From: New Zealand
01/09/2021 - 15/12/2021
I love life….every minute of it, really.....really...., well almost every single, minute of life.
Overseas travel being curtailed has clipped my wings, but other than not being able to visit mates around the world (many were Workaway hosts to start with) and do meaningful volunteer work in poor countries, I feel very grateful to be further exploring the home patch. I never get enough of the beauty and the fantastic people who make our country so very special.
At present I am travelling in the North of South Island and heading to help out at a lodge in the Marlborough Sounds and then to a farm on the West Coast - both previous Workaway hosts that have become my mates. After that I aim travel the whole of South Island and to spend much of my time on farms, but not exclusively.
I offer all the following information to better inform you about myself. If I was reading this, I think I would head straight to the bottom to see if my aims and skills suit, then read the rest if you so feel inspired - life's just too short to waste time on stuff, which could prove to be boring...chuckle.
I was born into a farming environment, to English parents, in Africa and had a truly wonderful childhood. My life was full of lovely and loving people of different cultures, races, beliefs, income levels and backgrounds. This leads to me to actively seek meeting people of all cultures. I have lived in Africa, the UK and New Zealand and partly in Indonesia. I am at present trying to learn Bahasa Indonesia to make developing an island eco-retreat in Indonesia easier and more authentic, when I settle down more….one day. I have backpacked since I was a young student and still hit the road as much as possible, at least once or twice a year.
I am happy, cheerful, sane-and-sorted, relaxed, easy going, energetic, reliable, hardworking, adaptable, honest, self-motivated, out going person and roll all this with a good sense of humour. I love a challenge and having my comfort zone tested, I love ageing, but refuse to become old. I always want to learn more and understand better. I am confident and willing to give things a go, believing that if other people can do things, I can probably also try doing the same. This has led me to achieve much and gain a wide variety of skills. I am very respectful of, and find it easy to get on with, all people and have a wide variety of friends from all over the world. I see myself as a citizen of the world as much as of any country. I fit in well with people from the most sophisticated to the most simple and humble - who have probably taught me the most in and about life. I am at ease in the most luxurious settings as well as the most humble - it's all about people and experience for me. I find cities energising, for a limited time and as a contrasts to the Himalayas, farms, beaches nature reserves...wherever. I am a very positive and accept all people for who they are, be they young, or old. I meet many people on my travels and often end up hosting them in my home in New Zealand. I enjoy sharing in people’s life journeys and have a huge supply of stories from my own pretty exciting and varied life.
I am stimulated by such a range of experiences that I’m still wondering what I want to do when I grow up. I have a variety of formal qualifications (degrees) and teaching qualifications and have taught all levels from young children to adults in tertiary education. I have a particular interest in helping children and young people grow in confidence and developing their full potential. I have a few degrees, with subjects ranging from fine art to the natural sciences (chemistry, physics, botany and zoology), economics and a master’s in the realms of psychology, which is what I have generally worked in. I have done voluntary work in a variety of voluntary charity organisations, from chairing child and family welfare organisations to initiating, building and overseeing a preschool for needy children. I have always owned my own homes, including ones I have built from scratch and carry out all repairs, alterations and maintenance myself. This includes pool care and gardening, with a fine eye to detail. I enjoy design and have designed houses and furniture, done much interior design and landscaping. I have recently helped with design, staff training, garden layout, advertising/marketing, cooking and creating a popular menu and guest interaction at a new holiday setup on an Indonesian island. A year later they have moved from barely no guests to being very busy, expanding and scoring 8.9/10 on booking.com. I really enjoyed the combination of problem solving, design, food, teaching, hosting, landscaping etc. A farming background makes sure I’m comfortable doing manual work, working with animals (crazy about horses) and cultivation. I can use (and own) the whole variety of builder/handyman power tools. I'm generally confident doing building, plumbing, basic electrical work, tiling, painting, wall papering, paving, concreting, wood work etc. I have bought, restored, decorated and sold on, a number of properties and own a business importing beautiful, upmarket and unusual décor and antique items. I have just completely renovated a luxury property, including new bathrooms. Making the most of little, like up-cycling and restoring furniture etc. gets my creative juices flowing. I have organised and led a number of ecology and history tours for large numbers of people of different ages. I have catered for and organised a number of large events. Taking a situation and being creative with it to improve and enhance it is a challenge I really enjoy – in fact it’s a very necessary part of life for me. I have done a fair amount of writing and editing. As a besotted grandfather, I thrive on babysitting and inspiring my young grandchildren a number of days a week when at home and love doing it.
Travel and learning about people of different cultures is top of my list. I have traveled to many corners of the earth, both in the usual tourist way with my family, but mostly as a backpacker, which I prefer. Other interests include the arts (especially primitive and tribal art and crafts), design, architecture, wild life, ecology, conservation, bird watching, eco-friendly building, farming methods and lifestyle choices, trekking and active pursuits, bike and horse riding, learning, all things cultural, cooking, gardening, decorating, fishing, camping, handyman stuff (building and repairing) and tinkering with broken machines. I’m not green-to-the extreme (yet), more a pragmatist, but I believe we all need to do more, mostly far more, to protect our planet and I want to be part of doing that.
South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana. Mozambique, Morocco, all of Western Europe as well as most of Eastern Europe recently, India, Thailand, Burma/Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand and Tonga. I have lost count the number of times I have been to many of these countries.
I’m setting off on a long, no rush, not much pre-planned, backpacking trip through Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India) Africa, the UK, Morocco and Eastern Europe. I would very much like to experience a range of Workaway experiences and respect the win-win outlook of Workaway, hosts are not just the providers of free accommodation and as a Workawayer I'm happy to share skills and energy. I want to really learn and grow more to see all people as 'us', not 'them' and us.....just 'us'. I’m hungry to learn about other cultures not only from books, but through as many experiences as possible. I want to get to know different people and in return help and share my professional and life experience skills where I can. A mix of welfare and commercial type Workaway experiences would be great. I would like to help with/at:
- charities aimed at improving the lot of children, the disadvantaged and the environmaent
- teaching and language practice
- backpacker/accommodation development, improvement and hosting
- farming enterprises
- working with animals, especially horses, dogs and wildlife
- eco-friendly building and lifestyle choices
- anything to do with wildlife and conservation
- getting my hands dirty, building, gardening, repairing whatever ...
- being creative and stimulated
- improving my pretty good cooking skills
- any challenge ... bring it on.
I would like to spend time in a variety of happy, caring and positive environments, particularly places that challenge, produce much chatting, laughter and discussion.
Special dietary requirements
I'm not too fussed about food, but I avoid wheat. Hooray for rice in Asia!