Well, I stayed in Nelson until the end of May as planned. The ski job on the North Island did not pan out; however, I got offered the very same potion down in Queenstown. The timing was better, a lot of my friends from HOA were planning to move down there, and it ended up working out perfectly. Leah arrived just as I needed to make my way down, so we drove together down the west coast, stopping to climb a glacier before getting to Queenstown. We went bungy jumping too, which was awesome. Unfortunately, sky diving never panned out, thanks to the uncooperative weather. Ah well, I'll jump out of a plane one day! All in all, it was so awesome to have Leah around. It was relaxing and fun and comfortable, and I was really happy to get the chance to share New Zealand with someone close to me. It's a long trek for anyone, so I feel really lucky to have gotten the opportunity to have her here for a bit.
Now I'm in Queenstown. You may remember that when I was here in the summer, I didn't really fall for the place. Well, that hasn't really changed; I wouldn't ever want to stay here for an extended period of time. However, there are many factors that have made this time around so much better than the first. Most importantly, I came here with Mel, Nell, and Bailey, three of my good friends from Nelson. Along with Bay's brother Zack, we managed to get a house all together, and having them around has been so fun and comforting. I absolutely love these guys, and I feel lucky again to have found such amazing people to be around and live with. It's made all the difference and is definitely the number one reason I've been enjoying my time here.
I also have a job. I'm a barista at Coronet Peak, one of the many ski slopes around the area. I get a free season pass, which means all the snowboarding I want. Admittedly, I had a hard time getting comfortable with the job. I was less trained than the other baristas (NZ is SO picky about its coffee, as it turns out), and I wasn't into the college-y way that everyone was trying so hard to be buddy buddy and cliquish. Luckily I had my friends to come home to when I was feeling rough, and after a couple weeks, I started to really like it. We're super busy, and I make hundreds of coffees in a day, but I've really clicked with some of my co-workers (if not all 100 or so in my department; so weird working for such a huge operation). I work a lot, somewhere between 8-10 hour days, 5-6 days a week. It's good though, although with parties and such, I'm not saving as much as I should...
Saving for what? The swiftly coming trip to Europe for Alex's wedding! I can't believe it's so soon. I'll be doing a lot of traveling and spending for about a month, hitting up Sweden, Finland, Spain, France, and the U.K. Then I'll be coming back to NZ, specifically Wellington. It seems kind of crazy (and expensive) to come back, but I can't imagine getting back to this side of the world again, so I want to make the most of my visa and leave with no regrets. I should be able to manage, although it will be on a shoestring. Still, I'm happy with my decision. Admittedly, I'm starting to feel a little sad about leaving Queenstown so soon, or at least the people here, but this has always been the plan, and so it shall be.
That's about it! I work a lot, so when I do have time, I rarely want to be on the computer. Thus I'm not sure when I'll be motivated to make another entry, but I will at least fill you in on my Europe trip! Much love to you all.