My life in NZ in a nutshell – Part 2b: Hello again, Auckland!

On the last night of me working at Funky Green Voyager, I was in denial mode again: refused to go to bed even though my eyelids weighed a thousand tones…. Because once I woke up, it’s time to leave!

I woke up earlier than normal on Dec 5th 2011 to pack and clean my campervan. So gonna miss the bittersweet feeling of having a campervan all by myself!

Goodbye, neighbors C and N!

Goodbye, neighbors C and N!

Goodbye, boss and ladyboss, G and A!

Goodbye, boss and ladyboss, G and A!

I just can't travel light! Total weight = 33kg!

I just can’t travel light!
Backpack + daypack + sleeping bag + shoe bag + food bag = 33kg!

Goodbye N and L! L lugged my backpack for me. I had tears welling up seeing this scene

Goodbye N and L! L lugged my backpack for me. I had tears welling up seeing this scene

I had mixed feelings leaving Rotorua: heavy to leave, it felt like home already after all; thrilled and looked forward to my time spent with Malaysian good friends again; anxious as I couldn’t really plan ahead that much while I was backpacking, too uncertain.

I had 2 days to spare in Auckland before flying to Queenstown and I managed to squeeze in something special for me: couchsurfing. As a beginner and first-time couchsurfer, it’s more difficult to get a host because people would be more likely to host you when you already have good references. I read the tips for “How to Write a Good Couchrequest” a few times before sending out a few. I was so glad that my first host, C&B found my couch request heart-warming!

Enjoying sunset at Viaduct Harbour with couchsurfing host, Ca and couchsurfer, Chris

Enjoying sunset at Viaduct Harbour with couchsurfing host, Ca and couchsurfer, Chris

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My host has a nice garden!

the couchsurfer and her host! :)

the couchsurfer and her host! 🙂

Chef Sam at work

Chef Sam at work 

My cooking for 5 people! I did not cook at all (instant noodles=not cooking!) back home. Guess what? Not only no food poisoning, my guests praised my cooking! I must be a natural :p

My cooking for 5 people! I did not cook at all (instant noodles=not cooking!) back home. Guess what? Not only no food poisoning took place, my guests praised my cooking! I must be a natural :p

This is Shiloh! She's partially why i sent couch request to Ca :)

This is Shiloh! ♥ She’s partially why I sent couch request to Ca 🙂

Couchsurfing, literally!

Couchsurfing, literally!

If couchsurfing is new for you, here is my two cents’ worth: depending on your state of mind while travelling, if you feel like experiencing cultural exchange, teaching, learning and sharing, you should really go for it. On the other hand, if you would like to have time on your own and do not feel like socializing, then couchsurfing might not be right for you.

It is a shame that Auckland was always like transit town for me while I was in NZ and I explored no farther than along Queen St.! I took some time to explore Queen St. in depth! :p

IMG_7637

Transformers spotted along Queen St.!

LY voted this as the "best ramen in Auckland"!

LY voted this as the “best ramen in Auckland“!

During my travelling around for the subsequent 1 month, I was surprised that I could remember so well about the names of some people who stayed at Funky Green before and had also interacted with me. Let me quote an example:-

* At a bar and café at Franz Josef*

Me: You are Jan, right?

Jan: How can you know? Did I meet you before?

Me: I think so. You stayed at Funky Green when you were in Rotorua, right?

Jan: Yes. But how and why can you remember me?

Me: You told me you like Dan Brown’s books and you were reading “The Lost Symbol” while you were in Rotorua.

The sight of a familiar face at Auckland Art Gallery: Marika! She stayed at Funky before. She's so surprised when I could recall her name effortlessly :)

The sight of a familiar face at Auckland Art Gallery: Marika! She stayed at Funky before. She’s so surprised when I could recall her name effortlessly 🙂

Next, South Island awaits!

Part 1: Rotorua| Part 2a: Goodbye Rotorua! | Part 3: Hello, South Island! (a) Queenstown (b) Te Anau (c) Milford Sound | Part 4: zucchini picking | Part 5: last bit of travelling (a) inmate days (b) (c) (d)| Concluding remarks

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Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The time keeper by Mitch Albom

The art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom

Inferno by Dan Brown

For one more day by Mitch Albom

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

A study in scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom

Have a little faith by Mitch Albom

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

A Fresh Start by John Chapman

Inspiring quotes!

If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? (God in "Evan Almighthy")
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When you travel, it’s not like you take a part of each place away with you; rather, it’s as if you leave a part of yourself there, like a part of you forever belongs to that place – the time, the people, and the things you saw; and over time, it gets burned deeper into your soul - by anonymous

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