When you travel to other countries you realise how little you may have seen of your own country.
So after a year away exploring, I decided it was time to see more of New Zealand and experience more of the things Wellington has to offer.
After I arrived back in Wellington, I booked a couple of trips away and a couple of events.
I had two trips to Christchurch in November to see my family and a bonus trip to attend a conference that I managed to get to go to for, I extended my time for this one and spent two weekends in town as well as the week of the conference. For one of the weekends we headed away to our bach and I spent some time picking berries in the garden.
Christmas was also spent with my family in Christchurch and at New Years I went away to Diamond Harbour, a relaxing time was had.
In January I had a long weekend in Kaiteriteri camping which was lovely as the weather was perfect and I spent every day at the beach swimming and sunbathing.
Wellington Anniversary weekend a friend got married in Masterton on an amazing summers day, the bride looked beautiful. I stopped and picked lavender at a pick-your-own lavender farm on the way. The Wairarapa is really beautiful.
Waitangi weekend was a three day one which as most wonderful. The boyfriend, JJ and I headed away to Tauranga for three nights. We swum in the sea, ate out, went to a waterfall, climbed the Mount and got chased by a crew of water fowl. It was my first time in Tauranga and although we actually stayed in Mount Maunganui, I really think it’s a place I could live.
I started back at French lessons soon after getting home, determined to keep progressing and not to lose too much from when I was in France. I hope to be able to sit my DELF B2 this October. With this in mind, the New Zealand French Film Festival was an excellent opportunity to watch some French films. JJ and I made it along to the opening night and I managed to make it to three additional films. The opening night film Rosalie Blum was excellent, very funny and cinematically quite well done, telling the same story from different points of view. We also enjoyed Monsieur Henri et l’Étudiante. It was such a heartwarming story with some dramatic twists.
I also decided my volunteer activity for this year would be teaching English to migrants and refugees and I was trained by an English language school and I was matched with a Korean woman who wants to practice her spoken English. I’ve been seeing her for three weeks now and she has made so much progress already. The training we received was really helpful too, some of which would have been helpful for my teaching in France.
My parents have also made three trips to Wellington since I’ve been home, we’ve been to Te Papa to see the WWI Gallipoli exhibit, to the War Memorial museum to see their exhibit and mum and dad went to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
I’ve been to Te Papa another two times too, and sent guests who have been staying with me there twice too. Living so close to such an amazing museum has been great. It has been great to have some people staying with me too, instead of me staying with people.
My new flat has been great, I’ve been lucky with some great flatmates. One of them even got JJ and I free tickets to the dress rehearsal of the Royal New Zealand Ballet show in March.
On the topic of shows, I went to see Robbie Williams on Halloween. I had tried to do see him in France but tickets were sold out. It was a great night for it and I stayed up all night to watch one of the All Blacks Rugby World Cup games, which of course we won.
I’ve been up to Auckland three times, twice for work, the teams I support are Auckland based, and once for pleasure. This weekend JJ and I did a rental car return so we could spend a weekend in Auckland, see stuff on the way and then be able to fly back. The rental car return was a great idea, $4 to rent and a free tank of fuel, which was enough to get to Auckland and drive around a bit too. We spent a relaxing day travelling up on Saturday stopping in Paeroa for a pic with the famous L&P bottle. We spent Saturday night at the casino playing the money wheel and some blackjack, rebelling against my statistical ways (we came out up $15). On Sunday we spent the day on Waiheke island, eating and drinking, unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best but we had a good time anyways.
Last weekend we went to Homegrown, a music festival on the Wellington waterfront with home grown talent and plenty of nostalgia, favourite act: The Feelers! 90s/00s rock band.
Earlier in the month we were in Christchurch for my dads retirement party which was an excellent night.
I’m off to the US next week, and I’m sure I’ll have more New Zealand based adventures soon too.
Until next time,