The crowds are cheering. Fireworks are going off as far as the eye can see. A new decade has just begun. Will it be better, than the last one? That depends of Your perspective. Personally for me though, 2019 was a hell of a journey. The personal progress I made, was, and still is, totally unfathomable to me. There were very few bad surprises and everything sort of played out as I’d planned it. But my 20/20 vision says, that this year’s gonna be the bomb. It’s time for me to put in the next gear and release that clutch. Life’s good, when Your gearbox is straight out of The Fast and The Furious franchise…
It’s been 3 months since I set foot on this beautiful oceanic country, New Zealand, or as the locals call it – Aotearoa. I’ve been to more beaches I can count, seen some amazing sights, visited local bars and mostly been busy working, while trying my best to stay true to my busy gym schedule. Living abroad isn’t an excuse to not exercise.
I can now safely say, that NZ really is one of the most naturally diverse countries in the world. There’s probably no other place quite like it. Auckland with it’s dozen dormant volcanoes itself, is quite the sight. I’ve driven my Bandit on top of all of them. There’s something awesome to see everywhere I go. And the locals are some of the most friendliest and happiest people I’ve ever met. Why wouldn’t they be? It’s one of the prime locations to live in. But even paradise doesn’t come without it’s problems.
While the quality of life here’s pretty high, the cost of living is even higher. You can easily rent properties, while living a high-level lifestyle throughout Your life here on a measly salary. The cost of property ownership is through the roof though. You’d have to be making pretty big dollars to be eligible for a standard-level house mortgage. Usual mortgages cost about 20-30% more than renting that same property. But I’d say that the warmish climate and the lack of any dangerous predatory (or just disgusting) animals, in comparison to Australia, make it a prime location for settling down. Which is one of the reasons, why so many people from all over the World are trying to migrate into New Zealand.
During the summer, there’s backpackers everywhere. Most backpackers spend a month or so travelling the entire country with self-contained campervans, that they buy just for this experience. NZ has got the most amazing campervan culture going for it. The self-contained van system is an enforced law here, meaning that Your van must be custom built for travelling, which in turn will allow You to travel through this beautiful country without polluting it – more info.
NZ is a land of nature. It most likely has the most diverse fishing culture in the world. So it’s no surprise, that most keen fishermen eventually find their way over here. Like my current German housemate, who moved here a few years ago and hasn’t left since. He takes his boat out to the ocean every other day.
Actually I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone so fascinated by fishing, as this guy. So when he woke me up 5am on a Saturday morning, so I could join him for a fishing trip, I didn’t think twice…
Since it’s, in general, a relatively warm country, there’s lots of bikers around. Lots of biker gangs too, but they tend to themselves. And unless You ride around like a fuckwit, the police wont really bust Your balls either.
There probably isn’t a better place to own a motorcycle at. NZ’s got that beautiful riding weather for at least half a year and when You take Your bike outside of the big cities, You’ve got breathtaking views all around. It’s almost like adventuring in a never-ending dream.
Most of New Zealand’s local population is made up of European settlers. The rest are mostly strong Maori brothers and other smaller islanders, such as Tongans, Samoans and others. There’s also a shit-ton of Asians, who seem to run every single bottle shop around here. Maoris are some big-boned people. Hell, everyone’s so ripped here, I feel like a little kid every time I go to the gym. Still they seem to be some of the most down to Earth people I’ve ever met.
So far I’ve mostly been chilling and enjoying every single day I’ve spent here. I haven’t felt this stress-free for years. The Sun and that fresh oceanic climate does that to You. I’ve spent most of my days off work adventuring with this Estonian couple – Simon & Marion, who’ve been living a crazy digital nomad lifestyle for years now. They’re always moving around, so it’s been quite fun discovering New Zealand together with them.
Sadly my kiwi experience hasn’t been all fun and games. Since the beginning of November, there’s been a measles outbreak going on in Asia, NZ and it’s surrounding islands – especially Samoa, where most of the population hadn’t been vaccinated. Since my buddies had to get vaccinated in order to visit Samoa, I decided to jump on that bandwagon with them. Just in case. Besides, it was free. And free shit’s always the best shit, ain’t it.
But my bigger problems started with my baby – The Suzuki Bandit. It literally died 2 weeks after I bought it. So after I made some phone calls, the Motorcycle Doctors came to my rescue. Hey, they even brought me a courtesy scooter. One week and $800 later I was back in action… Until it fucking died again 3 days later. One hour into my nice planned road trip on a long public holiday weekend. Naturally I got back in touch with the mechanics and so they picked the Bandit up and yet again brought me that courtesy scooter. So of course I called them again about the Bandit after that long weekend, wondering what that bill’s gonna look like this time. They told me, that the bike ran out of petrol, hahah. We were both holding ourselves back from laughing. Thing is, they forgot to reconnect my fuel gauge the first time, so it seemed like I had petrol. What can I say, I’m an idiot for not checking, but my ego allows me to only accept half the blame…
As I’ve already stated, then living and adventuring in New Zealand is fucking expensive. To cover all those massive costs, I’ve been working as a corporate piece in New Zealand’s biggest company and the 4th largest dairy corporation in the World – Fonterra. It’s been a very cruisy and laid back ride with them, but as I’ve mentioned before, my visa came with the most ridiculous restriction – I can only work for 3 months in one company. My 3 months are up next Friday. That’s about to take me straight back to the drawing board. Another challenge for me to crush. No worries though, I’m a pretty resourceful guy. I’d say it’s in fact good for me. It keeps me alert by pushing me out of my comfort zone. I’m going strong day by day and hour by hour, while enjoying every minute of it.