Driving backwards into the future

Things didn’t exactly go as expected. After working my ass off all winter, I’d saved a nice amount of money to explore the South Island with. I had it all figured out. First up would be a loop through the very south, then across to the West coast, explore the glaciers, and zigzag my way up north, where I would run out of money and find a job for summer. I made it as far as Christchurch.

Driving through the country

Driving through the country

Third time’s a charm. Not once, but three times I parked my car at the side of the road with trouble. As if the first, very expensive, time wasn’t enough! It seemed as if I wasn’t meant to travel. Tough decisions followed. The first time I pretty much spent my travel budget on fixing my car. And then I had to pay twice more, but after spending that much, you’re not going to ditch the car after all.

That last time I found myself in Te Anau. I wanted to walk the Kepler track, but the weather wasn’t great and there was more bad news. My partner had had some financial setbacks himself and couldn’t come over. My spirits sank and I finally saw that I couldn’t do what I had wanted to. I was so over it. I was just driving around waiting for the next bad thing to happen. So I stayed an extra night at the holiday park in Te Anau and bought some internet.

I spent all day thinking about my options. I wouldn’t make it very far on the budget I had. So I started applying for jobs. The next day I had an interview on Skype and drove down to Queenstown. I figured out that I had to start a job soon and that if I wanted to see my partner, the only way would be to go see him in Australia in the next few days. So I started googling. My options were flying from Christchurch or Queenstown and my decision was made when another job replied and wanted me to come in for an interview, in Christchurch.

So, after a night in Queenstown, I drove all the way to Christchurch, along that same road that I took about half a year ago when I arrived in New Zealand. The first part was even the same road I drove exactly two weeks ago when I started my road trip. I felt like I was going backwards in time, but I also felt like things were looking up. My interview went well and I decided I’d go for that job. Meanwhile I’d gotten two more emails from companies that wanted to talk to me. It’s like everything happens in big numbers at the moment.

In a matter of days my whole situation had changed. Suddenly I was on a plane to Australia, my road trip was over, I’d accepted a job that would last until the end of my visa here and I would live in Christchurch, the city I thought I wouldn’t visit anymore. I think my head is starting to get used to the idea. I got to see my partner, even if it’s not the way I imagined. I’m going to have a fun job and know that companies are indeed interested in me. I’m going to live in a city I think could be exciting, with possibilities for weekend trips and festivals. I hope I can save loads, then stay in New Zealand on a tourist visa and bring my van back on the road. Will it actually happen? I’m not sure of anything anymore. But I can make plans. I can dream. And it seems I now have plenty of time to do just that.

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