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Travel Journal

Volume I, Entry 3
Jessica Long, age 22
Auckland, New Zealand

Last month I decided it was time to quit my job as a nanny, move out of my studio apartment in downtown Auckland, and begin a nomadic journey across New Zealand. The first step towards my boundary-less adventure started with telling my boss that my time in Auckland was coming to an end. This became a bigger task than I had initially anticipated.

As a student, I was fortunate to be financially supported by my parents ; I was expected to have a job during my summer break, but not during my time of study. Since all my previous jobs ended with the mutual understanding that summer was over, this became the first job I ever had to quit. It was the first time I had to selfishly inconvenience someone else for my own personal gain. Although I was initally overwhelmed by guilt, I am confident now that I made the best decision.

Beyond saying goodbye to life as a nanny, in preparation for my travels, my next big hurdle is finding a means of transportation. Originally, Mike and I thought we would replace our current flat by purchasing a van with a bed and lots of storage. We went to many backpacker’s garages searching for our new mobile home. We saw some ideal ones that had been fancied up with drawers, portable showers and tinted windows. We also saw some disasters, like a 1985 banana yellow van with matching inside curtains and a broken odometer.

Although that one was hard to let go, we’ve realized that it is much more economical for us to buy a used station wagon, purchase a quality tent and other essential camping items, and travel NZ by car while sleeping outside each night. We can find a newer, more reliable wagon, for half the cost of an old beat up van and it will be much cheaper on petrol. It will also be convenient to drive the wagon to guide my parents around the city when they come to visit next month.

My parents have been planning a trip to New Zealand since before I left the US. On November 1st they arrive in Auckland city. During their stay, I will introduce them to my favorite resturants and pubs, show them my flat before I return the keys, and help them experience the city that I’ve called home since June. Although I know the time they are here will vanish too quickly, and I’m sure I’ll feel slightly homesick after they leave, I am ecstatic to include them in part of my overseas adventure. I can’t wait until their arrival !

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