Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
1. Why are you going to Australia and New Zealand?  Because I want to. 


2. Are you going with a tour group? Do you have friends there? No and no. 

3. Why are you going by yourself? Are you a total loser?No, it's hard to plan a trip around other people's schedules, and I'm not nervous about going alone. I don't know of too many others who could and would want to do what I'm doing. 

4. Why are you leaving on Christmas Day? It's
summer over there right now, so weather is ideal. I also get vacation
days built in with the holidays, which is helping me tremendously. 

I would not be able to go for as long as I am during another time of year. 
The cost of my flight, for this time of year, was also very good. Even the airline rep was like, "wow, this is a great price!" Everything just kind of fell into place.

5. When are you gone?Dec. 25 - Jan. 14

6. Wow, almost three weeks?  
Yes! It takes 30 hours to get to Sydney from Los Angeles. 15-hour flight + 15-hour time change. I will lose a whole day. Australia and New Zealand would be nearly impossible to visit in a week, and I'm only seeing about 10% of both countries!
7. So, are you volunteering?
Kind of. I'm doing a help exchange (through helpx.net) with a family in Australia and with a family in New Zealand. I will do a few hours of work for them (gardening, housework, cooking, etc) each day in exchange for meals and lodging. This is the website. http://www.helpx.net/. It has been around for 10 years.


8. How did you find out about this?I googled "volunteer in Australia or New Zealand," and this popped up.
I paid a small fee for a two-year membership, so now I can look for help like this all over the world. There are even places in Wisconsin looking for "helpers!"

9. OK, so you're going to stay with strangers? How do you know they're not psycho?
How do they know I'm not psycho?  
10. That's true. But doesn't this make you nervous? The nice thing about this site is that I can read reviews of hosts, given by helpers like me. 

I can also contact them and be like, "hey, so they weren't psycho?" I can also view photos. Both of my families got excellent reviews, and all of the correspondence I have had has been great. I'm honestly not nervous about this at all. 
11. So, you will be with these families the whole time? 
No. I will spend three nights at a hotel in Sydney upon arrival, and then take a train to my host family. Once I arrive in Auckland, I will spend 2 nights in a hotel and then stay with that host family. I'm also staying in hotels the nights before my flights leave for Auckland and back home.  

12. Why are you going to New Zealand, too?Why not? Because I'll already be in Australia, and I've heard awesome things about it.
13. Why do you want to "work" on your vacation?
I don't think the work will be too intense. Both families request 4
hours of work per day, and then I get the rest of the day to do what I
want. There will be plenty of time for me to relax. I like
the idea of living with "real" families in these countries, sitting down
for meals and meeting their friends. The family in Auckland said they will walk with me to the
neighboring beach, take me to some area wineries or let me go horseback
riding. How cool is that?? They are getting help from me, and
I'm getting help from them with a place to stay. This might not be
everyone's cup of tea, but to me, it's a win-win. 

14. So who planned all of this? Me. 

15. Wow, it sounds like you will have an amazing time! Are you excited?YES!  

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Every detail sounds wonderful! I'mso excited to read your updates. Have a blast!


I'm excited too, Terra! Maybe I can put together another library program this summer? :)

Scott Bader

I agree....you are kind of a psycho. J.K. Thanks for the update and keep them coming if you please!! Enjoy the trip!! Bring me back something French.


You'll get nothing, and like it! :)