Friday, 31 May 2013

And then everything went white.

At the beginning of the week, the first snowfall hit town.  I woke up to find the mountains and lake hidden behind clouds.  All day it kept up and I thanked my lucky stars I didn't have to go out in it, unlike Zim, who had to spend the day up to his ankles in the white stuff.  Instead I watched the world from my window.  With  an indecisive heater for company, I was looking rather fetching in my 500 layers and tomato soup for company.

I love the transformation snow allows a location. It makes me feel like I've stumbled through a wardrobe and into Narnia. However, it wasn't until the next day that we could all see its effect on the mountains.

The snowfall felt really special, as if we were being given a glimpse of things to come.  Incidentally, it also coincided with some pretty amazing news which I feel will make my New Zealand adventure, much, much better.  I've been a bit rubbish on the blog front lately and have a lot of explaining to do, but don't you worry, all will be revealed.  

Monday, 20 May 2013

Settling into our new home

Its been around two months since we moved into our Queenstown home and I couldn't be happier. Due to its central location, recent face lift and our friendly housemates, settling into a normal home has gone quite well.  This was the first property I looked at. I went alone as Zim was busy working and after viewing, was a little stressed that someone would confirm before he finished.  It didn't help that on the same day I went to the other side of town to view another property.  Leaving what I could only describe as a glorified squat, my stress levels were somewhat heightened.  I kept telling myself 'if its not meant to be its not meant to be.' But I wasn't listening. I'm stubborn like that.

As it turns out, no one confirmed before us, Zim got to view the house that night and we signed up for six months.  This is our first (non floating) home together and a stab at being a normal (whatever that means) couple.  It means unromantic conversations about bills, cooking and putting the bins out. A landmark not only in our relationship but also in Zim's life.  Its been years since he's lived off a ship and on dry land, but he seems to be coping.

Staying in this house definitely has its perks. A hot power shower, a T.V to watch trashy New Zealand programs on and a room of our own with a large double bed. As well as being fully furnished, bedding was also included - a plus for those not intending to settle.  Also unlike a hostel, you can cook anytime of day and not worry about your food being stolen (this is dependent on your housemates).  But its the view that really gets me.  I don't think there are many places in Queenstown that don't have great views. Unlike most of the world, a minimum wage job can afford you views like this...

I think the biggest issues we'll end up having is our heating bill in winter.  Double glazing doesn't seem to exist out here and as the daylight hours get shorter, this place is going to get rather chilly.

Obviously, we would of loved to have had our own place, but realistically, I don't think we could afford the rent and save.  Also if we ever had to leave town and break our lease (sick relative/work dries up/ heaven for bid we broke up) finding a replacement for a room would be a lot easier than a flat.

Sometimes its good to rough it, but as winter approaches, I'm glad I won't be for a few months at least!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Saying goodbye always sucks

Today the weather in Queenstown is beautiful and surprisingly warm for a winters day, but I don't care.

 I bought a pair of snowboards boots at the Salvation army for $35. But instead of getting a boost of endorphin's that a bargain usually gives me, I feel empty.

Because today, after enjoying coffee and scones with one of my best friends, I had to say goodbye. To me, saying this one word  is the biggest downside of long term travel.  Louise is not only one of my former travel buddies but also one of my oldest and closest friends.  It was such a pleasure to cross paths with her before her return to England.  For two months I've seen her nearly every other day, meeting for coffee or taking a walk. Its funny how even though we hadn't seen each other since our East coast road trip ended in Sydney, we just picked up our friendship where we left off.  She's been a slice of home as I work out New Zealand.

I've also been so proud of her.  Travelling around Australia and New Zealand, she's a classic example of how travel can strengthen and change a person. From diving the Great barrier reef to Paragliding, she has confronted things that before terrified her.  Although always a fantastic and amazing individual, travel has made her (slightly - her sarcastic heart is still intact) more optimistic and willing to try new things.

When I went home for a few months, it felt strange that she wasn't there in Kent with me, listening to my first world problems and giving me sound advise. And now, I have no idea when I'll see her again.  After this year in New Zealand I have no idea which continent I'll end up on. I don't even know where I'll be in six months.

I don't really know how to sum up my friendship with Lou. All I know is that when I left her today, someone put a cannon ball in my gut.

Louise, see you later Alligator. x

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