6 week Kiwi Life Recap – What I’ve been up to!

by Melissa on January 30, 2012 · 2 comments

When I started The Mellyboo Project it was initially for me to keep my friends and family at home up to speed with what I’ve been up to.  Lately, I’ve had many more objective pieces – so I figure it’s probably about time I got you all up to speed on what’s been going on in my life since arriving in New Zealand.

I arrived in Auckland in the wee hours of the morning of December 16th.  I spent the remainder of the evening attempting to catch some shuteye in the airport before hopping on an 18seater plane headed up north to Kaitaia.  My reason for choosing the Far North as my destination of choice, rather than one of the bigger cities (where I would have had an easier time finding work) such as Wellington, Auckland or even beautiful Queenstown was so that I could live with my best friend Kate, whom I went to Brock University with – as well as her boyfriend, Thom, and eventually their friend Sandy would join us as the 4th flatmate.  Since Kate, a school teacher, was finished work for the holidays and Thom was off for the next month before he started his new job the three of us had heaps of time to just have fun, socializing and attending concerts.

We had a lovely Christmas – Christmas eve was spent with friends at the lake, and Christmas day was spent with Thom’s family and family friends feasting on a delicious traditional Christmas lunch.  Boxing Day the three of us headed out to Mangawhai Heads to see Six60 and Mt. Eden- two Kiwi bands play.  New Years Eve we had tickets to attend the Northern Bass outdoor music ‘festival’ – however, after arriving there and spending 5 hours or so setting up camp and then trying to enjoy the repetitious techno music with a very small and much younger, and far more inebriated crowd – we made the executive decision to leave (around 6pm) and head back and have a house party with some friends.  It was a much more enjoyable evening – joking, drinking and enjoying the company of good friends.

Kate and Thom headed down to Auckland and I found myself with the house to myself for a few days, and not really any means of my own transportation.  Luckily a few friends came around every now and then – so I wasn’t totally alone.  The first few weeks of January presented some pretty crappy weather – chilly and wet.  Since I am living in Ahipara, a small town 15km away from Kaitaia –where all the shops are – and hadn’t yet found a car to buy, it was mentally challenging as I felt stranded and hated having to rely on other people to drive me around.

On January 13 th, seven of us girls took a wee road trip out to the Bay of Islands, hopped on a boat headed for Urupukapuka Island and we drank and danced the night away as there was a local Kiwi band playing a range of great music.  Since our friend Genna is pregnant, she was kind enough to play sober driver and even put us up at her place for the night in Coopers Beach.  The next morning, Kate, Genna, Genna’s husband Dave, Briar and I headed out to Taupo Bay, where we tried our luck at surfing – I’m definitely rusty and didn’t even manage to stand up once… but I’m hoping to get out a bit more and give it another shot.

Shortly after that, the next big excitement in my life was buying a car.  My friend Mike was kind enough to take me out – nearly an hour up the coast to a little town called Pukenui.  He’s pretty smart when it comes to cars, so he gave it a good look over, we took it out for a test spin and before I knew it, I was driving myself back in my very own 1997 Mazda Familia.  Even though I really haven’t driven a whole lot since getting it, nearly two weeks ago, just knowing that I have it readily available, has given me a sense of freedom back.

Next on my to do list is to get a job – I’ve been rather lazy and not in the mood to pound the pavement with my CV in hand.  Once everyone gets back to work this week, though, I’m sure I’ll be keen to get out there and start working – it’ll give me a bit of cash as well as something to do with my days.

About once per week I’ve been going out horseback riding with Thom’s parents – as they have three horses.   They’re all rescues, and not exactly beginner horses.  So it’s been fun and challenging.  Have had a few tumbles – once into a damn prickly bush – was picking out the prickles that had imbedded themselves in my hand and leg/butt for over a week!  But I love it – horseback riding is something I always wanted to do as a child since my cousin, Adrienne, was quite into it.  But thanks to allergies and ever increasing commitments to my figure skating, the extent of my participation in horseback riding was limited to the odd lesson here or there, trail rides with Adrienne or birthday parties at the barn.  Now I live a mere 200m down the road from the paddock with Thom’s parents’ horses and I swear, it makes the inner-10-year-old Melissa one very happy girl!

This past weekend my friends and I went up to Spirits Bay – pretty much almost at the very top of the country.  It’s a gorgeous little camping spot with a beautiful beach.  We spend 2 days camping, fishing, and chilling drinking beers and enjoying each other’s company.  I look forward to more camping trips- hopefully we’ll get a bunch more in before I leave in May.

In even more exciting travel news – my deposit for my trip to Africa with Nomad Adventure Tours is paid! It’s official!  I have my flight guy currently scouring for good deals for me to get from Auckland to Cape Town return via either Bangkok or Singapore so I can spend a few months in Southeast Asia. 

And yeah… that is pretty much what I’ve been up to! Loving life!

PS. As of today, I’ve officially been on the road for the longest amount of time, ever!  123 days and counting.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurence Norah January 30, 2012 at 9:50 am

Loving life 🙂 That's the best thing you can do! Sounds like you're having an awesome time, with incredible adventures ahead!

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Mellyboo January 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

Definitely 🙂 This is a really special place in not only New Zealand but in the world, and I'm so glad that I decided to return and really get to explore it properly.

Super stoked for more adventures ahead 🙂

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