I arrived in New Zealand in November, and since then I’ve been living in lovely Gizzy (as it’s known by the locals.) I’ve been staying with Dani and her lovely family.
“What have you been up to for 6 months?” I hear you ask? Let me show you through some of my photos.
This summer has been the first since being probably 15 that I’ve been unemployed. I’ve always been, and am, a workaholic. I have worked from my mid-teens, and have always had a job.
So I took this summer, possibly as once in a lifetime opportunity, (or at least until I retire). I chose to slow things down a little. Learn to live in a new place, somewhere that is sunny and warm, near the beach. Somewhere that has a totally new culture and an interesting history. My ultimate was aim to live a true kiwi lifestyle, and of course report that back to you.
I feel like I’ve had a really good taste of kiwi life, but here’s some of the particulars that I got up to.
Let’s go to the beach
I’ve never lived by the sea, so being a few minutes’ drive from the beach was AMAZING. I’m not one to sunbathe, but I do find the sound and sight of the ocean rather relaxing. It’s also the perfect spot for a BBQ. Gisborne is lucky to have loads of beautiful beaches, many of them are often deserted.
(Dani enjoying a private beach)
The sunsets in Gizzy deserve their own special mention. I’ve never seen colours like some of the sunsets I’ve seen and I only wish the colours could be captured through a camera lens.
(This has to be one of my FAVOURITE Gisborne Sunsets. How dramatic, and this is with no filter.)
One of my many jobs in my workaholic days was working in a bar. The very handy skills have stayed with me and it was nice to be able to rustle up some cheeky cocktails using local fresh produce. (It was crazy having fresh strawberries over Christmas time, but that’s another story!)
(Fresh Strawberry Mojitos, with mint picked from the garden)
I became avocado OBSESSED!
Speaking of local produce, Gizzy has probably the best avos I’ve ever had, and they are mega cheap, like seriously! I’ve seen them being sold on the side of the road, 2 for $3 – that’s approx. £1.40 for 2 perfect avocados. I still can’t get my head around it.
(This was the day I hit the avo lottery #bestdayever!)
Crazy cat lady
My name is Steph, and I’m a crazy cat lady. I’ve never had a cat or a dog before, growing up I did have a hamster, but it didn’t last very long (poor thing). So I’ve adopted the two family cats as my own, and I’m in LOVE. Meet the beautiful Kitty and Kitten. I could write multiple posts about how in love I am, but I think these photos say it all.
(Me and Kitten hanging out, me reading my Lonely Planet travel guide for New Zealand.)
(Kitty and I having a nuzzle)
#Stephontour the blog
I’ve been working on this wee blog, which had been a nice little project to keep my mind ticking over. I’ve been really active on Twitter and Instagram too (I promise I wasn’t trying to make everyone back at home jealous…). It’s been cool to take a little step back from marketing for a few months, but I’ve of course kept myself up to date.
(We played lots of a fun game called bananagrams, a scrabble concept, but without a board.)
I love having the time to bake. I wouldn’t say I’m the best cook in the world, but baking is much more my bag. I became a real lover of scones, especially savoury ones, specifically cheese… so they became a little project of mine.
(Not too shabby for a first attempt, right?)
Oh and ALSO, HUGE NEWS!! I perfected my ability to make Yorkshire Puddings. These are probably the best ones I’ve ever made ever. I’m proud as punch over them.
(Not to toot my own horn, but they tasted as good as they look. Nailed it!)
I’m constantly looking out for amazing brunch. Dani and I have become real waffle fanatics – it was all we wanted to eat for every meal so we made it happen, and bought our very own waffle maker. I’ve tried a couple of recipes so far, but I’m super keen to make a healthy-guilt-free waffles. (I love mine smothered in Nutella and cream please!)
(Perfect waffles, if I do say so myself!)
So yeah, that’s a wee insight into my crazy wild travelling life… jokes! I was normally in bed by 9.30pm and I loved it. I had the most amazing summer, had lots of Steph time, read books, swam, went to the gym during off-peak hours and just embraced having all the time in the world.
If you ever get the opportunity to take some time off and kick back, then do it. (P.s it’s also nice to have a buddy, we had all the fun!)
(Dani and I playing around on Snapchat, you can find me at ‘Stephcoulton’)