The Bonding Properties of Alcohol

Good morning, afternoon, or evening dear travelers (I try to be all inclusive in this blog). ¬†Sorry I didn’t get this posted yesterday, I was rather busy being out on a date. (Yes, yes, a date. Calm down, we’ll get to that later.)

Now I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about this. I certainly don’t think the only way to bond or connect with people is with alcohol. But it can be a helpful catalyst sometimes, as it was in my situation the other night.

I spent my second day in NZ driving around and looking at flats to live in. (I found one, by the way.) My last stop was a house in Matamata. I had hoped to rent a room here but as that didn’t work out they offered me their couches for a while if I needed a place to stay. What was meant to be a quick visit to see the place ended up turning into an all night party.

I hadn’t been in the house more than 5 minutes when two of the flatmates returned carrying two twelve packs and a six pack in their arms. We had a brief ‘hello’ and the next thing I know I’ve got a drink in my hand and we’re all sitting around the table talking and making jokes.

We spent the whole night hanging out and it got so late that I just crashed on their couch (funnily enough). The whole evening had a bit of surreal haze hanging over it. I’d been in the country just under two full days and here I was sitting around a table talking and laughing with these people who had so graciously welcomed me into their house. And they were all lovely people.

It’s a bit of a relief to know some people in town. One of the flatmates is even here on working holiday from the UK, so I can pester her with endless questions on how to get settled in. The stress and anxiety of moving to a new country is steadily starting to ease. Things are falling into place and my confidence is growing.

I’ll be back with the date update later today.

~Ren

When your safety net disappears…

Day two in New Zealand. Still haven’t crashed, and the quest to find a place to stay is in full swing.

Throughout the day I’ve been having to remind myself that I am, in fact, a 25-year-old mature adult (most of the time). But being in a completely new place where you don’t know and understand the nuances of society, or the legal ones for that matter, tends to make me regress to somewhat of an 18-year-old not-so-adult adult.

I went to look at a house this morning and the whole time I was there I wanted to look over my shoulder at someone to ask what they thought, to get their opinion so I could feel better (or worse) about my own. I was looking at cars for sale later on and again, I wanted someone there to remind me of all the things I was forgetting to consider when you’re buy a new car. But there was no one there.

This move is really going to force me to stand on my own two feet. It feels a bit like everything in my life before this was training and now I’m out in the field having to apply all that I’ve learned. There’s no one here to tell me what to do or warn me that I’m about to do something stupid. Whatever I decide the consequences¬†(if there are any) are on me. If you’ve never been in that position before, let me tell you, it’s just the teensiest bit nerve-wracking.

Though I am quite sure, from time to time, I let myself get a little more worked up about things than is really necessary. It’s mostly a vanity thing, too. I don’t want to look like the dumb foreigner who doesn’t know anything and asks silly questions. Really I just need to get over that and ask questions when I have them. Because how else am I going to learn?

Wish me luck looking at houses today. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will have a place to live.

~Ren

And now that everything in your life has changed?

Hello my dear travelers.

It’s been a while since I’ve written for you. But today isn’t just any other day. Today is the first day. This, October 28th (or the end of the 27th for most of my regulars) 2015, is the first day I am writing to you from New Zealand. I’m on the other side of the globe! Holy hell, how did that happen?

Well, it was a lot of time and money and planning. That’s how it happened. And lo, the past two years have now resulted in this, me lying here, quite tired and wishing I was asleep, on a very large bed looking out double glass doors onto a gravel driveway surrounded by greenery with sheep just on the other side of the fence. That’s right, sheep.

My brain is screaming at me to not even be writing this right now. But I told myself I would blog (or at least attempt to) everyday of my stay in New Zealand. Three hundred and sixty-five days in total. And this is the day that starts it all.

What I was hoping to talk about in this post was going to be the answer to the question posed in the title. And I’ll do that, a bit, but due to the aforementioned tiredness I think it best to wait till later to really flesh that out.

Besides being tired and not crashing my car, a good chunk of my time today was spent trying to wrap my brain around the fact that everything I’ve ever known, anything familiar or normal to me, no longer is a part of my life. I don’t have a favorite grocery store or well worn driving routes. I don’t know all the good restaurants and bars or where to pick up little knick knacks or home goods. I have to completely rebuild my life. New friends, new home, new job, new town.

The lack of responsibility or need to be somewhere is odd, too. Until I start working my time is filled only with those things I want to be doing. I mean, there are things I need to do, but a bulk of my time is still open to the imagination.

Oh my, it’s so weird and wonderful. It’s a bit like floating. Here I am, hovering above this new place, but where I’m set to land is still unclear.

Till tomorrow, travelers.

~Ren