I’ve never been one to look into a place too much before I arrive… somehow I end up doing all the touristy things that I’m supposed to do and usually meet enough people who provide me with memorable, special times that form my impressions of a city, state or country. Although I’ve always had a great time, lately I’ve been walking (flying) away thinking that I would have liked to have built a relationship with these places i.e. Bangkok, Barcelona, Newcastle, before I arrived in order to make my experiences all that more meaningful. Maybe this is also due to the fact that my eagerness to meet and talk to every new person I meet has been dwindling as I get older/more travelled and I’m looking for something different.
So, when I headed to Planet Video yesterday with my Dad, my brother and my brother’s new girlfriend, I thought I would use the experience to tap into the feeling of some of the places I will be going to. As soon as I saw Boy in the new releases section I knew it would be a perfect place to start building a connection with New Zealand.
Boy is a beautiful film about a young boy living on the rural East Coast of New Zealand. He lives with his younger brother, some cousins and his Granny. I won’t give too much away but I loved this film so much that as soon as it finished, I pressed play and watched it attentively a second time (I don’t think I’ve ever done that before… although maybe it’s a sign that I have too much free time). It’s funny, poignant, has lovely scenery and such engaging characters. I’m aware of the dangers of idealising, but it is making me even more excited about getting out and seeing rural NZ, and I’m really looking forward to learning more about Maori culture. I fully recommend seeing it!
Here is a link to the official movie page: http://www.boythemovie.co.nz/
Why am I going to the rural countryside of New Zealand you ask? Well, I’m interested in doing some WWOOFing. For those of you who don’t know, WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms (or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms depending on where you are). I became interested in doing this when my ex-boyfriend’s sister did some WWOOFing in NZ and my friend did a WWOOF jaunt in Sweden. Over the past few years I’ve been becoming more and more interested in being more self-sufficient and also in taking a bit of ‘time-out’ so to speak. When you’re a WWOOFer you work on someone’s farm for a few hours each day and are provided with accommodation and food. I’m planning on WWOOFing near Queenstown and in the Northland and will keep you ‘posted’ about where exactly I end up. All in all I’m spending about a month and a half in NZ and about 20 days of that will be touring around with a hop-on, hop-off bus company called Kiwi Experience. I kept my eye on their website: http://www.kiwiexperience.com/ and found a bus pass that takes me around both the North and South islands for around $350 AUS. Pretty sweet bro!
Anyway, that’s enough for now… next time I’ll write about what I’ve been planning/looking into for NYC