Why did you choose New Zealand?
Stacie: I enjoy hiking, milking cows, and jumping off high stuff. New Zealand provided all three with the added bonus of beautiful summer weather and some of the kindest people on Earth.
Why did you use Working Holiday Starter?
Stacie: To be honest, I used Working Holiday Starter because I couldn’t be bothered to set up my own bank account, IRD number and airport transfer so I wanted to find some help.
What was your first impression when you used the Working Holiday Starter website?
Stacie: I thought: “I made the right choice.”
How would you describe your agency’s services?
Stacie: Prompt, honest, caring, personable, family-like: you can really trust everything they say and do for you.
What was the best thing that they did for you?
Stacie: I made a silly mistake, thinking my InterCity bus arrived at 5:45pm instead of the actual 5:25pm time and missed the bus – the last bus out of Te Anau to Queenstown. I called them right away and he quickly researched any bus companies or taxis that could help me out. Nothing came up so the last resort other than hitchhiking was to contact another member to pick me up and drive me back to Queenstown. That would be 5+ hour drive for me. Luckily, a local Kiwi drove me to the next town to catch the very last Jucy coach so I was able to make it back to Queenstown to catch the Stray bus the next day!
The fact that they wer able to provide me comfort in an almost devastating situation and a timely solution, so selflessly, is just one example of how personal they can be with helping their friends.
You also took a 12-month bus tour, how was it?
Stacie: YES. So much, yes. Stray is a company that I would recommend a million times over. The bus drivers were all hilarious, caring, honest, knowledgeable and safe drivers. They took us to all the fun and cultural places, guaranteed our accommodation, and cooked delicious group meals that brought everyone together. My time in New Zealand would not be the same and nowhere near as amazing as it was if I had travelled by myself.
What is the best activity that you did in New Zealand?
Stacie: Probably the white water rafting in Rangitata. I had an amazing and very attractive guide who was hilarious, while also being informative about safety and having the best time. Truly, everything I’ve done in New Zealand was made “the best activity” thanks to the people I was with. Skinny dipping in Mt Cook glacier waters was cool – pun intended huehuehue – too.
What was your biggest challenge?
Stacie: Getting a stable job in Wellington. I fell in love with this beautiful city the moment I walked along its harbour and knew I wanted to work and live there. However, all the other students were looking for jobs as well, so the job market wasn’t great for me. Queenstown, however, was a lot easier to obtain a job as they are seemingly always hiring.
What advice would you give to someone that is about to go in New Zealand on a working holiday visa?
Stacie: Think you have enough money? You don’t. You will never have enough. Bring lots of money unless you have already nabbed a full time job. Why the toast is mascara $25? Jeezus.
What do you take away from this experience in New Zealand?
Stacie: Mad respect for farmers and the shit they (literally) have to deal with daily. I am so blessed with what I have back home –high speed Internet and affordable food, for example. I’ve also learned so much about myself, what I want in life, and how I handle real life situations; which is what I intended to learn.
What has been your favorite spot in New Zealand?
Stacie: Anywhere with my buddies. If I had to live anywhere though, I would chose to live in Wellington. It reminds me of a tiny San Francisco with niche cafes, Victorian style houses, and the abundance of hipsters. Everyone is so accepting and lovely!
Would you recommend New Zealand to your friends?
Stacie: No doubt about it!