On the 18th of July at 8pm Perth time, I boarded my plane to New Zealand for a new chapter in my life – a 6-month period of my gap year living and working as a boarding supervisor in the small town of Gore.
My first flight was to Auckland where I would spend the next two days with 28 other Letz Live participants at the Ibis Hotel. The flight was 6-hours but with the 4-hour time difference, Choiceplus line we landed in Auckland at 5am the next day and waited with anticipation for the other participants to arrive.
Meeting other gappies
Once united, we quickly introduced ourselves and told stories of our hometowns and upcoming placements. Our group consisted of people from NSW, Perth, South Africa and the UK. At 1pm that same day, now feeling like we had been friends for years, we all hopped on a tour bus to begin our Auckland city tour.
What followed was the most amazing 2-day line-up of touring mountainous locations and iconic scenery that offered such a spectacular view that none of my photos really do the sights justice.
Saying goodbye the next morning as the group headed off to their various locations was a saddening experience and we all couldn’t quite believe that we’d only met each other 48 hours before.
Promises were made for holiday adventures and social media exchanged (thank goodness for social media, right?).
Arriving at my placement school
In what seemed like such a surreal flurry at the time, the next day we were being met by our Boarding House Director and shown our new home for the next 6 months at Rosmini House. In such a new and exciting time, the staff have all been so supportive and caring and I have already learnt so many skills in the way of communication and teamwork.
Some of the experiences I have been lucky enough to have in just 2 short months are; tramping in the local Dolamore Park, attending the Year 8 Deep Cove Camp in Doubtful Sound, various day trips to surrounding towns like Dunedin and Invercargill, beach trips to Curio Bay, adventures with my fellow gappie to surrounding natural beauties like the Purakunui and McLean Falls, seeing real life SNOW for the first time ever, ice skating lessons and so much more.
All those adventures are besides my actual job (which I LOVE) within the hostel and the school, helping students to feel supported and encouraged in what can often be a difficult time away from home.
Travelling in New Zealand
Just this week, I’m off to Queenstown to go skiing for the first time and there are many more new opportunities planned in the coming weeks. I have made so many fantastic connections and still really feel like a tourist as there is so much to see and do.
Deciding to dive in and do a gap year with Letz Live has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and, honestly, if I could speak to every graduating or high school aged student and encourage them to give it a go, I would.
Throughout this whole experience, the words of my old Head of Senior School have never left my mind… “Take every opportunity that comes your way.”