Used: 2007

I really need to start writing more about New Zealand, the country I can’t shut up about. I am going to take it town by town that I have been to, starting with of course, Auckland.

When I first arrived in New Zealand, I thought I would just sort myself out in Auckland and then hightail it down to Wellington for work. But as with work and travel, sometimes things are just out of your control! If you didn’t know this about me (especially the pre-NZ me) I was (am) a stresser. I was a big planner and I hate the unknown. I planed for every situation, just in case. When I booked my flight to New Zealand, the only thing I thought about was, how can I arrange this to see the most episodes of LOST as I can, without completely planning my life around a tv show? I didn’t want to be that crazy. So, knowing LOST was going to air on Wednesdays in 2007, I arranged to leave on Thursday. Which meant that I would get to New Zealand on a Saturday. Which meant that I couldn’t do anything work related until Monday. Since that was out of my hands, my stress level on finding a job and just living was put off for like 2 days, which for me was great! In the past, I just jump into everything and stress out when it doesn’t happen immediately. But in arriving on a Saturday, it was out of my hands, nothing I could do but enjoy this new country for a few days!

When I arrived, I didn’t really do much that first day. Dumped my bags at ACB and wondered around Queen Street. There is a Starbucks at the Corner of Victoria and Queen and I ate my first meal. At first I was really mad at myself for doing this (I came all this way to eat at a fucking STARBUCKS?!) but then got over it. Hell, it’s my first meal in a new country. I don’t have to kick myself just yet. I wondered up to K Street and find a cheap internet place to check email and LJ for an hour and head back down to the wharf and up to the Sky Tower and just sat around the base, not going up to the top yet, just waiting to be able to check into my hostel so I could shower. I found a pharmacy and stocked up on shampoo and soap, which I never bring when I travel, I just buy it where ever I go. 1pm finally rolls around and I can check into my twin room. I take a long shower, clean up, return to the front desk for phone cards, call my parents, write for a little bit, go out and get dinner from somewhere (can’t remember where at the moment) and crash out around 8pm. Not too bad for a first day!

First Meal at Starbucks on Victoria and Queen.

I wake up the next morning around 7am, ready to start the day! I got 4 brekkie vouchers, but the place to use them isn’t open on Sunday, so I head back to the ‘Bucks for more coffee and figure out my day. Since the following day is Monday and I am going to deal with phone, bank, IRD and job hunt then and who knows what that will bring, I decide to just live with no regrets and do all my Auckland tourist stuff today. Who knows how long I’ll be there! I have 4 nights at my hostel and who knows after that!

I figure out the Link bus that goes in a giant circle around town and hits all the major sights, so it doesn’t matter which direction I get on as I’ll make it to the Auckland Museum at some point. The museum was fabulous! A great introduction to New Zealand. I head down to the caf to grab some lunch where I come across my first bit of New Zealand language translation. On the menu there is something called “wedges”. A wedge of what? I ask the gal at the counter, prefacing it with, I know this is going to sound stupid, buuuut… Wedges are potatoes! YUM! I get a bowl. This is my kind of place.

Wedges in at Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum, haven't quite worked out the camera settings yet

I then take the bus to the wharf and take the ferry over the Devonport, a cute ‘burb on the North Shore. I walk around and hike up Mt. Victoria for a nice view of the city. So lovely! I take the ferry back to town and walk up Queen Street to Sky Tower and go to the top. Yay for student discounts! The view is fab and I take a million pictures of the view and myself. That night, I crash out in preparation of starting the job hunt the following day.

View from Mt. Victoria, Auckland, NZ

Rangitoto Island in the distance

Finally figured out my camera settings

Home(-ish)!

Me popping a squat at the SkyTower (full disclosure, my sister took this pic a year later)

Two weeks later I get the best job ever! and I hadn’t even left Auckland yet (except for a quick jaunt up to Northland, coming soon). And I am out of stuff to do, tourist-wise! That is what I get for doing everything in one day:-)

Moral: I don’t regret doing all the stuff I wanted to do in one day because what if I had left Auckland? I then spent my weekends wondering around other suburbs and just living. If Auckland is known for one thing in New Zealand, it’s just living.

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