warm day, but it was nice to just get out of the city too. (The picture is us at Days Bay.) We also took the train up to Martinborough in the Wairarapa wine region and did some wine touring. We rented bikes and just rode from vineyard to vineyard sampling wine! That was rather fun and I definitely wouldn't mind doing that again sometime. :-) Our big trip was going up to Tongariro National Park in the middle of the North Island where we did the Tongariro Crossing and climbed Mount Doom! It was about a 22km. hike, 2km. of which was straight up the non-poled mountain. We stayed in the nearby town of Turangi for a couple nights. After the crossing we rode bikes to the hot springs, which was really nice. (And much deserved.) So overall we had a great time. Oh and we saw a penguin in the Wellington harbor one night!!!! I kind of thought people were joking when they talked about there being penguins in NZ and I at least thought they would be further south, but nope! There he was paddling along... :-) (see picture)

After Eric left I worked for about a week and then flew down to Queenstown to meet up with my friend Blake and do the Routeburn Trek. It was a three-day hike and we stopped and camped two nights along the way. It was really gorgeous and goes thru a lot of where Lord of the Rings was filmed so it was kind of like walking thru the movie for three days. :-) I think I've pretty sufficiently covered Lord of the Rings territory now what with the climbing of Mount Doom and doing the Routeburn. Oh and finding out that some of the trilogy was even filmed on nearby Mount Victoria in Wellington. Anyway, the Routeburn was gorgeous and it was nice to get down to the South Island, albeit for a short time. Oh, and I bungy jumped again! Blake works for the bungy jump down there so I didn't have to pay much to do it so I figured why not jump off a ledge?! It was way less scary than the first time, for sure. Queenstown has a very different feel in the summer than it did when I was there in winter. All the ski shops turn into bike and treking shops and there's no snow on the mountains... But it's still pretty cool. Just not quite the Breckenridge or Vail that it felt like before.

So that's pretty much what I've been up to! I'm just back in Welly and working now again. I was working a ton over the holidays, but I think that's calming down a bit now so I may look for another job to keep myself occupied during the week and try to save some more money. I want to get down to Queenstown to live eventually, but I'm not sure how soon. Or maybe I'll just go for a month or so before I come home. I really like Wellington. But also my friend Hannah just booked her ticket to come visit at the beginning of June so I'll probably try to be in Queenstown by then so we can ski. :-)

It's hard to believe I've almost been here six months! Everyone keeps asking me when I'm coming home... The answer is it depends. My flight right now is booked for June 29th because that was the latest I could book it last July. My visa expires August 3rd so it just depends on when it gets down to that time whether it's worth it for me to spend the money to change my flight for the extra month. I may deal with it sooner rather that later tho. So we'll see!! I'm also considering going to Australia and doing a similar work-holiday over there, but I'm not sure. I'll definitely at least go over there for a couple weeks since it's so close. There's a lot more traveling I want to do for sure!! I just need more money. Haha.

So that's me as of late! Miss you all!!

Love, Laura