Where are you from in NZ?
Grew up in Richmond, Nelson.
Where are you currently living?
Currently in Manly, Sydney
How long have you been living there?
Got back to this side of the world and plonked ourselves in Manly just over 5 years ago.
What is your current profession and who are you working for?
Currently I’m building my own Coaching and Consulting business. After 20 years in recruitment and more recently managing the Australasian arm of a global Healthcare Staffing company, it was time to do more of what I really enjoyed, and to give back. Interesting timing to be doing it though….
Tell us what it is like where you are living?
Manly is pretty awesome. It’s just hit September and today is going to reach 27 degrees. My day starts with sunrise gym classes on the beach, followed by a coffee stroll around a marine reserve. Quick dip, quick surf, sunrise volleyball – I have options. 18min ferry ride into Sydney city, often spotting pods of dolphins or the wayward whale. It’s a pretty good gig.
What have you done for fun/entertainment throughout Covid and the lockdown?
The term ‘lockdown’ is pretty loose here. My change in employment status has been more defining of my lifestyle than Covid has. I’ve gotten back into the exercise, picked up the guitar again, spent a lot more time enjoying the process of cooking and just taking time out to notice the little things.
Are there any particular challenges throughout this period that stand out for you?
After being spoiled by the freedom of regular access to NZ family and friends again, the mental challenge is accepting that’s been taken away. Although they probably think it’s a blessing!
Actually, the main challenge though has been trying to remotely talk my father through PC fixes of various descriptions. Oh the teeth-pulling frustration.
Beer or wine?
I’m old now. We call it gin.
Choice of takeaway?
Thai – coconut curries and coriander. Heaven.
Are you more of a hunter or gatherer?
Gathering these days, I probably don’t have the energy to hunt like I used to.
What inspires you?
I’m definitely inspired by people who are living their passion, who remain curious and continue to grow, and who serve a greater good.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I did a Forestry degree and spent 3 years studying soils, so I can look at a lump of dirt and tell you what’s going on. I don’t think I’ve used it once.
What is your favourite place in the world, and why?
Bali. By avoiding the tourist traps you get to experience an easy cultural shift and a warmth of the people and the place. I love immersing myself in the food, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the sunshine….. and the childlike freedom of getting around on a scooter.
What is your funniest travel story?
Early 2000’s, me and a buddy set off for the ‘Running of the Bulls’ in Pamploma, Spain. 3mins after getting off the bus, I had my wallet stolen with all my funds for the trip in it. Rookie move.
At one point we decided we weren’t going to wait 2hours for the next bus, so with our packs and all our gear we set off on a ‘short’ walk to the next town. 4 hours later, in 40 degree heat, without water and totally suffering from delirium, we finally stumbled in. Yes, the bus we should have waited for drove straight past us.
That night we discovered that the tent we’d been given by our mates had two poles missing, so we basically slept under a big polyurethane sheet for the trip. Cold, miserable and very hungover.
We ended up partying too hard on both nights and never actually ran with the bulls! And to top it off, we missed our flight home. Good times.
If there was one thing you could recommend to someone about to go on there OE, what would it be?
Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your experiences against the comforts of home. That’s not why you went. Go with an open mind and a fresh-eyed wonder, and enjoy the journey for all the learnings it will bring.
What is something that people don‘t know about you?
I was born in Rarotonga and I got my middle name from Dr Koteka who ‘pulled me out’.
Google image it, I dare you.
Do you have plans on moving back to NZ?
Probably not. NZ will always be home, and I am a kiwi to the core. I’m incredibly proud of how NZ performs on the international stage, and how we are regarded as a people. But, the lifestyle and climate here is pretty hard to beat.
What home comfort do you miss the most?
For Kiwi’s that travel abroad I think the ability to fall back into the natural rhythm of life at home is just so effortless. In other countries that’s not always the case, even after several years. So there’s that, and pineapple lumps.