‘Travelling’ is an open ended word. You could be going from your tiny home in a small village to a massive city and it would still be an incredible and thrilling adventure for you.
I have taken a gap year to go ‘travelling’ to Los Angeles, New Zealand, Australia and Japan along with my boyfriend, Adam. I’m travelling for the next 6 months and I haven’t done this in order to ‘find myself’ I made the decision to do this because the different cultural aspects of each individual country interests me.
I’m not sure what I expected when I arrived in New Zealand but I know for a fact that I was pleasantly surprised, whilst flying into the north island I was breathless by the spectacular view that was in front of me.
When we entered Auckland the so called ‘big city’ of New Zealand, there was about three tall buildings and the rest was quiet and peaceful.
A cultural difference I noticed between the people in New Zealand and the people back in England was the relaxed air people had.
When we realised we forgot our electrical plug adapters we made a trip to the local store. The man at the till said they didn’t sell them but he would give us one for free that he had at his personal desk. We offered him some money but he refused it and said he just hopes people would help him out with things like that if he came to England.
Although Auckland was lovely, we were desperate to get out of the city in order to see the beautiful beaches we had been hearing about. And so we organised a coromandel tour. And it was definitely worth it.
After a week we went to stay with a lovely local woman named Miranda, who lives just out of Queenstown in a tiny place named Arrowtown. I asked her a few questions about her life in New Zealand:
Q. How long have you lived in Arrowtown for and what other places have you lived in/visited?
A. I moved to New Zealand in 1969 with my family having lived all over the world when my father was in the British army. I have traveled a lot and spend much of our New Zealand winter in Turkey and Spain.
Q. What is your favourite part of New Zealand?
A. The Queenstown area is my favourite part of New Zealand but I am constantly discovering and loving other parts – it is a very diverse country in every way and as more immigrants come here, they share their way of seeing it in exciting ways.
Q. What is your favourite part of England?
A. I mostly spend my time in London, but I lived for many years in Wiltshire and the magic of rural England never fails to charm me.
Q. What would you say is the main cultural difference between the two country’s?
A. Easy – New Zealand is very young and very far away. We have no neighbours or enemies or ancient history to worry about. England is old and crotchety and carries its grudges and disappointments around. BUT its history makes it richer and more fascinating. I am very sad they are leaving the EU – nothing worse than a grouchy old person who stomps off in a huff and refuses to be part of their family and community.
Q. What industries have you worked in in New Zealand?
A. Mainly tourism although I have had a number of antique shops over the years.
Q. Queenstown is famous for its adventure sports, what adventure sports have you done here?
A. I’m not really the adrenaline type but I have done a tandem hangglider flight and when I was younger we were a big part of the helicopter industry so spent much of my childhood doing what now look like dangerous things in helicopters. Also done rafting and mountain biking etc.