Well, we have finished our first WWOOF’ing job and it looks like we are changing up our strategy! (don’t mind the dorky football lingo). Hmmm….let’s just say our first experience was memorable. We really enjoyed our hosts and the work wasn’t bad but we have realized a few things while working there that we weren’t expecting when we planned our trip overseas.
1. Everything is very expensive over here! You can expect to spend at least $15 USD for a sandwich at a cafe and expect to spend a lot more if you go to a restaurant. Luckily, we already brought all of our camping gear and most of our clothes and accessories or else we would be dropping some serious cash. I saw a jacket at their REI like store yesterday for $800 NZD. We found a pair of north face hiking pants on sale for me to wear…who knew those pants that zip half way are actually kinda cute and make a lot of sense…who am I?
2. WWOOF living conditions could vary widely. After sharing a bathroom with a family we just met for 10 days (funny moments that we will forever laugh about!), we decided that it might be pretty difficult to get suitable accommodation for newlyweds. There are a lot of people that offer separate accommodations but it’s not always guaranteed and frankly, I don’t want to be surprised every 10 days of whether or not we might be sharing a living space with a family. Dustin totally agrees!
3. We are in the prime time for seasonal hiring. Since we are approaching their summer season, hotels and restaurants are starting to hire for the summer season. We are thinking of working and settling in a fun town for a few months while still traveling on our days off. At the end of our time working wherever we get a job, we will spend the rest of our time traveling around the South Island and back up to Auckland hopefully with some great friends that are going to come visit. (eh hem…Elena??)
4. The minimum wage is $13.50! What in the world, America? We couldn’t resist a guaranteed $13.50/hr each for doing a pretty simple, seasonal job. After doing the calculations of time and money spent, financially it was a no brainer to work somewhere rather than WWOOF for free food and accommodation.
5. It’s colder than we thought. The summer season doesn’t officially begin until December so it’s still a little too chilly for these Texans (pronounced Teecksens in NZ). We don’t mind pulling weeds but not in the cold rain so we figured we might as well get some good paying minimum wage jobs (indoors).
We are heading to the South Island for our first interview soon but first, we have a really fun road trip (about 600 miles) planned including a bed and breakfast, glow worms and geothermal mud and water! See our destinations below…