Aquiring Your Immigrant Family On The Road
On the road, I expected to meet lots of people and share stories. What I didn’t expect was to aquire my own little family of nomadic gypsies. New Zealand is a small enough place that you’re likely to run into the same people many times along your journey. And working in a place for a few weeks or months, you build even stronger bonds with the people you meet.
Working in Napier, for instance, we became close with our fellow grape harvesting backpackers. We all shared leads on contractors looking for a crew and carpooled early in the morning to work a long day in the sun together. After our day finished, we’d relax and bond making pot-luck style meals together and sitting on the beach beside a bonfire listening to our friends play guitar. We bonded so closely with them in fact, that we met up with them many times along the way after we parted from Napier… both on purpose and by chance. We’d either realize we were headed to the same place and meet up and travel together for a bit, or find each other on the road. One of our travel mates found the other hitchiking… and we met the same friend in front of our flat totally by chance whilst living in Tekapo during a visit from our other Napier friends! Our fellow WWOOFers from Franz Josef offered us a place to stay in Wanaka, and in return, we offered our flat to them in Tekapo.
You’ll learn lots from the friends you meet on the road:
Like how to roll your own smokes…
Or how to swear and offend people in French, Japanese & German…
And you’ll share things about each others cultures and learn that we’re really not all that different…
So though I missed my lifelong friends from home dearly, it helped to have a little family to travel around with on the road. People who share the same itch to travel and experience new things. People who understand what it is that brought you so far away from home. And now we have a network of people to visit across this big, beautiful world. People to open your home to when you settle down again, and whom will offer you the same welcome in their homeland.
The world is no longer such a big and daunting place… It’s a small world full of welcoming smiles and open arms. All our differences fade away and there’s a sense of peace and understanding. You no longer feel like a stranger in a strange place, but rather a part of something bigger and more meaningful.