When the Intercity bus made its way into the town center of Kaikoura, a seaside town with a population of 2,000 people, I felt instantly refreshed. While the town is touristic, it still manages to retain a certain charm. The commercial area were lined with small businesses; ranging from cafes to surf shops.
The air was humid and it started to drizzle as I dragged my 50lb suitcase to the hostel where I will work for accommodation for the month of December. I was nervous, yet excited; this was a experience I wanted to try. Not only will I gain hospitality experience, I will also get to live by the sea, and slowly explore the area. I can finally say to myself, “it’s alright, take your time”.
I was mid-way to the hostel, when I noticed I had left my precious reusable water bottle on the bus and I trudged onwards. C’est la vie. You win some and you lose some.
At the hostel, the owners made sure I felt welcomed. My coworkers, a French couple and a Brit, were making gingerbread cookies, while a guest was stirring a pot of fudge with intense focus. It felt like a proper holiday atmosphere. I have a bit of social anxiety when it comes to large groups of people, so i made small talk, and scurried away to tucked my luggage in my room which I will be sharing with two teenage German boys, whom were also my coworkers.
I made my way back to the kitchen and chatted with a traveler from the Netherlands. Later we bumped into each other in town and strolled by the beach together. Then, we had cider at a local bar with a fireplace. We talked about solo – travelling, our lives back home, and made plans to visit the Kaikoura Pennisula by bike the next day.
I remember that when I laid my eyes upon the Seaward Kaikoura mountains combined with the mist, ocean, beach, and small town, I think I felt love at first sight.