And how are things in Auckland?

New Zealand is mainly known for being “very beautiful” and for being the country where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Having been here for three months I can definitely confirm this. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling up and down the country and it is 100% worth it!

Since New Zealand is on the other side of the world from the Netherlands, the trip was quite exhausting, and being over two meters long doesn’t help when you spend 26 hours on an airplane. About 42 hours after I left the Netherlands, I finally arrived in Auckland. I was immediately welcomed at the University of Auckland where I was going to do my internship. I’ve been working on modeling and simulation of patient transit in hospitals.

New Zealand is easy-going; the word “hurry” is not in the Kiwi dictionary. Instead of “no problem” and “you’re welcome” people say “no worries”, which is pretty much a lifestyle here.

I live in a student apartment building around the corner from my work, both of which are in central Auckland. Like 99% of the population I don’t ride a bike here, but walking gets me to most places I need to go. This did cause some sore muscles the first weeks, since flat ground is nowhere to be found. Every walk through Auckland involves hills.

I recommend everyone who wants to leave Europe at some point to visit New Zealand, even though you’ll need at least a month. You’ll see the most wonderful mountains, volcanoes, beaches, islands, waterfalls and animals. Winter is by far the best time to go: the weather forecast for the Netherlands reads cold and wet every week, but January in New Zealand generally means over 25 degrees and beautiful weather! What an amazing country!

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