The Kiwi Experience: First Impressions

Goodbye comfort of my own room. Hello to the unknown.

This little blog entry is describing my first impressions of ‘The Kiwi Experience’ – a hop on / hop off bus service with fellow travellers. For the true nitty, gritty kiwi experience, you’ll have to ask to read my handwritten diary. I’m afraid, with this being public n’all, I’ve had to keep things decent.

However for the very first part, I have decided to pretty much copy word for word my diary entry. Purely because I’ve just read it back and had a little chuckle to myself about how panicky I got. Here goes… (Note: at this moment in time I assumed that lots of others would be ‘hopping on’ for the first time too. Little did I know that this bus had been together for the past 3 weeks, and friendship groups were already pretty solid).

“4th February, 2016

Had an early start this morning and set my alarm just before 6. I’ve just got on the ferry, leaving the North Island behind… I’m a little confused. I think I’m supposed to meet Josh (the bus driver) in the foyer. WHICH FOYER!? Ferry was $55 one way. I think that’s right? My head is a little all over the place. And walking around these multiple ‘foyers’ I always feel like I have left something behind. Where’s Mum with all the “have you got your passport? Have you got your toothpaste? Do you want to take some homemade banana loaf with you?”

On the short bus journey to the ferry I sat next to a beautiful boy from Denmark. His friends are all very easy on the eye too. Ah, we the English really don’t have great genes in comparison, do we? What with our pasty skin, unfortunate teeth and often, poor dress sense…

Seriously where the hell is Josh? And should I go over and just start chatting to people!? God it’s like being the new kid at school.

***

Never found Josh, but sorted out my itinerary with him on the bus instead – all good.

After a bit of a rocky start, things are starting to feel a little bit better now. Socially, this is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Everyone already has groups of friends and initially, that was very overwhelming. I spent hours on the bus, alone with my thoughts, panicking. I know the views and activities will be ace but what if I’ve spent so much money, only to have a really, lonely, anxious time?

Let’s add some more anxiety into the anxious pot: When I had just got on the bus after picking up my luggage from the ferry, I saw another girl with the exact same backpack as me (purple 60+20 vango). It’s fine, mine has a gold lock on it, I thought. As I looked closer, so did hers! Shit. What if it wasn’t even mine I have loaded on board? To make things better, two further it girls hopped on the bus with the exact same luggage too. That’s 4 of us! Jesus Christ. Currently feeling SO anxious and SO mainstream. If there are 4 on this bus, think how many others there will have been on the ferry. No idea whether I picked up mine or not and I can’t even check now because there are like 100 bags on top of it. Maybe I’ll run off quickly and try… Too late. We’re moving. Fab.

Stopped off at a cafรฉ and loo stop and plucked up the courage to say hello to two girls. Thank goodness, they’re lovely. Laura and Emma. 21 & 27, been travelling for about 3 months, already done Australia.

Back on bus, breathing deeply and trying not to think about potential backpack disaster.

When we finally arrived at the hostel in Kaiteriteri about 5pm, I plucked up the courage to say something to my twin rucksack gal number 1. We both have the right ones! YAY! She’s great (Annie). 22 and travelling with her boyfriend, Mike. We were chatting away, have loads in common and decided to get a dorm together; happy days. I got on very well with the other girl in the room as well – Veronica. She blogs too: check it out! (Link to be inserted here when I find wifi strong enough to do so).

With my new found confidence for sparking up conversation, I went for a walk along the cute, golden, tropical beach (rated 67th in the world – fun fact from Josh). He’s full of facts! Ok, back to my beach walk. A gorgeous blonde girl was doing a work out on he beach. I admire that. I love working out, but would be too conscious of people staring at me thinking, ‘what the hell is that skinny bitch doing.’

Anyway, I told her what she was doing looked like fun and I was looking for a running buddy. She was super keen – yay!

Not so much my cup of tea was some pretty boy from Switzerland. My leg caught the sun a TINY bit yesterday… barely noticeable. But pretty-boy-can’t-speak-English-without-stupid-accent-boy thought it was appropriate to stroke my leg and say, “oh, very red.” Thanks pal. Might I add that we weren’t even having a conversation… I just walked passed him. HA, I’m a few days over-due shaving the old legs so they were pretty prickly. Jokes on him.

Chilled in the bar in the evening and learnt / forgot loads of new names. Ah, what an exhausting day. Goodnight Kaiteriteri.”

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