Most of the time I love this vagabond life I’m living – the unplanned days, the wide open road, the starry night skies. It’s the epitome of freedom. But, there are days weeks when everything falls apart. These are the moments when I question why I’m not working in a steady job, living in a warm apartment and earning a reliable paycheck. These are the moments when I freak out and it’s all Chase can do to convince me that our world is not ending. 

It all started with our car. It seems like some new tragedy is always befalling the beast. This time it has started to creak around every corner, like an old man groaning as he tries to get out of bed in the morning. Getting it repaired is out of the question with our current bank account balances and I don’t even want to know how much it will cost because a simple oil change runs over $100.

Chase was informed this week that his project at Weta wrapped up sooner than expected, which means he is out of work. It feels like we have been in New Zealand for three months and all we have done is work, look for work or stress about looking for work. When do we get to be carefree tourists? 

Winter is slowly creeping upon us in the southern hemisphere and work is hard to find. All the fruit has been picked and most of the tourists have left, leaving few openings for seasonal employment. The only inklings of work that we have had are pruning in the Marlborough vineyards and hospitality in the Queenstown ski resorts – both of which are located on the South Island, a three hour ferry ride across the Cook Straight. 

It may not have been the smartest move, but we decided that we would cough up the $229 to transport ourselves and our car on the ferry. Everyone says the beauty of the New Zealand lies on the South Island and we needed a little beauty, a little happiness to keep us sane right now. 

Attempting to add a dash a positivity to my mindset, it is turning out to be an ideal time to start exploring. The nights in our car are getting cold, but the campsites are almost empty. In a country that welcomes over three million tourists each year, we’d heard that finding space at the $6/night campsites can be a hot commodity. But, when the temperature drops, the campsites seem to clear out. We’ve spent the past week sleeping in pristine campgrounds throughout the Marlborough region and have practically had the place to ourselves.

During the day we have hiked through cool, crisp forests that rest above crashing waves. At night, we have explored glow worm grottos and been in awe of the night sky. Even with the stress of life on the road, the South Island has reminded me why I’m choosing uncertainty over predictability – adventure. Adventure awaits us around ever corner, we just have to get out there and explore. 


10 thoughts on “Exploring the South Island

  1. Try nelson motueka area for work. Apple harvest still going on there. Try packhouses as work will last longer than picking. Goodluck Tony

  2. Oh the things you are learning on the road. Comfort with uncertainty is a key life lesson, IMHO. I love the reports and it is fun seeing your car and how you really live when camping.

    • Thanks Dad! Chase wanted me to post the organized picture of the car, because it does get nice and organized again once we hit the road. But, I thought you would want to see real life. 🙂

  3. Your honesty and outlook regarding life and travel is what makes this blog so much more than a travel blog. Prospective as well as seasoned travelers can relate and identify. Travel, as in life, has interruptions in the flow.
    Be well

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