What is it like in New Zealand?

I arrived to Auckland after four months of leisurely travel. My motives for New Zealand were different though. I came to earn back the money I spent along the way—even if each dollar is worth just 60% in my home currency.

I planted myself near the largest city to save and only recently started to venture out.

When I arrived, I immediately started work at a retreat center gig I lined up using WorkAway. I signed up for six months to balance the professional experience with some personal time; attending the yoga, meditation, or indigenous culture events offered at the center.

Thus far, it has provided all that and more. Professionally, I gained experience in the events and marketing field including an interim a marketing director during her absence. I also find lots of personal time for myself with almost daily visits to the library, lots of home cooking, and wonderful sit downs with our on-site Maori Oracle.

The next two months will take me out of the homebody life and send me on the road. It is summer here in the Southern Hemisphere and I will spend it volunteering for at least five events—not including the two I am organizing—from eco-festivals to stadium running to large-scale yoga retreats like Wanderlust.

My first was a New Year’s celebration on the beach, alternative-Kiwi style. During the Prana Festival, I camped with more than 1,000 people at a beachside forest, withstanding two full days of rain.

I also celebrated my 26th birthday at this event; where I came to the realization that I could not be in a better place.