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Im a British student, currently reading for a law degree in the UK. I came to New Zealand as a backpacker almost entirely by accident. My parents emigrated to the Australian Gold Coast (they also live and work part of the time in NZ) when I was 16, whilst I stayed at home to finish my A levels, living with my grandmother. When I graduated from high school in the summer of 2009, I flew out to meet them because I hadnt seen them since I left, and Id never visited the South Pacific before. After spending a couple of weeks in almost constant 30C+ heat, I was excited to take my up my parents suggestion of a trip to the more temperate climate in Auckland. We stayed in the CBD, and I, whilst they shopped, spent my time exploring the - compared to London - modest but not undiverse nightlife of the city. By the time they were due to go back Id met some other travellers, and didnt feel like leaving so soon, given that theyd told me, and I was rather envious, of all their pursuits, from skydiving in Rotorua to - and yes, I know its cliche - exploring middle earth, on the South Island. Id pretty much run out of cash, however, by this point, so in order to fund experiencing some of these things, as well as to recompense my parents for the flight theyd paid for back to Queensland!, I figured I need to get a temporary job for a few weeks, at minimum. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the retail stuff in the city centre wanted people to commit for a year or so, which I wasnt prepared to do (I should add that, luckily, my folks had sorted out all of the work-visa stuff for me. I cant imagine what might have happened if Id come up short of money without one!) so I went, after scanning the local papers, of all places, to work on a small fishing operation, owned by local Maoris, in Whangamata. After Id had enough, about 8 weeks later, not quite ready to leave this really wonderful country, I applied, and successfully obtained an aupair position with a charming family in Wellington. Id previously been on an overnight trip soon after I first arrived here, and loved the historical feel of the place, and thought it somewhere Id feel settled for an extended period of time. And so I looked after their two children (who were very difficult at times) for about six months, give or take a few days and really felt like a member of the family.
Im back in the UK now, but will never forget the amazing trip I had down under.
Submitted by: Liam Butler Date submitted: 9/03/2011 8:13:19 a.m.