• Andrea Gallier

NZ Adventure Chapter 11: Getting Sick & Climbing Fences

Updated: Apr 17, 2019


In chapter one I wrote that, “…the most important part of any adventure story is the worst for the protagonist. An adventure is not an adventure without a struggle, without doubt.” God I wish I could punch past me in the face.

You see, that sounds romantic and all, but when you’re on your own on the other side of the world, getting over a recent sickness, and endlessly job hunting so that you can afford to stay in the country, It’s a little harder to see it that way.

You see, for the past 4.5 months my relationship with New Zealand has been kind of casual- I was a traveler in an unfamiliar place. I bounced around the islands, stayed in hostels, and was constantly on the move. Everything was new and exciting and temporary. But then I started running low on money.

After Fox Glacier’s overpriced grocery store and Queenstown’s overpriced everything, I knew I would have to make somewhere my home base for a while. I was also burnt out on traveling and needed to sit still for a minute. So I headed back to Auckland and started my job hunt and my search for a place to live longer-term.

I ended up finding a job at a pretzel place and found a flat that looked small but cozy. Then it all went to shit. Well, not everything went to shit but a lot did… and some good things happened too. Here are some highlights from the last couple months:

  • I felt terribly sick one day and asked my boss at the pretzel place if it wasn’t busy if I could leave early due to the fact that I had a throbbing headache, was constant coughing, and could barely hear any customers over the sound of the pretzel oven thanks to my clogged ears- he told me to go ahead and go home and the next day he told me that he no longer needed my help at the shop and that it wasn’t because I was sick but that it “didn’t help” (It was definitely the cause though).

  • Some of my Semester at Sea friends came to visit! (And we went to Waiheke Island which was really fun).

  • The day after I moved into my flat I came home for the day with a bunch of groceries and was locked out. The management kept telling me that I should have gotten my key updated months ago- even though I had literally just moved in-which I told them- and they didn’t get anyone to fix it until Monday.

  • I have some very messy flatmates, I share one bathroom with 4 other people, the shower door constantly breaks, there is no heat or room for a heater in my room, and my packages get stolen from the mail area. The management is occasionally impossible to reach and rude when you do talk to them.

  • As I've been continuing my search for a decent flat, I have come across many places that look hilariously unlike the pictures from their listings. One I went to was completely unrecognizable and when I went to leave I walked out the wrong door and found myself locked in a car park. After unsuccessfully trying to contact the agent that showed me the room and/or the building manager, I asked a random man walking by if he knew how I could get out. It went something like this:

[Me, standing in a car park looking helpless] “Hey, I was looking at a room and walked out the wrong way and now I’m trapped. Do you know how I can get out?”

[Random guy who was walking by, now briefly stopping & looking amused at my question] “Sorry, I don’t know!”

“Do you know anyone I can contact?”

“No, sorry, that’s not my building, I’m in this one!”

“Ah, so do you think I should just try to climb the fence?”

“Yeah, go for it!”

And that’s how I ended up climbing a fence in the rain to get out of an apartment that I had just viewed.


  • I turned 23! (And celebrated with wine and pizza obviously. Also I can't get that Blink-182 song out of my head...#nobodylikesyouwhenyoure23).


  • I've still been dancing and working as a cleaner at the dance studio. As long as there's still some dancing in my life, things can't be that bad, right?

It’s not easy right now, and Auckland seems a little reluctant to take our relationship to the next level, but maybe this really is the most important part of my story. Maybe this is the struggle I knew I would have to face eventually. All I can do is try really, really, hard and hope that I can stay in this country that I’ve gotten to know so well. As always, I’ll keep you updated…

#Auckland #Chapter11 #NewZealand

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