After spending a full year in Australia Denis and I decided that we wanted to explore somewhere new, somewhere in nature, somewhere we could grow together and as individuals. We began our journey in this small town about fifty minutes from Auckland center called Waiuku. We decided it would be a great experience to start off our New Zealand experience by doing a HelpX and staying with a local family. How HelpX works is you work for a family for about 3/4 hours a day and in exchange they provide you food and housing for free. The house we stayed at was absolutely stunning, a remote little paradise just for us. There was in indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and bikes to explore the nearby town. The work included a lot of gardening, shoveling, and helping to clean their new property. Honestly such an ideal trade and location for travelers.
Although we were in a relaxing paradise, this part of the trip was extremely challenging for me. I fell into a minor anxiety filled depression where I questioned almost everything in my life. I was feeling unfulfilled. After last years travel I really discovered what I want to do with my life and felt ready to start working towards those goals. So any job or work didn’t sound exciting to me because I didn’t feel like I was making any progress in my life. This was a hard realization for me to make. However, even though this time was dark and challenging, there is always a greater purpose when you are forced to trek through the dirt. Self discovery. It forced me to think about my future, how I can realistically accomplish these goals, and what I can do now and what I can learn now to continue moving forward.
We spent three weeks in Waiuku. Three beautifully challenging weeks.
After our time in Waiuku we knew we needed more entertainment and ways to get around so we headed to Auckland City. We decided to book a hostel a little out of the city in Mount Eden. We absolutely feel in love with this little town. It was filled with cafes, shops, fitness studios, hiking trails, and tons of transport that could take us all over Auckland. But once again, the first couple of days of our travel were challenging. Do we want to stay in the city? Where are we going to live? Should we try to find a “normal job?” Should we go work for a Kiwi Farm so we can save money for travel? What Denis and I have learned from traveling is that it is not as easy at it looks. You are constantly moving, constantly broke, and constantly stressed when you move to a new location. But through it all we always have each other and work so well as a team radiating so much positive energy. As I stated previously, through the dark you will always find light. We were sitting in a cafe and a couple came over to us and we started talking with them for about 30/45 minutes. We discussed our travels in the past, what are plans are now, etc. After they left about five minutes later they came back and offered us a place to stay in their home with their kids. Their oldest son has been living in the United States and apparently he has received amazing hospitality there from US natives. They wanted to show us kindness because so many people have been amazing to their son in the US. We couldn’t believe it but knew it was a universal wink to show us that we are on the right path.
Over the past two weeks we have been living at this beautiful home with this amazing family. This has given us the time to really focus on finding work, as well as starting some individual projects of our own, and the ability to explore Auckland. At the end of February we will be traveling to a Kiwi Farm where we will work and save to go to Asia. In the meantime Denis and I have created “Joie.” A space for us to discuss our travels, health, fitness, and wellness. We might not be able to go back to school yet (this is in our 2020 plans) but we are still learning so much that we want to have a place where we can share this information and begin our journeys as health coaches and alternative medicine healers.
“Travel is not reward for working, it’s education for living.”
By Rebecca Catapano