Even with WWOOFing, which helped me get around New Zealand cheaply, it was clear my money was not going to last. I didn’t need to look at my bank account to know this.
Before I left New York, I had a goal of saving $18,000 for my six-month to one-year trip. But I only made it to $14,000. I should have saved more, since I was working at least 80 hours a week, but I struggled. Because of the anxiety that came with an office job that made me want to jump out a window and working two additional jobs, I spent the little shreds of my free time meeting up with friends for drinks or dinner (or drunk brunch, of course). On days that I wasn’t with friends, I would go back to my apartment with a $10 bottle of wine and $15 worth of sushi. I spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on comfort eating and drinking before I left.
So, I knew when I came to New Zealand, that I was going to have to work.
After nearly five months in Asia, I made it to Middle Earth New Zealand!
I applied for my one-year working holiday visa online and bought a plane ticket and now I am in the land of Hobbits (and elves and wizards).
Of course, the first touristy thing I had to do was go to Hobbiton—better known as Matamata.
After the conclusion of the filming of the Hobbit trilogy, the owner of the farm where the Hobbiton set was built decided to make the location a tourist area. Now, there are 44 hobbit holes immaculately maintained where all geeks are free to revel in their geekdom. Even for non-geeks, the beauty of the area makes the trip worth it.
Hobbiton is located three hours outside of Auckland and made for the perfect day trip to introduce me to this wonderful country!
And, of course, no trip to the Shire would be complete without a pint at the Green Dragon!