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With some saved up cash from several temporary jobs back home in The Netherlands, my New Zealand adventure started in October 2010. Since it was actually the first time I went on a journey like this alone, I had to get used to living in the backpacker mode. And I mean moneywise! Looking back now on my first weeks/months in NZ, I realize that Ive spent much more money than necessary in the beginning. Simply because I had to learn the tricks!
So at some point in January (New Years in Queenstown obviously blew my budget) I was pretty much broke. Fortunately at the right time, because I went to Picton to visit a relative of mine and stay at his place for a while. As a local, he knew what was going on in town and gave me some contact details of people who were looking for temporary workers. Eventually I ended up at a campervan rental business. It was high season and they needed keen folks for grooming the vans, which basically comes down to cleaning. It may sound boring and dull, but it actually was good fun! The summers been quite great iin Marlborough, so being outside in 25-30 degree heat, washing the vans with a good spray of cold water wasnt too bad at all! Besides, the group was small but great. I will probably never have a better boss again than here. She was always cheerful, happy and reasonable, and even helped me to a better contract (even though I only worked there for 1.5 months).
After this period I went touring again for a couple of weeks. Had awesome times in the Abel Tasman National Park and the Golden Bay area, and went back to Picton afterwards. I decided to buy a car, so again: that blew my budget! (Even though it has so far been worth every cent.) I drove down south to Central Otago, where I had already been last summer. I really enjoyed the area back then and decided to go back to look for some work in the winter, which is supposed to be really cold and snowy in this region! I found some cash-in-hand work doing some odd jobs for several people in Oturehua. Gardening, raking leaves, helping running a small hostel, helping out at the local pub, chopping firewood... That kind of things! A very nice experience, for this town has only about fourty inhabitants. It was special to be part of a small local community for a while! The downside was, though, that eventually there was no work for me anymore. And also: the winters been so mild that we didnt get a single flake of snow! The sake of Mother Nature... But well, thats how it goes.
On the way back north, I figured that the decision to go to Central Otago wasnt the best in financial prospect. I simply didnt make enough hours in my time there to save up a decent amount of money. Also: basically the only means of entertainment in town was the pub! On the way pack to Picton, I visited friends in Akaroa, spent more money and realized that I was pretty much broke again and that I had to look for a new job. So thats what Im going to do now: take the ferry to the North Island tomorrow and look for temporary work again in Wellington, and otherwise elsewhere. Ive spent eight months on the South Island only so far, so it feels like a new adventure going to the other island. Im really looking forward to the next months! And with the Rugby World Cup coming closer, I definitely should be able to find some work this Spring too ;)
Submitted by: Gijs Lijbers Date submitted: 23/07/2011 9:26:36 p.m.