My Adventure of a Lifetime in New Zealand


2 minutes

The beautiful countryside of New Zealand!
The beautiful countryside of New Zealand!
Image courtesy of Emilie T.

It happened! I have finally traveled around the globe to the country I have been dreaming of since I was nine years old; New Zealand.

For the last year and a half, I went back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to pack my bags and make the trip of a lifetime. After many fights with myself, I made the big decision! I was going to New Zealand to be an au pair for a Kiwi family. Au pairing would be the best way for me to see a different part of the world and be completely submerged into a new culture and lifestyle. After finding InterExchange, I could not wait to get the process moving. After only days, I was already being matched with families and my search was on!

Once I had a great family picked, it was time to prepare myself for the big move. Since I have never left the country, or my parents’ house, I did not know what to pack. So naturally, I packed it all! The minute I arrived at the airport, I knew I had way too many bags - three, with a carry-on to be exact. First piece of advice, travel light! I had to check my bags in Denver and then check them again in Los Angeles when I switched airlines for my 13-hour flight to New Zealand. My journey started the second I got into the car to head to the airport. There was no turning back. And I sure am glad that I didn’t!

I have been in New Zealand for a week and a half now. Sure, it has been hard to transition into a new house, with a family I barely know, in a country that is all but unknown to me, but this has been one of the greatest weeks of my life! I have never felt so out of my element and I couldn’t be happier. I, being one of the pickiest eaters in her early 20s, have explored so many different foods in this first week. I found a new favorite meal - anything lamb. Tea is something I never drank back home, and now I can’t go a day without it! I am amazed at the things I do when I’m not in my comfort zone.

Sipping tea at Little and Long Cafe in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Sipping tea at Little and Long Cafe in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Image courtesy of Emilie T.

I have not explored much yet, but what I have seen has been absolutely breathtaking! I cannot believe that this is real life. Most Kiwis would think was nothing of driving from Auckland to my new home, but the farm land is beautiful here. Follow me on my remarkable adventure!

Mount Maunganui - Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
Mount Maunganui - Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
Image courtesy of Emilie T.

Emilie Emilie

Emilie is a participant on InterExchange's Au Pair New Zealand - 5 & Under program.

Au Pair New Zealand
Au Pair New Zealand

Experience friendly Kiwi culture and live with an amazing host family!

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U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation