In my first week and a half of traveling through New Zealand I’ve chatted and hung out with some really interesting and friendly people. I met most of them at the hostels that I stay at, and it’s eye opening to see how different people from all over the world travel, live, and set goals.
Siyi, mid 20’s from China - Met her at the airport in Auckland when I was flying in. She’s a big traveler who’s been to a lot of places in SEA. She came to New Zealand to study and is now working here. She gave me a ride from the airport to the city and I tagged along on some weekend hikes around the Coromandel Peninsula a couple days later.
Friendly family, late 20’s early 30’s from Canada/U.S/New Zealand - I got stuck out in the rain about 4km from my hostel in Raglan. I waited in a parking lot until I saw some people going back to their cars. I asked for a ride back to my hostel and they happily helped give me a lift, and they gave me some travel tips in NZ.
Kalen, mid 20’s from Florida - Surfer traveling on his own with a lot of surfboards trying to surf in different places around the world. Working to get money to keep going and selling his surfboards along the way to fund himself too. When I met him he was working for accommodations at the hostel I stayed at in Raglan. He gave me some tips for surfing Raglan and was very knowledgable about all things surfing. He even knew the beaches I surfed back in California.
Max, mid/late 20’s from the U.K. - Solo traveler who is on a working visa and has been on the road for about a year working from hostel to hostel. He worked at the hostel I stayed at in Raglan and is slowly learning how to surf. He used to be staff at a sports camp but is looking to break into a job in finance which is what he studied, he’s hoping to meet somebody who works in finance in the U.S. to sponsor him for a job in the States.
Faab, late 20’s from the Netherlands - Chill surfer dude with dreadlocks. He’s 1 year into a 10 year surf trip and plans to surf all around the world before settling down somewhere in Middle/Latin America and start his own surf camp. One of the things he wants to do in his 10 year trip is buy a van when he gets to Africa and live out of it while driving and surfing all up and down the coast of the African Continent.
Huynh, early 20’s from California - Solo traveler. He took a break from college to travel and is on his second long term trip (6 months from the time I met him). He felt jaded at home and around his peers so he decided to go and travel. He’s also working for accommodation at the hostel in Raglan and is learning to surf here on a 6’3 shortboard, probably the most difficult way to start learning, but he’s motivated to figure it out.
Anna, mid 20’s from Austria - She was working in New Zealand as a Physical Therapist at a ski resort in the South Island for ~2 months. Afterwards she rented a van and is spending a month solo traveling north until she gets to Auckland, then she’s planning to visit friends in Singapore for a week before going back home and settling into a job in Austria. We were dorm mates for the ~4 days I was in Raglan and both there to surf, but the weather was terrible most of the week and we couldn’t go. So instead we did a local hike to Mt. Karioi, and on the one day the weather was half decent, we surfed with some folks in the hostel. We checked out on the same day and she helped dropped me off in Hamilton, NZ which was the closest (~50km) ‘big’ city, where I needed to go to catch a bus to my next town. She offered to show me around Austria too if I ever went over to that part of the world!
Hermit, 40’s, from the U.K. - Physician, now looking to be a doctor in New Zealand. Traveling around and working at the hostel I stayed at in Rotorua until a position he’s looking at a hospital for opens up.
To be continued I’m sure!