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Travel Journal

Volume I, Entry 2
Jessica Long, age 22
Auckland, New Zealand

It has been over two months since I first moved to Auckland, New Zealand. The initial awkwardness of feeling like a tourist in a new city, which at first made the bus stop harder to find and the local brew harder to order, has passed. Life in Auckland has become very natural. I’ve found my routine and I’ve figured out how all the puzzle pieces of my foreign life fit together.

I am working full time as a nanny for a three-year old boy just outside the central business district of downtown Auckland. As a full time nanny caring for a child under the age of four, New Zealand law requires me to register with a national child care education organization; I am officially working under the title “child educator”.

I am instructed to keep a daily journal, recording my teaching activities, including the books I read, as well as informal lesson plans. I also have monthly meetings with regional managers to review the academic development of my child. In the past couple of months, this child has conquered great academic achievement and respectively has grown and matured.

Part of the purpose of this year -long working holiday in NZ is to discover a possible future path. Recently, the sense of accomplishment and joy teaching this child has brought me is beginning to steer me towards primary school education. (However, as a typical, open-minded Libra, I constantly change my mind. I can’t even decide if my favorite color is red or green. So don’t be fooled, this is probably just a phase.)

Beyond the challenge and bliss that my nanny job has brought me, I have also been given a schedule with the freedom to ride horses one afternoon a week, as well as travel around to local attractions on most weekends.

Although limited to two days and bus routes, my boyfriend and I have tried our best to see all that we can around the Auckland region. We have hiked volcanoes and explored hidden lava caves, moseyed through open- air markets, experienced the adventure sport of Zorbing, skied Mount Ruapehu, and met more folks with travel advice then we could ever keep track of.

In the upcoming weeks, it will be time to start planning the next stage of this trip and to buy a car. It will soon be time to say goodbye to Auckland, our flat and my job, and to say hello to dirt roads, sleeping bags and major budgeting. By mid November we expect to be eating dinner in a new place each night, traveling the country on our own schedule and living life by the whim of the moment- who knows where it will take us?

IF... you want to find out why people from New Zealand are often called "Kiwi's", Click here!!

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