Tag Archives: travel

10.22

NZ

Spring is in full bloom over here, I dropped my winter coat already, my sunglasses have found their way back into my bag, and I bought fairy lights today, because Christmas is coming and it’s never too early to start the fairy light season. I’m also facing the impossible task of finding a satin blend duvet cover and bed sheet, also, my phone is dying and guess where is it the most expensive to buy an iPhone, probably in the whole wide world? Yeap, in New Zealand.  So I’m dripping a little life energy from myself into my phone and hope it can drag its’ life out to Christmas, when I get back home and can buy another one in a much more reasonable price.

We are having a long weekend this weekend. It makes me so excited, yay, long weekend, which is alright, but I have had long weekends every weekend since April, so I don’t really understand all the excitement in me. Yes, that’s right, we had 4 day weeks and 3 day weekends every week. Our director thought to give it a try, maybe it will result in a more balanced out work and personal life. Instead of having a Monday, we cut it up in 4 parts and attached those hours to the other days, in result we started an hour earlier and half an hour later the other 4 days. Sounds alright. Nope, that made me feel as if I lived in the office those days, I literally woke up, went to work (before sunrise), got off work (after sunset – it were all in the cold seasons), came back home, watched an episode of whatever, ate my dinner, then spent time cooking for the next day, and when I finished, I usually had some more work to do for my clients back at home just about to start their day, which would make me terribly annoyed and angry and hate everyone, and aftert that I just fell into the bed, didn’t sleep enough, and started it again the next day. Then on the weekend – I couldn’t even move my arm on Saturdays, in the past weeks I didn’t even get out of bed on Saturday and half Sunday. At the end of Sunday I could already kind of feel my will to live, and on Monday, yes, Mondays were nice. At some point I stopped cooking at all, and lived on delivered fast food, mostly pizza. That threw my skin back to misery again, I had constant headache, nonstop for days, even weeks.
Ever wondered how it would be to push a little harder for 4 days, but in return have 3 full days off every week? Ever thought that would be a good idea? Well, it is not. Last week the entire office voted it down, literally everyone, and next week we are going back to the normal 5 days week. Which is a short week. Yay, maybe that’s where the excitement comes from.
Learn from my experience, love your balanced out 5 day weeks.
But a huge plus point for my innovative director, I love that this idea even got considered and experimented.

NZ

NZ

Also, while I was ignoring my blog, I passed my first NZ anniversary. .. a month ago. I was planning to go skydiving, actually. But then I didn’t, it’s too expensive. That was my excuse. It’s a really good excuse, when Christmas is coming up and you have to buy a hundred presents, including the iPhone 7Plus for yourself (in the most expensive country)(I mean on the iPhone field). But I just chickened out, I wouldn’t go even if it was for free. This was not the year when I went skydiving. One day I will, just not this year.
It was nice to celebrate my first year here, it was so hard in the beginning I could only hope I will still be here today. This country is such an amazing place. It’s so beautiful, it’s beautiful when I walk to work, I’m in awe up till this date in every 5 mins, thinking “this is so beautiful” “that is so beautiful” “omg so nice”. It’s beautiful when I look out my window and see the lake with the mountains in the distant. It’s beautiful when I look out the window behind me in the office and see the hills, those hobbity really green hills with small trees. When I look out the other window I see snowy mountains. It’s a ridiculously beautiful place everywhere you look.
I smile! Do you know that bitter face everywhere in Europe? I was like that too, 24/7 on my nerves, stressed out, I would often notice that my lips are either curving down by default or grimace in disgust, in that way when it’s not yet visible, but all your face muscles are tense in a way that if you trigger it a tiny little it would be already visible. Which I noticed on myself because I really like Lie To Me, and body language overall (since I’m the kind of person who doesn’t talk, on the other hand observant, notices and hears everything). Here I smile, even in the morning going to work being totally not a morning person, smiling when coming back from work tired but happy. I’m calm here. Not entirely, it’s really really hard to let go of your nerves and calm the fuck down, but I’m half of what I used to be, probably even less. Even my hair started to grow back again, I always had massive hairloss in my whole life, everyone said it’s normal, everyone looses hair don’t worry, if I lost this much in my whole life, then that’s my normal. That’s a lie. After I moved here and slooowly-slooowly started to calm down all of those started to grow back, I have a clearly visible layer of hair that started to grow back together, I lose just a little hair now, almost nothing, I could even count it and I probably wouldn’t need all my 10 fingers to show how many.
Everyone is friendly and helpful, even the dogs are friendlier and calmer here, I walk down the street and there are like 3 of them jumping on me licking instead of acting like I’m a threat and trying to protect their territory. Everyone has car, so I’m the only one in the whole town walking. Except one man, who walks his dog about every second morning, we meet. We would small talk already, about the weather, anything. It’s raining often lately, quick showers, it’s spring. And there would a car stop by me already, asking if I want to get a ride, because I would get wet soon, it looks like it’s going to rain. I would go to the grocery store with a couple of big bags from other shops, in Hungary I would either not be let in, or they would check everything upon leaving, to see if I hid anything in them trying to steal. Here.. the cashier would ask if they have a sale, and how much, and if I saw something interesting, she might go there later too because she needs a few new towels. Going to a fancy night event where everyone is nicely dressed up, but no one is that bitter arrogant asshole as they are in Europe, here literally everyone had tattoos, gown and tattoos, full arm, full back, or just smething here and there, after the event everyone slipped out of their high heels, walked on the winter streets barefoot, laughing, genueniley happy and free. Here these are those owners and directors. The security at the clubs are not those steal faced monuments, already looking like I did something wrong by trying to get in. Here they would stop and talk with you, laugh with you, they are friendly faced guys, grinning. Birds sing, trees bloom, butterlies around you, schoolkids on bike deliver the newspaper, and everyone you meet would smile wide and say “good afternoon”. This country is an idillic place you wouldn’t believe actually exists, and I’m so happy to live here, honestly. I miss Europe, yes, I’m happy to visit it during this Christmas, because I also miss proper Christmas, but that one month will be just enough. To see my family, to carry my dog in my arms whole day every day I miss him so much, to have hot wine in the Christmas markets, to buy proper boots which won’t fall to pieces after a month of wearing, to buy a few t-shirts which wouldn’t shrink just by looking at it, a soft towel, a fork which doesn’t end in squares instead of spikes, and A SATIN BLEND DUVET COVER!

NZ

NZ

NZ

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Taupo

IMG_4968 2b

I told you, it’s in the air.
Taupo is the town of active extroverts, and when I arrived I had this suspicion that it might be in the air, cause I could see the signs on me, and I’m not an active person, nor an extrovert. But here I have been caught in the wave, really.

Literally.
This weekend we went rafting with my colleagues. I was slightly worried about it. It was a Grade 4 one (the highest is Grade 5, when you are falling off waterfalls and stuff like that), which is already pretty high, and here this is available only twice a year. They said for Grade 4 you can’t bring anything with yourself, not even waterproof cameras, and you have to be able to swim (for 1-3 you don’t have to). I didn’t plan to bring my camera, and I can swim, but this notice made me worried.
Well, it wasn’t half as scary, and was quite enjoyable. We had two guards per boats for safety, I have been sitting next to both (I am the greenie next to the blue and the red really smiling and obviously enjoying the entire situation), and they were pretty cautious, nothing scary happened. We had 4 boats, and about 4 kayaking guards additionally to the two per boats. So they really made the entire trip as safe as possible. No one ended up in the water in none of the boats. It was amazing. I got super soaked, it was cold too, the water was 9C, but I didn’t feel it, they dressed us up well. The company I went with was the Rafting New Zealand, in Turangi (raftingnewzealand.com), anyone looking for a safe company, they are them. : )
Fun fact, I made their new rackcard design too, haha. : D Almost, kind of, they have a combo card with another company in Taupo, and their common card, the new version of that was made by me. : )

Taupo (no, this is not the same river):

Taupo

And these are from the time I hiked up the mountain here to get a nice view on the area:

Taupo

(Taupo:)

Taupo

Taupo

Taupo

Taupo

(Taupo, me, and the wind):

Taupo

Taupo

Moved to Taupo

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Earlier in February I moved to Taupo. I was traveling back and forth between here and Auckland, it took me two rounds to get all my stuff here (how did everything fit into one luggage 6 months ago?). I took the bus, it is a 5 hrs long journey to one direction. Though they are only like 200km-s apart. That’s because NZ doesn’t have highways between towns, so you pretty much have to climb through everything to get from A to B.

It was worth every minute of bus seat, it’s a beautiful little town, I’m happy to be here.

Taupo is like The Town of Active Extroverts. It’s quite a sportsy place, with the average age around 25-35 years old, plus the tourists. I’m not a sportsy person, nor an extrovert, but it is probably in the air, because even I went hiking on the mountains already while being here. Taupo has the biggest lake of the North Island, so if you check the map, you see a lake in the middle of the North Island, that’s where I am now. I have a lake view studio apartment too, so I’m super satisfied! I was really lucky with finding this place for rent.
It’s colder than Auckland, that is expected. It was already cold in this last month of Summer, I was wearing sweater most of the time, but today Autumn has started here, so I don’t have misconceptions about how cold it will be in the winter, it won’t catch me off guard!
By the way – if I didn’t mention it enough: New Zealand is a cold country. I have been whining about it when I arrived in Spring, and everyone said that “yes, yes, but the summer will be really hot, just wait, you will see”. No, summer was just as cold. I left off my sweater and double blanket, but it was really far from being shorts-bikini-mojito. I don’t know how the palms and tropic forests manage to survive here, it’s cold here! I like it though, I got some warm clothes and hot packs (which ones I actually received for Christmas and Birthday from friends and family – I was probably complaining too much about how super cold I feel 😀 ), now I can enjoy the chilly weather, perfect.

I hope I will stay here in Taupo for long, and won’t be moving again anytime soon. : )

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Queenstown clouds

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Rather impressive clouds I saw at the lake in Queenstown. I was staring at the scene for a long time before I realized I have a camera and I can take a photo of it. Took these photos and a video (which I have used in my last process film, in the beginning), then went back to staring. I couldn’t figure out how the light should fall onto the clouds to create shadows and tones like this. As if the middle of the cloud is glowing, and the edges and the curves are dark, make a pattern from this, and now figure out where is the light. They moved fast too. It was so interesting, and so beautiful.

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Rotorua

Rotorua

I have visited Rotorua too, earlier. When I googled Rotorua there were some photos of this pink steamy lake, then I was trying to find out where it is exactly. I have found all kind of directions to it, it took us 2 hours to find it, which was not further than 15 mins away from the town. So I’m saving you the time, if you are looking for this colorful place look for the place: Wai-o-Tapu.

These are like thermal – chemical – mud pools, I’m not much of a geologist, smells with strong sulfur. I was however mesmerized by the colors! Beautiful, so beautiful.

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Rotorua

Arrowtown – Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Last week I went to Queenstown.
Arrowtown is a small town (village) near, with a beautiful scenery and a lot of trails you can hike or bike through. So I decided to hire a bike and take the Gibbston trail. 15km-s down the river.
First of all – I didn’t sit on a bike for like 10 years, but since it was pretty much always hill down it was really easy, and I liked it.
Second – look at the scenery! It – was – so – beautiful.

Trails there are really thought through and planned, in the middle of the nature. Since it’s out of tourist season there were no one except us, it was quiet, rabbits were jumping in front of us, river bubbling. The sun was harsh and high, but it’s still spring so the weather was chilly. Anyway, if you are around I suggest to do the same: hire a bike, and take this trail with your camera. (And if you pay a little extra the guy who gave you the bike will bring you back in the car, so you don’t have to climb back up the river.)

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Arrowtown - Gibbston

Auckland

Auckland

So it’s time to make a post about it. I have moved to Auckland earlier this week. No, not as a vacation, though of course I want to walk around New Zealand and drink its’ beauty all up without letting a single drop get away, but I plan on stretch that out for long. I came to stay. : )

I had this in my plans for a year now, but first I had to receive my diploma. Now that I have got my BA, I have been slowly preparing myself to leave, wrapped up my works, adjusted my papers, contacted some agencies in New Zealand, packed my life into a bag (it weights 26 kg-s, my life weights 26 kg-s) and set off.

My originally 27 hours travel got almost doubled because of complications. My A380 had technical problems (I tried to not think about it) in Dubai, and we had to wait for almost 6 hours. It resulted me missing my connection in Melbourne. This was my first time ever missing my connection flight, a whole new experience. : D The Melbourne airport is closed for the night, and the next plane to Auckland left only in the morning the next day, so me (and about 20 others) had to wait for the whole night there. It was quite cozy, on an entirely empty airport, in the transit, all alone, with blankets and pillows, wandering around closed shops, empty toilets, not a soul. In the morning my new connection flight was an other A380 coming from Dubai, stopping in Melbourne, the next after mine to leave to Melbourne from Dubai. .. Could have booked a ticket for this.
So with a lot of delay I finally managed to arrive to Auckland, exhausted.

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I failed to get prepared for the weather. I expected to arrive into spring. As it turns out – and I would have been happy if someone told me this earlier – New Zealand has 3 cold seasons and 1 hot. 16 here feels like 5 in Middle-Europe, with icy humid strong winds. So most of the time I’m freezing, and taking hot steamy showers like 2-3 times a day.

But I love to be here, I love this place, I love the people, I love how they treat each other, I love how they treat me, I love the view, I even love the hills and how I have to climb through 2 hills to get to the bus stop or to the grocery store or to anywhere ever here, and I’m out of breath when I finally reach it, but it’s fine because I can use a little exercise.

I’m looking for a job, if you know any design/art/creative/visual related opportunity in New Zealand (not necessarily in Auckland, but most of it is going on here) please let me know, or put in a good word for me, my Portfolio and CV is up on my website: gaborovna.com

Also, if you have any advice, places I definitely should check out, or stories to share about New Zealand don’t hesitate to tell me, I’m really curious about anything related : )

Auckland

Auckland