Since I moved to America a few months ago, I’ve been unable to work. It takes months for a work visa to be processed and in that time I can’t leave the country, or do much of anything really. To save on costs, my wife and I have been living with her parents and brother.
It doesn’t matter as much as you’d think. Most houses in America are huge in comparison to the UK. Living with other people isn’t a problem. If you need some time alone you can sulk off to your own wing of the house and pretend that nobody is there with you.
When it becomes a problem, is when you also have enough animals in the house to open a petting zoo. My wife’s family seems to collect animals like most people collect useless kitchen appliances. Instead of an ice cream maker they’ll only use twice, they get a new cat. Instead of a popcorn machine, a dog. When you have as many cats as they do, it probably seems like something you buy regularly. “Hey, don’t forget to stop by the store on the way home and get a new cat!” “Cat food. You mean cat food, right?” “No no, I mean a cat.” Continue reading Living with 5 Cats, 2 Dogs, 1 Bird, 8 Fish and 4 Humans→
Before leaving for a new life in America, I believed that moving here would be easy. Over the last two months I’ve found the adjustment to be anything but.
Numerous people back home told me how envious they were about my moving to America. To them, the idea of living in the USA reminds them of past holidays. Great food, good weather, good beer, cheap shopping. No worries. Continue reading Adjusting to Life in America→
After a few weeks in a country, the food starts to seem a little less tasty, the land a little less mysterious. We would be comfortable sitting by a pool all day reading a book, letting the rest of our time slip away into idleness. But our comfort is tinged with guilt.
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.
You’re about to go travelling for the first time, but there’s a problem. You don’t know how to take a photograph! You got a book from the library, but upon inspection it had more words than pictures. Who can be bothered to read nowadays? If it’s not an easily digestible YouTube clip, then it’s useless.
Fortunately for you, I exist and I’ve decided to help you out in your conquest to take the most clichéd travel photo possible. So beautiful that you can literally put them on Facebook every 2 hours for all those people who don’t give a shit.
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.
Over the last few years, Jamie and I have started a tradition. Each year, between Christmas and New Year we’ll head off on a trip somewhere for a few days.
This year we decided to head to the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island for a few days. We’re leaving the North Island soon and we’ve yet to travel up the east coast and knew this would be our only opportunity. We decided to spend a few nights of camping in Napier exploring the surrounding area. Then another few nights in what used to be Te Urewera National Park.
From time to time, I’m confronted with the absurdity of life – the complete ridiculousness of everything.
There was a time long ago when these realisations would make me laugh. I’d be sitting at work one day, thinking about shoes. Like, how crazy are shoes when you truly think about them? Ok, they protect our feet, so they’re somewhat useful, but isn’t it amazing just how seriously people take shoes. How much we judge others based on their shoes. How much thought we put into selecting them, designing them, making them. All this time and energy spent on shoes when they’re just….SHOES! Continue reading The Meaninglessness of Cereal Cafes→
This is part 2 in a series of posts about a trip to Amsterdam, part 1 can be found here.
Part 2: Losing Control
If you ever have a good idea and it includes taking drugs, then stop. Take a moment to think. It’s not a good idea.
Our “good idea” was so perfect that it didn’t warrant discussion. Wake up, eat breakfast. Early morning joint. Head to a smart shop. Buy some magic mushrooms. Go to a coffee shop, another joint. Have lunch, then back to the hotel to take the mushrooms.