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Jess' blog

Intrepid traveller with an irrational fear of onions

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All good things come to an end…

I am writing this post (finally) back on British soil, and after 3 months away it feels a little strange. I’ve currently also been fighting a losing battle with jet lag and have been wide awake since 5.30 this morning- joy! But i can safely say i do NOT want to experience that long journey home and 4 flights again for a while. Things were made worse by our bags being over the weight limit at Christchurch airport, so instead of paying excess baggage charges ($99 per kg!!!!!!!) we decided to wear a few extra layers. This meant I boarded my flight to Dubai (where the local temperature was 45 degrees) in a coat, ski jacket and woolly hat. I got a few strange looks to say the least, but at least i saved a few quid. Hopefully by next year i’ll have forgotten just how horrific long haul flights are and i’ll be blissfully unaware and raring to go.

So last time I posted I was just about to leave the haunted house in Wanaka, finishing up work and sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful friends I’d met. Well i’ve certainly built up the air miles since then! After leaving Wanaka we headed back up to Christchurch where we all went our separate ways. Sam flew back to London, Laura went to Australia to visit family and I went off to Wellington. The main purpose of me going up to the North Island was to get my 2nd year working holiday visa sorted out, because a family friend is a doctor in Wellington so was gonna sort all the medical tests out for me on the cheap. Unfortunately I had been so busy down in Wanaka getting ready to move that i hadn’t exactly researched just how long the whole immigration process would take. I kind of just went on hearsay of ‘oh yeah I’ve had friends who’ve had it come through in 24 hours’. But lo and behold when i rang immigration to ask roughly how long it would take i was told up to 25 days. Now that was a slight problem, because I was actually going to Fiji in just under a week…and of course I’d completely forgotten that i would need to submit my passport with my visa application. So the long and short of the palava was choosing between the opportunity to work and travel again in New Zealand next year, and a holiday to Fiji. Unfortunately, the short term objective won this time. So now i’m in a bit of pickle about what to do about next year, but where theres a will, there’s a way.

But i guess it wasn’t all bad because I WENT TO FIJI!!!! And just to give you an idea of whether or not the brochures exaggerate about what Fiji actually looks like:

I can concur that they do not lie. Just look at that white sand and turquoise water! And I spent 6 blissful days on this particular island, no with wifi and it was so refreshing to be pretty much cut off from the rest of the world. Just looking at it now makes me yearn to be lying on our own private beach with some freshly cut coconuts- bliss! We only had 12 days in Fiji so it limited the amount of exploring we could really do- that and the fact we had pretty much run out of money by this point. And the South Pacific isn’t as cheap as you might think, nowhere near as cheap as parts of Asia that i’ve travelled round before. But I guess that’s cos Fiji is the ‘go to’ place and pretty much everyone is either on their way to or coming back from Australia (or NZ) where the wages are so high, so the local tourism industry taps into the more upmarket traveller crowd.

After sadly bidding farewell to Armini and the gang on Mana Island we headed back to the mainland and southwards to a more luxurious backpackers called The Beach House. It was a whopping $40 a night but it was oh so worth it! Breakfast and afternoon tea were included in the price and so were 12 ridiculously cute puppies to play with too. Everywhere you went in the resort you’d see someone cooing over a puppy, and i was no exception to this.


After some last minute skin frazzling and pampering (i think i’m addicted to manicures) it was hard to believe that the end of my trip was coming into sight. And what a journey it was! 12 weeks, 2 countries, 3 jobs, 8 housemates, 9 flights and enough Mexican food to last a lifetime, which all amounted to some incredible memories that will stay with me forever. I’d never been so far away from home before for such a long period of time, which of course meant that there were some low points. But without those low points i definitely wouldn’t have appreciated all the amazing highs that completely out way the negatives. And if you hadn’t gathered already from reading my blogs i am slightly obsessed with travelling- so my advice would be to just do it. Get out there and do something a bit mad and off the wall- go skiing on the other side of the world in July, i dare you!

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