Finishing work- traveling in the north- going south

What have I done in December? I…

  1. finished my job in Opotiki on 6th December 2018
  2. traveled in the north
  3. took a ferry to the south island
  4. started my Au Pair job in Nelson where I celebrated Christmas and New year

 

What have I learned?

  • It is necessary to have a backpacker job when you want to stay longer in New Zealand.
  • Just because one place is good it does not mean that another place can’t be better.
  • Do not stop to go for your own dream. Going as far away from home as you possibly can is worth every penny.
  • Do not take cacoa powder and pepper with you in the car. I had an exoplosion. 😀
  • Check the weather before you enter a dangerous area. In New Zealand there is sometimes Tsunami danger but it depends where you want to go.
  • I learned how to save money. For example, it is cheaper to pay for a shower in a swimming bath and to go to a free camp ground than to pay for a normal camp ground where showers are included. Sometimes, you can also take public showers or you can have a shower in the rainforest underneath a waterfall.
  • I started to drive more carefully than I already did because of animals crossing my “street”.
  • Go to your camp ground before it gets dark
  • Take people who want to hitch-hike always with you when they are in life danger
  • Do not wait too long to see one place. If the weather is too bad you should move on after a couple of days.
  • I also became more patient as I could have gone two days earlier to the south island. In order to change the time of your ferry you have to pay 30 dollars. I didn’t do that because I take enough time for New Zealand.
  • how to take a ferry alone. ( It is the cheapest option at night)
  • I also learned how to deal with children that are younger than the children I normally take care of. One girl is 7 years old but I normally accompany children between 10-14 years.
  • how to overcome the fear to jump and just fly
  • do other people a favour they will appreciate it

 

What have I experienced?

  1. It is not so hard for me anymore to leave a good place because I know that there are so many wonderful places in New Zealand that still need to be discovered urgently. For instance, I had also a bit fear to leave my hometown because I know that it is a good place. I do not have fear anymore to go on. Instead I feel joy. I recognize that I feel home and at ease at several places just because I have courage to leave good places.
  2. Today I decided to do the eastcape from the north island,went to the lighthouse and I stay with some other travelers near the lighthouse for this night Yes, I moved on alone because I enjoy to have time for myself(I’ll meet some of the others from the working hostel later on again). I think it is not possible to be farer away from home than I am right now. It is a moment of real self-fulfillment. Pure liberty was always my goal and I attained it. I can go to a place whenever I want. I can leave the place whenever I want. I can choose to stay one more night. I do not have to stay one single night. I am flexible. I do not have time pressure because I am away from home for a long time. It is calm and not a lot of traffic. There are not a lot of people. The distance is endless here and you can look so far. There are not many roads in New Zealand so the orientation is easy and I don’t really need maps anymore. I can sing as loud as I want in my car and no one can hear me. I can listen my favourite music as loud as I want. I can’t annoy anyone because I travel alone and no one annoys me anymore. I have a lot of space in my car because I do not need to share it. I can go to bed when I am tired and I can stand up as early as I want. I have no signal( there are always people who know where I am) with my phone and I am not nervous. It is a realese for me not to be available.This day I ended up in Gisborne and traveled along the whole coast and I also visited the nature reservation. If you are patient enough you can see wales, dolphins, penguins or seals. Driving 150km per day or a bit more is okay. Everything else is at this moment unnecessary stress. I ever dreamed of discovering the rainfoerest and today I did it. In Te Urewera is peaceful, silent, green and idyllic and desterted. There are so many different plants growing and there are so many different animals. In this national park is also a Great Wlak of New Zealand. The Great Walks go along the most beautiful parts of New Zealand. There are also various waterfalls.Lots of animals are crossing the street. In one day a goat and a hedgehog crossed my street.  I saw 3 or 4 raptors and also cows and horses crossed my street quite often. At the end of the day hundreds of sheeps crossed my street and I had to stop with my car. At least the sign of “wandering stock next 64km” was not fake. Well, I ended up laughing loudly, got out of the car and enjoyed this moment which is typical for New Zealand. Gravel roads are sometimes damn shit. I mean I needed 5-6 hours for less than 150km. I could just drive 30km/h not faster because there are too many curves and it is also slippery.I drove to Rotorua and stayed on a camping ground. In Rotorua I visited everything I could that was for free. Rotorua is until now one of my favourite places in New Zeaand. I met two girls from my flight again which was completely by accident. Like I already mentioned in my post on Instagram almost everything costs money. But some hot streams , lakes and hot springs were for free which I really liked. I stayed again at another camp ground.Moving on to Taupo was easy. From the south of Rotorua you just have to drive 50km. The street was finally easy to drive. This day I visited a hot water beach and the Huka Falls, the lake and then I stayed on a free camp ground with so many other backpackers(250 or even more)

    I still had to organize several things like checking emails, getting my visa card, doing some calls. Actually, I wanted to stay at Five Mile Bay in Taupo that night but the campground was just for self-contained vehicles. My car is not self-contained so I had to move on. Well, I ended up on a campground quite lately and I woke the owner up again who was already in pyjama.

    The weather is not good every day. Therefore, I could not do the hike in Tongariro National park. I could just go for a run. I would have loved to do that and I waited for good weather another day but the weather was still bad. In addition, the forecast for the next days was even worse.  The  Tongariro national park is among the highlights of the north island. This day I rescued a life of a girl from the United States who was still hiking during a thunderstorm. This was the first time I picked someone off who wanted to hitch-hike.

    So I went to New Plymouth and stayed in a cheap hostel. And I had a bed. A real bed, power next to my bed and wifi in my room. I realized that I haven’t slept in a bed for more than two months. It’s such a luxury to have a bed. Sleeping in a car is a good option, in case you need to safe money. However, in Zew Zealand I often train at the beach because I do not have that option at home. I am still happy to receive a plan for my training every week. After I visited Mount Taranaki, I drove to Whanganui and made a stop at the beach. Then, I made my way to Palmerston North where I had a photoshooting with a professional photographer. I applied for that shooting and I got the job and I was soo happy. I would have never thought that I could get such a job because it’s just me Carla a normal girl.A day later I also spent time in Levin and then I got to Wellington where I took a night ferry to Picton. From Picton I moved to Nelson where I am right now. My first impression of the south island is that you can look even farer and that the mountains are even higher and that the vegetation is even closer.

  3. Au Pair in Nelson

I really like the place where I am currently staying. They have three children named Keian, Meilan and Chloe. The boys are 11 and 13 and the girl is 7 years old. The parents do not live together anymore and the mom got a new job where she can’t take that much holiday over Christmas. Threfore, I am here. I just have to be there for the children. I have to help in the garden, cleaning dishes, doing laundry… It is not a lot that I have to do. Wwoofing is not really working for me. I think I already said that It is rather helping a bit for plenty of free time, free vegan food and free accommodation. But I really like to do that. We all celebrated Christmas together and I am still very grateful that they take me over Christmas and New Year. However, people in New Zealand celebrate Christmas in the (early) morning on 25th December. My family just celebrated that day because they emigrated from England 15 years ago. Therefore, their families still live in England. The father and the mother decided to go on a world journey. They traveled longtime in Asia and worked  1 1/2 years in Australia because they were running out of money. Then, they came to New Zealand and stayed here.

4. Activities During the time I am in Nelson

  • Discovering the city
  • skydive in Abel Tasman
  • celebrating Christmas at the beach on 24.12.2018 with friends from Opotiki
  • meeting friends in the city of Nelson
  • doing a part of the Abel Taman Great Walk with a friend
  • swimming and jumping into the river
  • celebrating New Year

 

5. Conclusion

In the last three weeks I learned a lot about life and even more how it feels to travel alone. I like it to travel alone and to meet friends that I met here after a couple of weeks again. Now, I am used to my own kind of traveling. I’ve seen now a lot in the north and I’m excited to explore the second half of the country. Skydive was definitely the best until now but it is very very expensive. I could write a whole entry just about my skydive experience. Due to social media it is also very easy nowadays to meet people again even tough you travel on your own. We all left Opotiki but almost everyone from Opotiki is now between Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Blenheim and Abel Tasman.

 

I hope you had a great Christmas and that you will have an unforgettable New Year 2019!

November 2018- working

By the middle of October I recognized that I was running out of money. A car is expensive with an insurance, fuel… A mobile phone costs money, accommodation costs money most of the times… Well, what do you do when there is not a lot of money left anymore- you work. I need money for all the expenses and I also needed to save more money for my further journey. I decided to go to Opotiki for working which belongs to the northern  part of New Zealand.

working in Opotiki

We all work on the orchards in Opotiki. Every day we drive with our cars to the orchards. The orchards are not all at the same place. This means that you sometimes have to go to another orchard during the day if we finish one. We are not only one team. We have several teams(12-17 backpackers in one team) who work for different companies. Moreover, we work seven days a week between 40-55h. But the work also depends on the weather. If it is wet we do not work because we then spread diseases on the kiwi orchards which is not good. There is also a differentiation between normal hourly paid wages and contract work. I started with normal paid work because there was no contract work at the beginning. I did bud thinning, cutting, pruning, painting flower picking and fruit thinning until now. For instance, we do bud thinning on almost every orchard. Then, we start on the first orchard again with cutting and we do that on every orchard again. Flower picking was really great. It was contract work and we had a motivated team. The time passes way faster during contract work and you can earn good money. I earned more money in less time of work just because I was working fast.  The minimum wage is around 16 dollars per hour in New Zealand. When I had a good day and when I tried to go hard I could earn 32 dollars every hour during contract work. Normally, we start at 8am but during contract work we started normally at 6am. I liked that a lot and that is no irony. A disadvantage of a lot of backpacker jobs is that they are really really one-sided. What really surprised me is that I earn way more money here than I will in my apprenticeship in Germany although the work is so easy and although I do not have to learn after work. This could be related to higher living expenses in New Zealand. During the time I am here I understood why it is called work and travel. Most people just travel further because they are sick of their job- haha. At least I know why I am working. I am always motivated even tough the job is boring. Actually, you should stay at least six weeks but some people already leave after one week :D. I also remember the day where there was an earthquake. I screamed: “Can we please go? I have fear!” Then, I realized that it does not make any sense to run away when the ground is shaking because the earth would still shake even tough you run away or you sit in the car-haha. Furthermore, I got a new nickname: Alice in wonderland. Oh and before I forget it : We are actually not allowed to talk while we work. The only thing that happens  when you talk too much is that you get damed into another line far away from all the others where you are in solitude :(. Well, you can listen to music and audiobooks all the time. Now I know a lot of songs by heart :D. Sometimes it can be a bit scary when the supervisor sits next to you and observes you 10min- big brother is watching you. I plan to work here until the beginning or middle of December (7-8 weeks in total).

 

living in Opotiki

Almost every traveller who works in Opotiki on the orchards lives in “River View Lodge”. You can either have a room (which is more expensive) or you can sleep in your van (less expensive). Here we have a shower, power, toilets, laundry facilities, a great community and wifi. In the morning, after work or on rainy days we can spend time together. At the beginning we just had one very busy overcrowded kitchen but after a while you get used to it. Here are lots of French and German travellers but also people from Czech Republic, UK, Schweden, Spain, Chile, America . Talking German can sometimes be really annoying. However, there are so many crazy things happening when people are drunk. For example, there was a chair on the rooftop one day, someone cleaned his feet in the kitchen with the cleaning tool that is for the dishes, someone wanted to ride a pig… Oh and we also had a very big camping fire because someone tried to cook marshmallows. It was close to an easter fire. We often have a camping fire but normally they aren’t that big 😀 However, some people were forced to leave the property and their job immediately after these things happened. It is a must-do to be respectful because we are GUEST workers. On rainy days I have time for things I ever wanted to do. For example, I can continue to read books that I want to read, I can continue my own movie list, I can watch Gossip Girl, I can stretch…

conclusion

I realized that I like to work because you get money and you have time after work where you do not have to learn.  I enjoy to do the things that I want to do right in this moment. I appreciate it a lot to have time for myself. I appreciate time after work where I can do what I want without having a bad conscience. During the time I learned for my A levels I always felt bad when I had a break. Here I can work to live. I really enjoy to spend time with like-minded people. Even though I travel alone, I do not feel lonely at all because I am surrounded by an international backpacker community every day. I met so many great new people and I hope that some of these friendships will last for a lifetime (45-100 people are staying in the lodge). It is a great feeling to be independent from friends and family, to be free and to decide everything on my own. Since I am in New Zealand I know that friends and family do not affect my decisions in life that much anymore. Like I already mentioned: it is a self-determined feeling of life without limits that I love and that makes me feel happy and not lonely.

 

This is where I am right now: I attained my goal to update you directly-yes. Besides, I feel really home when German boys are looking soccer right now- haha.

 

 

October 2018 – starting to discover the north of New Zealand

What have I done in October?

  1. stayed for one week for wwoofing in a very interesting family in Tauranga
  2. visited the movie set of The Lord of the Rings and McLaren Falls
  3. spent one week for wwoofing in a house at a lake in Rotorua
  4. started my backpacker job on 13th October (I’ll write about that in November)

What have I learned in October?

  1. their life: I could simply learn from the mistakes my host parents did in their lives. For example, you should not immediately give your own business to your children. Just because you can sell and establish a business this does not mean that your children can do it as well as you can because they may have other strengths. In case you emigrate with children that are around 10 years old it is important that they have something like a soccer or rugby club where they are integrated. This makes integration in a new country very easy. Furthermore, you should always go for your dreams because they did not regret their decisions in life at all. You should never hitchhike to Africa alone. You should not force your children to be vegan (I would have never forced my own children to be vegan). You should travel because it teaches you about life and people. You should always be welcoming and open-minded for new people. from work: I learned how to plant organically, sustainable and naturally. I  prepared bed&breakfast, did filing, cleaned the house and garden and helped cooking.  (And again you can’t always rely on Google Maps. It’s a second ‘mistake’ I spotted while running)
  2. I learned to be way more open minded to people I do not know. It is always great to talk to people and there are always things you can talk about with them. I simply got rid of my fear to talk to foreign people.
  3. I learned to be a bit more uncomplicated. Everything was just easy going and there were almost no rules and very little instructions for work. My brain sometimes really misses more information and instructions because I always think that work can’t be that simple. Additionally, I now can drive a motor boat.

What have I experienced in October?

  1. I really felt that my host parents were way more happy than other people in life. They had a very unique and lovely lifestory to tell with a lot of severe ups ad downs. The man lived in Spain, UK, America and New Zealand and the woman in UK, America, New Zealand and China. The woman had an accident with her spine which really changed her life. They broke up and both had a new relationship. She quitted her job as a teacher and became a singer in China and traveled around Asia also a lot of time on her own. During that time the man set up his first business in America. The woman got a proposal of a Chinese man in China but she declined because her ex boyfriend wrote a letter after 10 years: ” Do you want to come to America? I still love you.” Then they lived in America, got married. The man discovered every state of the United States despite of one or two. After a couple of years they then emigrated to New Zealand. They have a very conscious way of living and a lot of mindfulness in all areas of life. They are both vegan for already more than 10 years. I could really recognize that as it has such an enormous impact on their energy levels. The man was already 64 but he was fitter than people who are 35 or 40. I do not joke. He  likes to stand up very early, like I do. Moreover, they had their own garden with own grown vegetable and fruit where I worked inside. They also drive an electric  car that is charged up automatically by the back wheels. I also visited the top of Mount Maunganui (see Instagram) and visited a vegan restaurant in Tauranga. We had really interesting conversations and I fully enjoyed these. I also got inspired because my family had so many different recips I never tried before.
  2. I arrived on time and I had a great seat in the bus. It is a guided tour which is around 2 hours long where you drive through the movie set to Hobbiton. There you exit the bus and the “real tour” begins. People from all over the world come here everyday. We walked through Hobbiton and our guide explained a lot and we had a stop every 100m. There was time for plenty of photos and questions as well. After 1:45h we went back into the bus and drove again through the landscape. Most things were filmed at this massive farm. In general, The Lord of the Rings was filmed at over 150 different locations in New Zealand. I was very excited and I simply enjoyed that afternoon.
  3. I really liked the week near Rotorua. It is great to do sunrise yoga on the balcony which is directly next to the lake. The man could finance his villa with the money he received from bitcoin. He once invested 3000NZD. The rate rised and the investment rised in value from 3000NZD to 3 million NZD. In Rotorua I discovered remote tracks, several lakes, hot springs (very great) and a bit of the Mãori culture. I also did mountain biking and boating. My host parents had an own boat. This was very great as we could explore the area quite well. With an own boat one can really come to the parts that are more remote. Driving the boat was easy, too. I also saw a Wallaby-it was dead- what a shame. Compared to me my host dad was a professional mountain biker. Well, I told him that the only thing I have for mountain biking is endurance because I am a runner. The tracks we took looked similar to the jungle and it was just dangerous to drive downhill. My bike flipped over and I really turned once around with the bike. Even two weeks after that my knee was still blue. There was precipice everywhere I’m not joking. I just thought : Well, I have to survive 6 more months in New Zealand- I’ll dismount the bike. Then, we took the easy track which was better for me.

Conclusion:

  1. I appreciated the week in Tauranga even tough the city is not beautiful. I liked my host parents a lot. I was very happy and grateful and there is nothing to complain about. I realized that it makes me very happy to work in the garden and to plant but I could not work in the garden for my whole life. The joy of life becomes bigger during the time I am in New Zealand.
  2. Even in case you are not the biggest fan of The Lord of the Rings it is worth the money to go there. I really loved that sunny afternoon. Visiting McLaren Falls was great as well and it does not take that much time (1 h maybe).
  3. Don’t go mountain biking with a professional cyclist you’ll fail-haha. But still, it was a lot of fun. Rotorua is an amazing and diverse area with active volcanoes, beautiful lakes remote tracks and native people. The breathtaking area is well worth seeing and I could spend more than a week here.

September 2018 – The real trip around the world actually starts now- Dubai & New Zealand

So what have I all done in September? Well, I decided to post monthly what I did. For example, I could  spent 3 hours or more just talking about my two days in Dubai but it would take ages to write all that down.  Just read what interests you. As matter of fact, no one has enough time to read all that and no one is interested in little details. So here is in very brief what I did, learned and experienced in September 2018:

What have I done during the first month?

  1. flight to New Zealand with a stop of two nights in Dubai
  2. spent 10 days for wwoofing at Piha Surf Camp with six other wwoofers
  3. stayed 3 nights in an very international hostel in Auckland for my organization I had to do
  4. bought an own car & stayed one week at my car seller’s house because he offered it
  5. did my first road trip along the coast (Thames, Coromandel and through the very nature)
  6. began my stay at a vegan host for one week (I’ll write about that in my next blog entry for October)

 

What have I learned?

  1. I learned to fly alone to the other side of the world and to change the plane alone at a very large airport even tough I just flew once in my life before by the age of 3. This means I could barely memorize the procedure of a flight. Do not underestimate the bigness of a city (&the airport) and the time it takes you to go from one to another place.  It’s not like Berlin where a lot of sights are very close together. For instance, a way at the airport in Dubai is 20min long ( Düsseldorf 3-5min). It also takes 20min to walk from the metro station which is closest to the Burj Khalifa. It is not always possible to pay with the Visa card in Dubai. For example, the hostel just accepted the cash of the United Arab Emirates called “Dihram”.
  2. Do not stay in a surf camp when it is the beginning of spring in New Zealand. We lived outside and just had a cold shower. If you are a girl just bring a hair-dryer in early spring you will need it. I learned to be a confirm guest. You always need to obey the rules of the host. I learned to accept and respect other people from other nationalities. Showing respect, tolerance and acceptance is a must-do and the key in case you want to be open minded for other nations and new people. Additionally, you should watch out for a family that pays for your food and not only for your accommodation.
  3.  I learned how to open up a bank account( you need multiple documents, also my German tax number was of urgent necessity), how to apply for an IRD number, how to get a proof of address in New Zealand (even tough I do not live here for a lifetime), how to get a new phone number, how to take a train and a bus (super easy), how to sleep like a baby in a dorm with 9 other people.
  4. I learned how to buy a good and reliable car from a facebook group in a foreign country, although I never bought a car in my life before. The time of buying a car requires your highest attention as there exist a lot of bad cars for a lower price on the car market in New Zealand. For buying a car in New Zealand you need to be informed about WOF, REGO, change of ownership, insurances, old damage, AA insurance, brands, normal costs of a car… I also did an AA check and arranged an appointment on my own in order to make sure that the seller has no relationship to the employees of the garage. Additionally, I got more information about Thailand now because my car seller offered homestays and had also two people of Thailand staying at his house.
  5. On my roadtrip over Thames and Coromandel up to my next WWOOF host I learned how to drive very carefully in New Zealand.

 

 

What have I experienced?

  1. flight&Dubai

flight:

I was very excited. Moreover, I had to fly from another gate I had at first a bit panic but I found the gate successfully and my plane started on time. I sat between two men both working abroad. The one moved to Dubai and then directly to Bangladesh. The other one only went to Dubai. The one who went to Dubai is working for Europe and is often abroad for work. In the plane the water falls faster into the glass than normally. Flying with Emirates is just great. It was easy to find my luggage even tough the airport in Dubai is much bigger than in Düsseldorf. Compared to Düsseldorf where you need to walk just 3-5minutes to get to the Gate you have to walk 20-25min in Dubai to get to the gate. They always wanted to control my Timberlands and you really need to have all important things with you. Before you enter New Zealand you also need to fill an Arrival Card. I could not sleep in the plane at all even tough I flew around 22h because I wanted to enjoy every single moment of the flight and Dubai. The stars were so close and the sunrise one could watch from the plane is among the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. From the north of Australia to New Zealand I still had to fly 5h even tough Australia is almost at the other side of the world (Germany to Dubai required 6h). The landing is amazing, too and the arrival control in New Zealand is very strict. You should concern yourself with the things you are allowed to bring to New Zealand in advance.

Dubai:

Dubai is a very big city. For example, the Burj Khalifa which is the highest building worldwide was around 25km away from my hostel. Also the way from the airport to the hostel was 38km long. You also need to change the currency for this country. The climate is dry and it is way easier to endure the heat than in Germany. As my plane arrived around midnight it were still over 30°C.  When you are in Dubai you do not really feel the heat because everything is air-conditioned. Even when you enter a train, no hot air can come inside. Also the sidewalks are often in the air, above the streets and air-conditioned as well. In order to pass “long” ways faster you can very often find flat escalators on the floor. These escalators are just for lazy people I would say or for people who are just stressed out and just want to travel as fast as they can. In addition, it takes 25min by feet to get from the metro station through the tunnel/air-conditioned pavement  to the highest building. Moreover, there are barely women walking on sidewalks. Additionally, it is sufficient for Dubai if you can speak English. All the signs I have seen have two inscriptions one inscription in Arabic characters , the other one in English. I was so excited that I could not sleep more than four hours per night four or five days long.

 

2. Wwoofing in Piha:

My family lived very sustainable and they had their own separation of rubbish. For example, they reuse even newspaper and egg shells in the garden, they only drink and shower with rain water, they only work with the weather… For example, we always worked in the sun. I painted fences, picked up leaves, helped weeding and pruning, cleaned rooms and the shower where I discovered a salamander. Moreover, we had to work for our laundry because Pam our guest mother does not want others to operate the washing machine. The “work” was not hard at all. Furthermore, we should not kill spiders because they eat mosquitos.

It was also very nice to stay there with the other wwoofers from Denmark, Austria, America, Japan and France. I really enjoyed going out with the all others to the bar or going surfing even tough I did that just once. I was very grateful and happy to meet these people over there.

 

3. Auckland

I had some great conversations over here with people from Japan, Malaysia, Chile, Norway, Sri Lanka, Germany, France… Here, I met for the first time German people who share my attitude towards Germany and life. An overcrowded kitchen is just normal in a hostel. I just spent 3 highly productive days in Auckland in order to get all the  first essential organization done. Auckland is just a big and ugly city but for me it was necessary to go there because here the offer is best and you get everything you need as a backpacker. I really appreciated a hot shower and, a roof over my head and a bed inside.

 

4. Buying a car and staying in Greenlane

I can say I made good experience with buying a car in New Zealand and that I got great support from my car seller. The people in Greenlane could help me a lot and they could also give me great advice for Thailand.  My car seller offers homestays and has also two people from Thailand staying at his house. I spent another week of organizing my next families and writing my blog.

5. Roadtrip over Thames and Coromandel up to Tauranga

The way to Coromandel is very very beautiful. The streets along the coast look amazing. I could really live my dream life this day. I just felt completely free and independent. I realized that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. This is real happiness for me. No one was getting on my nerves anymore. No one was telling me anymore what I had to do. Breaking out from social forces and norms is such a release for me. Social forces hold me back from living my dream because they destrict my way and my dreams. I realized that the life I had in Germany before was always heteronomous and not self-determined.  I hated that so much in my life before. To make it short, I simply enjoy to be my own boss in life.

 

Conclusion

  1. Flying alone with almost no experience is not always easy. You should spend more than two nights in Dubai because it is too less time to discover the city. I would have loved to stay there one or two more nights because I did not have enough time to visit The Palm even tough I just slept 4h per night.
  2. Only stay in a surf camp in summer. Look for a family with a hot shower. A wwoofing family should always pay for your food. Being in a group of 5 wwoofers is just great. I really liked it and it is very good in case you are a solo traveller. You can learn from each other and exchange information, ideas…
  3. It was a good decision to stay in Auckland for three nights for the organization. There was nothing to complain about despite of not having a window that you can open in a dorm of 10 people. It is also worth the time to compare the offer.
  4. I can buy a good and reliable car in New Zealand but I have no idea how it works at home in Germany. I just know from my dad that it is very different as I explained it to him how it works in New Zealand. The offer in Auckland is overwhelming and it is not easy to make such a decision alone because you know you will spend so much money. But I know know that I can handle the situation without any inconvenience.  Moreover, it was fun to have once the plan to have no plan where you go. It is adventurous and funny but in the long run it is too expensive and too insecure for me.
  5. If you are not cautious enough you will land immediately into the sea and die. Liberty is for me way more important than security. Do not drive too long. When you get tired you should have a break. Getting lost on your first roadtrip is not unusual.

 

9 days SoFeLa – 9 incredible days- middle of August

What is SoFeLa? Good question. It’s a vacation camp for children who are between 10 and 14 years old. I accompanied the children together with 10 or 15 other caregivers. As I was a child I took part in the vacation camp as well. But now roles change and it was already the second time I was allowed to support the team. Basically, it’s a traditional time and I love to see how children grow up so fastly. Every year it is great again because for me the vacation camp is like a big family: almost every year the same people participate and that’s what I love about it. We play a lot of games with the children and just have a lot of fun. I think I never laughed that much in my entire life like in these 9 days. Even tough it’s a nightmare for me to not get enough sleep- yes I need my beauty sleep- I really liked the last time I spent in Germany in Wieda this year. I really miss the other caregivers here in New Zealand!

Even here you learn new things like dealing with children, overtaking responsibility, overtaking a new role, improvisation, acting out plans spontaneously…

Besides, you have another routine in the vacation camp. It’s always worth to escape at least for a short time from your normal habits. I’ve been completely present at these days. Although there was only one week left before my departure to New Zealand, I have not thought about my departure a lot. That was great because in every day life I always think okay what shall I do for my life next. But here it is different because you think rather what shall be done for the group and not for your own life. My own life just took a break in these days- a real timeout I would say. Sense of vacation camp fulfilled I would say!

Hopefully until next year!

Things I’ve learned with Interrail & conclusion

This will be my last post on my Interrail journey. As I already said at the beginning of my blog I want to share with you two parts. On the one hand, I already talked in my first part about the experience I gained during my trip. On the other hand, I want to write now here in my second part about the things I learned.

 

  1. Traveling together & making compromises as well as traveling on my own
  2. taking trains in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Poland ( includes for instance the understanding of announcements in France regarding the partition of trains, delays…)
  3. when, how and where to make a reservation (how to pay: PayPal and online banking is helpful here because you are more flexible because you do not have to book the whole trip before you start your journey. I can recommend to have a visa card because it is the card most accepted  worldwide. With Maestro and Paypal a reservation could not always be paid. For example, you could pay with Visa for Thalys and TGV; Maestro and Paypal were not always accepted.)
  4. Improvement of French ( for example booking the camping ground in Brussels or Le Pouliguen in the French language)
  5. practice of school knowledge ( English, French and Economy&Politics are true-to-life subjects that can find place in everyday life) (They are also together with philosophy my favorite subjects)
  6. Book hotels cheaper for example with booking.com or trivago
  7. Call the camping ground where you plan to stay in advance for more safety  (Sometimes they are available spontaneously but honestly I would not rely on that)
  8. An Interrail journey is not comparable at all with taking the regional train one station back from school to home! It requires far more preparation(check insurance, inoculations, banking…)
  9. I can imagine that people who are not self-organized and don’t have a fully functional time-management yet, could benefit from Interrail. I already learned self-organization and time-management before in school.
  10. walk via Google maps( I do not make a joke I was not able to use it before I’ve learned it from my boyfriend;before I’ve always been lost for the first 200m because I did not know in which direction I had to walk; before I was not able to understand the arrow in Google Maps) I just had a good orientation before because I am a runner and I never really used maps before.
  11. manage problems and crisis; for instance when your suitcase is damaged or your trains are cancelled or much too late it’s better to stay calm and to search for the best solution or an alternative instead of freaking out completely. Panic does not help you at all, believe me – panic just makes everything worse. Just remain positive and the trip goes on. There is no reason why you have to go home. There will always be an opportunity.
  12. in case you don’t speak the country’s  language you should prepare the bus drive in advance ( because you cannot rely on everyone speaking English adequately)
  13. Providing that understanding belongs to learning as well I can say I benefitted from the education I received and I am just grateful for that because it makes the everyday life so much more easier. For example, I understood that all these things I learned in school like self-organization, time-management, French, English and Economics&Politics made my life just easier because I could organize a trip, we were back home on time, we did all the things that were at least most important for us, I could communicate and I knew a lot about the European Union and its institutions in advance.

These 14 things are the major things I learned

Conclusion

In conclusion,  the whole Interrail journey was a great and adventurous time. As you can see above, travel does not leave you stupid because you gain experience in life. Do not travel in a country when you cannot speak its language appropriately. You cannot fully embrace and experience a country when you can’t communicate with its citizens. Maybe in a couple of years you can rely on everyone speaking the world language English as the educational system becomes more advanced. You can’t rely on people elder than 30 speaking English. It is the younger generation who is rather able to speak English. The problem is that elder people often have more knowledge that they can’t transmit because they lack linguistic skills. It would be a curse if the knowledge of elder people gets lost. My desire to learn foreign languages qualitativ almost perfectly and to use them later on in my job just expands during the time I travel. Not speaking the language of a country you are traveling to limits your understanding of everyday life.

I can just say it always again but I am just grateful that the European Union could enable such a journey. Words can’t describe my gratitude. I appreciate the luck, fate or destiny whatever it was so much.

Thank you for all!!

Poland – in the middle of nothing- last stop of my Interrail journey

A lot of people asked me why I traveled alone to Poland. This is a good question and here is the answer. The first reason why I traveled alone for two days in Poland was that I wanted to know how it is to travel in a country where I’ve never been before. In other words, I just wanted to add a new country to my travel list. The second reason was that I wanted to use the ticket that I won completely because I still had two days (out of seven) to travel left. Moreover, I had the desire to experience how hard it is to travel in a country whose language I do not speak. The results will follow in another blog entry. Last but not least I had the wish to change the currency in a European country because in Poland you pay with Zloty as Poland is not part of the European Monetary Union.

However, what did I experience during these days?

I needed to book a ticket from Berlin to the Polish frontier. After that I could travel further with my Interrail ticket. Unfortunately, the conductor of the train was not able to speak English(French or German) at all!(it was the connection very close to the German- Polish frontier!) He did not know about the Interrail tickets that were given away by the European Union! Holy crap, but I had luck. There was a woman, around 25 years old who could translate for me. I had to explain the conductor the whole System of Interrail with the help of the woman. Furthermore, the woman and her husband were very interested in my ticket. She asked me around one hour questions about my life, my plans, what I am doing etc.- that was weird but also funny! It was nice talking to her 🙂 Besides this, it is always worth talking to people from other nations because it’s always interesting what stories they tell you.

Arrived in Poland. Camping ground where are you? I took a bus but drove 2 stations too far- damn. As you all probably know…Google maps is always reliable-not! It sent me to the middle of nothing. My suitcase taking(it has rolls!) with me I walked through the jungle. 20 000 mosquitos buzzing around my head. But I walked this way! Why? I simply wanted to arrive before sunset. The other way would have been 5km longer what the hell. I’ve never seen such a dirty place before in my life. Overall just rubbish in every 3rd bush, old homeless houses full with rubbish…- messy life! Okay, but still I arrived before it was dark and the young man at the reception was able to speak English- hurray. The funny thing was that his English was even better than his German even tough he learned German for 9 years and English just for 5 years. Let me tell you what his secret was: gaming. It sounds ridiculous but he was together with the woman the only one who could help me that day because the whole population elder than 25 does not speak English at all and this is really a serious problem at least in my eyes. I can’t imagine that people don’t speak or understand the world language. It is a gift that we learn English in school nowadays because the English language opens so many doors for oneself. Well, this young man could tell me how I have to take the bus. Bus driving- normally the easiest of the world became rather difficult in Poland. The evening I spent with some other German people (approximately my age) in candle light in front of our tents. The next day I watched the beach, the city and then went home.

I really realized that Polish does not belong to Romanic languages. This means it’s easy for me as a German to learn for example English, French, Spanish, Dutch or Italian as they are quite similar but not Polish. The words are not similar at all. I could maybe understand one word in a whole sentence. The order of letters in the words is completely different so I had no idea what the people were talking about. If people in Poland can speak another languages most people speak Ukrainian or Russian.

In brief, the short trip to Poland was just adventurous. At least I can say I gained more experience of life and I could also add a new country to my travel list. You just need to pay attention as a girl alone. But I have sanity and reason so people do not always have to care about what I am doing. (On the other hand it’s good they do). You just have to make sure that you are safe. It’s definitely not the country No.1 where I would go again but worth to see once in life. WhatsApp Image 2018-09-24 at 10.20.35