Tag Archives: Hospitality

Chur New Zealand!

1 Apr

6 months rolled by pretty quickly in New Zealand. I landed right in the middle of the Rugby World Cup and the party kept going right up to the last night with the boys. I saw some amazing things in the country and met some pretty bad ass folk. The weather wasn’t always the best in the little town of Wellington but it kept you on your toes as you always seemed to bump into that one person you hoped to avoid. I leave New Zealand knowing I will be back as it truly felt like a second home. I want to thank everyone who made my stay in this South Pacific nation amazing and look forward to seeing you again.

My life has officially been reduced to the size of a backpack again as I set out on my next set of adventures. The best part about these adventures though is the gravy train is once again at the station, see you soon Mom and Pops!

Foggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farewell song from work

19 Mar

Work was so happy to see me leave they wrote me a song. Thanks a ton to Jono for taking the time!

Foggy

Summer Vacation…

9 Jan

Surfboards on the roof, camping gear in the back, Tom, his brother James, his girlfriend Bridget and myself started our drive up North to the Coromadel. We drove to a friend Mitch’s holiday park and picked up a buddy Redo on the way. We set up camp and went to go watch the India vs. Australia test cricket at Mitch’s cabin. For dinner we had fresh fish and chips that Mitch’s family had caught that day. We had a great night full of beers and cricket and then headed off to bed. That night the sky’s opened up and our trip got thrown for a big loop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With our tent soaked in the morning and more rain coming down, we decided to pull the plug on camping in that spot. We loaded the car and drove back to Thames, to head to the east coast of the Coromadel. We then found out there were severe weather warnings on that side so our trip was diverted back south to Waihi Beach. We got there and the weather was the same so we all decided to drive back to Taraunga and rethink a plan. After being back in doors for a night we packed up Mitch’s van and were heading for Lake Rotorua, the only problem was that we found one of the hoses for the radiator was loose. 4 hours later the problem was fixed and we drove down to the lake to meet a friends family in their cabin on the lake. We had a big dinner waiting for us and then were shown to our own cabin.

The next day we went out on the boat and then the rain started coming down, Tom and Redo were in the back of the boat and had to block their faces from the onslaught of rain pelting them. We drove to a great cliff jumping spot and then went to warm up in some natural hot springs on the lake. Night came and we jumped into the hot tub, and all we could do was laugh on how hard the rain was falling on us. The countdown to New Years came and we exchanged kisses before hitting the water slide naked. It was such a simple night but we all had an awesome time playing in the downpour. We stayed a couple of more nights and then went back to Tom’s house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning I caught a bus up to Auckland to meet up with my friend Meghan. Meghan is one of the girls I stayed with in Dubai and she was in Auckland for the night as she is cabin crew for Emirates. It is always great to see somebody from home and we went out for dinner and beers. The next day we said our farewells and I boarded my bus for Wellington. A long 12 hours later I arrived back home to start work the very next day.

Foggy

A Foreign Christmas

5 Jan

Will, Tom and I piled into the car on a perfectly sunny day and hit the road to drive up North. We had the windows open and I felt that summer had finally arrived in the South Pacific. A few hours into the drive Tom announced we should go bungee jumping, and my heart sank immediately. Bungee jumping is definitely on the bucket list, but I thought I would have more time to work up the courage. We stop in the next town to grab some of that courage in liquid format and continue on our voyage. We arrive at Lake Taupo and get kited up for the jump. Will jumps first and hits the water. Then it is my turn, my heart racing I stand at the ledge and look down and heave myself off the ledge. Tom went next in his waist harness (Tom had dislocated his hip years ago in rugby and was talked into not doing it from the ankles) and then we were back on the road as fast as he had gotten off of it. We dropped Will off with his Dad and then drove the rest of the way to Tauranga.

I woke up at Tom’s and his Mom came in with a little cupcake and candle on it for my birthday. It was another beautiful day so we went for a hike up Mt. Manganui for a view up and down the coast. Next up was a swim at the beach and then continued on to Simi’s house. We picked him up and went for a drive in the sunshine and stopped by at a local pub for lunch. This was special for me as it is a tradition to do this back home on my birthday with my friends. We went back for a swim in Simi’s pool before heading into town for a night at the bar.

Taraunga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I woke up at Simi’s for Christmas and his mom had made us a great breakfast. The champagne was opened and we gathered around the tree for presents. I opened all the ones from my family, and then to my surprise the Simister’s had gotten me a few things as well. It was pretty amazing to feel a part of the family so far away from mine. We then carried some food next door to grandma’s and set up for Christmas lunch. It was quite the spread with turkey, chicken, beef, ham, lots of different salads and veggies. After lunch I skyped the family and we chatted for a while. It was great to get them all together at the same time and talk to them (even though my mom couldn’t hold up the ipad without crying), after a few numbers from my nieces which included a brush up of my ABC’s I left them back in the snow of Whistler. We then went and grabbed Tom from his place where I had a few more presents waiting for me from his family. We drove back to Simi’s and started to play a little BYC* with the boys. Christmas ended with us lounged out on the couch watching movies with stomachs to full to do much else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will definitely be a Christmas that always stands out for me. I thought my first Christmas away from home was going to be tough but it turned out to be an amazing experience. The Simisters and Culleys went well out of their way to make me feel like part of the family and I greatly appreciate that. I know I have said it a lot but the way New Zealander’s make you feel welcome is out of this world and that is something I will take with me the rest of my days. A huge Thank You to both families and I hope to one day pass on the kindness they showed me.

Foggy

*BYC – Back yard cricket

An Ode to Simi

7 Nov

For the past month Matt has been a huge GC to let me crash in his lounge while I sorted my life out. We had never met before but for some reason accepted me into his home. Our first meeting could have gone better as I called him to let me into the apartment as he was entertaining a female companion. I dropped my bags off and hung out watching TV until he emerged from his room and asked if I wanted some eggs. He cooked up a feed and we made some proper introductions. Over a month later and I feel like I have known the guy for years. Too many good times together including that trip up to Auckland for the finals. The time at the flat was awesome but it is time for me to get my own room. A huge thanks to Matt for the mattress on the floor and you have one in Vancouver when you get yourself up there.

Foggy

 

 

 

Scoring a Job

17 Oct

I was sitting in Munich washing down some delicious chicken with a massive stein of beer when I met Johnny a Kiwi from Wellington. We had some good days of drinking together and he told me to get a hold of him when I got to Wellington.

Three weeks later after a brisk trip home to Vancouver to catch up with some people I found myself in Wellington. I called up Johnny and asked if he knew anyone looking for a flatmate. I was in luck he had a friend who was looking to fill a room in her house. He put me in touch with Sarah and we went out for a beer to see if we could actually coexist in the same house without killing each other. After a pint and talking about what we were up to she decided that I was no good to live with. BUT she had a job opening that might just fit my description.

Another week and two interviews later I landed a job for the New Zealand Government. I was pretty pumped to get the job and do something actually productive down here. Just goes to show Mom that good things DO come from drinking!

Foggy

Oktoberfest

Tschurtschenthaler House

24 Sep

My friend Stephan did me a huge favour and set me up with his family in the west of Austria. They are from a small town of 300 people called Pfaffenswendt in the province of Tirol. The train ride there was amazing as my surroundings started to jet up into the sky as I entered the Alps. Michaela picked me up at the train station and we walked back to her house. They really treated me like family and brought me into the clan. For the next week they fed me ridiculous amounts of food, beer and schnapps. I left feeling 10 pounds heavier but it is a place I know I will come back to.

Foggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tirol

Unreal Vienna Host

10 Sep

I got into Vienna early in the morning and just as promised my friend Heidi picked me up at the train station. I knew Heidi from UBC where she did an exchange for a semester. We went back to her dorms at the University that would be my home for the next few days. Heidi went far out of her way to make sure I had a good time in Vienna. She showed me around the city and the good spots where few tourists go. We would cook some amazing dinners together (her being the way better cook), and then hang out and chat. Heidi truly went far beyond any host and I am really grateful for it, I hope one day she comes back to Canada so I can return the favour.

Foggy

 

Vienna, Austria Vienna, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belgrade

10 Sep

If cheap beer and beautiful women are not your scene than stay far clear of Belgrade. I had been here a couple of months ago on another trip so I knew what I was getting into (or thought I did…). I quickly found a hostel with some awesome Italian guys I met on the train and then the party started.  A half litre of beer in a bar will run you around 1.5 Euros ($2CAD), so your dollar goes a long way on a night out. We were lucky enough to meet some girls from Belgrade who were willing to show us the nightlife around town. The clubs were packed every night of the week with the most gorgeous women I have ever seen in my life. They all wore high heels and were all dressed to kill. I was told that summer is the downtime for nightlife and that winter is when things really get going in the city. I couldn’t fathom something better than this, but I might have to make a winter trip back sometime in this lifetime.

Foggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Couch Surfing Experience

30 Jul

For those of you not familiar with www.couchsurfing.org it is an online database of travelers who are willing to put you up for the night or take you out for a drink. I decided to use it for the first time in Muscat. My guy Rob picked me up from the airport and we went back to his house to drop off my stuff then we hit the beach for some beers. He was from Maryland and his wife was a dentist in town. Marie and Rob were super cool and were up for anything. After our first big night out they made me French Toast (Awesome!) for breakfast before we had another beach day. The next night we hit the town hard with their friends from Oman, where we found ourselves partying with one of the Royal family. We shut the bar down before going back to their house where I grabbed my bags and went right to the airport to catch my flight. Not the greatest day of travel in my life, but eventually made it to Jordan in one piece. First experience went great now I hope the rest of them are half as good as they were.

 Foggy