I’m writing this from Nelson, my home for the next few months! Situated at the top of the South Island on Tasman Bay, Nelson is home to about 45,000 Kiwis (and foreigners like me) and it’s the sunniest place in New Zealand. During my first month of travel I passed through twice, once on a wine tour of the region and then once just to stop for the night as we made our way back up to Auckland. It’s hard not to like Nelson. It’s kind of got it all; a gorgeous beach, the sea, mountain ranges to the West that are splashed with pink light every morning as the sun rises behind the foothills of the Richmond Range to the East, oh and did I mention it’s the sunniest place in New Zealand?
On top of all that the Nelson city vibe is real chilled out without trying too hard to be super alternative or uber-hip like parts of Wellington, the neighbor to the North. As we drove in on the Kiwi Experience bus the driver described the population as mainly “old people, religious fanatics, and hippies.” I said to myself, “Sounds like my kinda party!”
After living here for three weeks I’m now qualified to say I think that was a pretty apt description, there are certainly plenty of elderly folk and hippies, although I have yet to meet all of the religious fanatics…maybe he meant the bearded dude who sits on the main street with his radio and lawn chair surrounded by cardboard signs about not succumbing to the capitalist machine (and such.) Although, personally, I think that guy falls more under the “hippie” category.
I arrived here at the beginning of March, mostly for six days of kitesurfing lessons, with the intention of staying for two weeks to check it out. I’ve been here for three weeks now and I’ve found a great hot yoga studio, a rad farmers market, and a hole-in-the-wall craft brew joint. If you know me, you know that means I have literally all I need in life here.
I’m also, drumroll please, finally employed! I got hooked up with a sweet full time gig at Melrose House Café (pictured above.) It is, in my unbiased opinion, the cutest café in town, and I’m absolutely spoiled with beautiful lunches.
In short, things are real good down here. I’m no longer living out of a backpack--my clothes are hanging! On hangers! In a closet! My bank account balance now increases from time to time instead of steadily decreasing like it has for the last three months of travel. I’m soaking in the last rays of sun at the beach when I can, before we head into cooler months here. And I’ve been able to reestablish my normal Saturday morning ritual of a yoga class followed by a trip to the farmers market.
Most of my life here has worked out really well relatively quickly, leaving me at a bit of a loss for words. The only two that really come to mind at the moment are: “Whoa. Nelly.”
That's all for now folks, so here's to good people, gainful employment, and what is turning out to be a grand adventure in little old Nelly!