For the past six weeks, we have been living and working on an apple orchard in Hastings, New Zealand. Our life is anything but glamourous. It’s half organized, half disaster and oftentimes a little too dirty for my liking. But it’s simple, and simple is good.
All of our material belongings fit into our 22 sq. ft. station wagon and we tend to spend most of the day outdoors. We see the moon as it’s rising over the apple trees, we feel the first hint of stormy weather when the wind picks up and we have one too many flies to keep us company. Read More
Apple picking is full of surprises. The backbreaking work was expected, but the life lessons I continue to learn are a welcome curiosity.
It feels like we have just signed on to be part of a reality show.
This is the true story of twelve strangers, from seven countries, picked to live and work on an orchard, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. Is this, The Real World New Zealand?
Okay, maybe there aren’t video cameras in the corner, recording our every move. And maybe, instead of living in a mansion, we all sleep in our cars, but it does sounds eerily similar, don’t you think? Read More
Downsizing used to be a term associated with hardship. For individuals, downsizing meant selling your home to pay a looming debt and for businesses it meant jobs were on the chopping block. Read More
So, you’ve made the decision to take a trip to New Zealand? Have you decided you want to work, live in your vehicle and basically be the envy of all your friends (or the cool ones at least)? I did the same thing, but I didn’t have this list to guide my way.
Follow these five steps – in order – and you will find yourself living a life of freedom in no time. Read More
Words in New Zealand are proving difficult for me to pronounce. Yes, I do know English is the official language in New Zealand. No, the English words are not my problem. The language of the Māori, however, is filled with sounds my lips have never had to produce. I’ve been walking through New Zealand, struggling to properly pronounce words that have been repeated to me at least ten times. Mt. Mauganui, Waitangi, Waiheke, Tiritiri Matangi – the tongue twisting list could go on forever, because nearly every city, mountain, street and river in New Zealand is in Māori. Read More
We tend to procrastinate. We tend to procrastinate, a lot. We procrastinate to such a degree that we will be five minutes from checkout at our hostel and still not have a bed to sleep in for the night. Such was the dilemma we found ourselves in, as we were frantically jamming our last remaining coins into the machine that runs the internet at our hostel – internet in New Zealand, a nightmare I will reserve for another day. Read More
Auckland – “where the fish are so succulent you can eat them bones and all!”
Today was our first real day to explore the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland. With 1.5 million residents, Auckland is home to one quarter of the country’s entire population. The city is physically teeming with tourists at this time of the year and it’s no wonder, there are harbors to explore, beaches to lounge upon, volcanos to hike and a seemingly infinite supply of hip, foodie streets. Read More
Is it real? Has our adventure really, truly begun? We may be slightly delusional from sheer exhaustion, but it hasn’t seemed to dampen the love-at-first sight feeling we officially have for New Zealand. We arrived at 7:00AM, after a 21 hour journey from Minnesota and somehow managed to hike to a volcano, have coffee at two cafes, grocery shop and explore Auckland, all before 1:00PM.
Naturally, I attribute such stunning resilience to the perfectly planned carry-on that kept my skin hydrated, my body fresh and had me sleeping soundly over the Pacific Ocean. Read More
Wake up people, go explore the world! There are so many unexpected wonders awaiting your senses.
When I think back to the weeks I spent backpacking through Nicaragua, I smell the freshly baked focaccia bread in Granada, I feel the waves that jostled us for seven hours across the largest lake in Central America and I see the active volcanoes that towered above me as I floated in the waters surrounding Ometepe Island. Read More
My mind doesn’t seem to have a great capacity for personal memories. I can easily recall numbers, facts and information I have read, but it’s a struggle to recall my own life experiences. For the sake of remembering this past year, I have been keeping track of the skills I have acquired while living on the road.
Exactly one year ago today I stepped out of the revolving doors of J.P. Morgan for the last time. As with most life changing decisions, I worried that I had made the wrong one and would regret ending my career in finance. But, I have never been happier.
Alexa and I have attended church almost all of our lives. Mom would take us most Sundays, once she managed to drag us out of bed and plop us in the car. At church, we would sit in the pew and not so patiently count down the minutes until we were free to go. Sitting still for an hour was not something we were used to and we were always being told to play quietly with our bag of toys. After attending church in Fila Tigre, Costa Rica this morning, I have a brand new sense of how a church service can feel. Read More
As some of you know, Chase and I have decided to pursue slightly different goals over the next few months. Chase will be advancing his career by taking classes at a local college in Minnesota and selling art from his very own studio. I am currently writing to you from Costa Rica, where I am working on implementing a health program for the community of Fila Tigre. Read More
There are a few easy steps you can take to ensure you find a great WWOOF farm. Follow these 8 Tips for Finding a WWOOF Farm and you just might find yourself happy as a clam, even if you are cleaning chicken coops or illegally crossing borders. It’s all part of the experience, right?
Are you itching to experience something in life that makes you feel alive? Are you looking to make a major change – to avoid getting caught in the 9 to 5 lifestyle? You have the chance. I took a leap of faith last year, quit my job at a prestigious investment firm and began to explore an interest that has always been on the back of my mind: organic farming. Read More