Category Archives: Experiences

Learning About Generosity in Arthur’s Pass

After we travel, it’s often the people we’ve met that we remember the most.

Mountains and meals blur over time until they’re lost in the haze of memory. Moments disappear in our minds, sometimes resurfacing years later when we hear a song or smell something on the air. Tour guides and hotel receptionists meld into one in the mind. But sometimes you meet a person that is impossible to forget.

Maybe they touch your soul or you just have such a strong connection that you feel like you’ve known the person your whole life. You can make friendships while travelling that are so fleeting, yet so powerful. Sometimes it hurts when you have to say goodbye to a person that you’ve barely even met. Continue reading Learning About Generosity in Arthur’s Pass

Are You Making Your Facebook Friends Unhappy?

daniel standing in new york subway

In a not unsurprising turn of events, research has found that reducing Facebook use helps with depression.

Researchers argue that Facebook users only ever post about the good events in their life. This is leading to their friends having unrealistic expectations for their own lives. Continue reading Are You Making Your Facebook Friends Unhappy?

Walking Along the Yarra River in Melbourne

yarra river and bridge
Last week we spoke about the pressures of moving to Melbourne. We found ourselves overwhelmed by the big city and the knowledge that we had to start all over. It was starting to drive us insane.

This week has been better. We’ve managed to tick most things off our to-do list. Place to live, bank accounts, tax numbers. Everything but that elusive job. We’ve stopped panicking and settled a little. Still, after a few days of sending out resumes (and subsequent rejection) I needed a day off or I was going to go crazy.

Continue reading Walking Along the Yarra River in Melbourne

A Horrific Help Exchange on the Banks Peninsula

burlington bay from above

The Banks Peninsula is a small, hilly circle of land that juts out into the sea close to Christchurch. Due to the large amount of beautiful bays and little villages, the peninsula seems to be the perfect weekend getaway for Christchurchers. For the same reason, we thought it would be a great place to base ourselves in our last week in New Zealand.

It’s close to the city, I told myself while typing out an email to a HelpX host. We’ll be able to pop into Christchurch in the day or do some sightseeing on the peninsula. That’s what I thought.

Until we found ourselves sitting in The Bloody Legend looking up on a steep road heading right into the hills. Nothing on the website said anything about this.

Continue reading A Horrific Help Exchange on the Banks Peninsula

Nature Tours on the Otago Peninsula

After weeks spent in rural towns, Dunedin came as a bit of a shock. It seems like most places on New Zealand’s South Island are barely big enough to qualify as towns, let alone cities. So coming into a big city like Dunedin is a bit of an eye-opener.

At night the stars no longer shine, the city lights too bright. The rolling green fields vanish, replaced with wooden houses on tidy streets. The buildings grow upwards, looming over you, covering the sky. For once you’re in a place where people out number the sheep.

Continue reading Nature Tours on the Otago Peninsula

Milford Sound – One of New Zealand’s Biggest Disappointments?

mitre peak milford sound

The more popular something is, the less inclined I am to enjoy it. Maybe I’ve always been a hipster at heart. Snorting with derision at anything popular. Or maybe I can never be satisfied by something with high expectations.

Expectations were the reason I couldn’t really enjoy Milford Sound. Continue reading Milford Sound – One of New Zealand’s Biggest Disappointments?

Hiking in Arthur’s Pass

What I want you to know – but hope you don’t tell anybody else – is that Arthur’s Pass is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.

Sitting halfway between the West Coast and Christchurch, it’s an easy trip from either. Yet it remains relatively quiet as most people seem to see it as a place to stop-off in, rather than to explore.

Those that only rush through will miss out on so much.

When you escape from the village, you’ll find quiet trails. Few people around to bother you. Despite some of the walks being stupidly easy.

Continue reading Hiking in Arthur’s Pass

Getting Annoyed by Tourists at Lake Tekapo

It seems to be a general rule on New Zealand’s South Island, that the further South you get, the more tourists there are. Or rather, the closer you get to a location from the Lord of the Rings, the greater the amount of people you’ll see. Either way, as you travel south the amount of tourists continues to grow.

We got our first real taste of the negative energy of other tourists when we found ourselves in Lake Tekapo early one afternoon. With its turquoise blue water, hemmed in by mountains on almost all sides, Lake Tekapo is an obvious lure for tourists. Add to that the fact that it’s slap bang in the middle of a dark sky reserve – perfect for star watching – and it’s almost too much to resist.

Continue reading Getting Annoyed by Tourists at Lake Tekapo

A Few Lazy Days in Hokitika

hokitika driftwood sign on hokitika beach
When you’re on the road for a while, travelling can start to become a chore. Eventually you need to stop for a breather, which is how we found ourselves lazing around in Hokitika on New Zealand’s west coast.

On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much to Hokitika. It’s like many of the other west coast towns. A small downtown area with a sprinkling of hundred-year-old buildings and plenty of cafes and souvenir shops for tourists. Nothing amazing sticking out.

Continue reading A Few Lazy Days in Hokitika

One Year in a Hagwon: The Student From Hell

cute korean kinder hagwon student

To understand the problems of a hagwon, you must first understand the impossibility of teaching in one.

In a hagwon, the teachers wield less power than the children. When an especially bad child comes along they can make your life unbearable. These are more than just children, they’re the babies of Satan. The worst I ever taught was a girl named Serah.

Continue reading One Year in a Hagwon: The Student From Hell