Why on earth would you give up a NZD 70,000+ job, worldwide-recognised Swiss education, strong relationships with family and friends, accumulating money in a Swiss bank account and easy access to the finest chocolate for a student life in New Zealand? Blame it on a gut feeling and itchy feet.
23 years old, well traveled, but still a bit green behind her ears, Swiss-born chocolate-obsessed Olivia is hungry for more and leaves her perfectly organised life behind to start from scratch.
She decides to enroll in a Tourism diploma program in a country where there are fifteen times more sheep than people, they have ice cream called "goody goody gum drop", where central heating is replaced by electric blankets and Xmas is celebrated in summer. The idea sounds exciting and fun. And absolutely insane.
Far away from home and all by herself, she soon realizes that traveling through a country and living there are two completely different shoes. Being separated from her familiar environment and social circle makes her try harder and she achieves things she only dreamed of back home. Such as running a Marathon, tramping around Stewart Island for eleven days by herself or completing a degree in her fifth language with receiving three awards along the way.
Olivia adapts to the relaxed Kiwi attitude and at the same time learns to respect her upbringing. She starts losing up and doing things the Kiwi way: Walking around barefoot and have loads of BBQs in summer, supporting the mighty All Blacks, moan about Australians and watch DIY TV shows.
Make yourself a hot chocolate and blob on your couch to read about the life of a young and not quite grown up Swiss Miss that undertakes some serious soul searching in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Olivia Vavrin was made in Switzerland and lived there for 23 years. After moving to New Zealand, she completed a tourism diploma, marketing degree and a marathon and divides her time now between toilet paper research, chocolate eating and combat classes. She resides in 44 m2 in downtown Auckland/New Zealand.
This is her first attempt of writing a book.