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Monday, February 28, 2011

The worst day in a long time

Today was one of the worst days I have had in a long time. It started off when I was walking from my new (temporary) home back into the city and I got lost for a bit. I prefer to think I wasn't lost and just taking the scenic route but it still took me an hour to get into the city walking. I was hoping that my day couldn't get any worse from there but boy was I wrong.

After that I decided to go get my Brazilian visa application done. It was pretty far out of the city so I decided to call first before I went. Well I called and no one answered, I figured they were really busy so I would still go. I bought a day pass on the bus that costs me 10 dollars and by this point about 3 hours of my day had been eaten up. I finally made it out there and I found out that it was actually the Brazilian Consulates House. Just a regular house in regular neighbourhood. Owned by a regular guy employed by the Brazilian Government. Not what I was expecting. Well not only was it just a regular house, he wasn't even there!

So I spent all that money and made it all the way out there for nothing. So I called and left him a message. He finally managed to call me back after I made it back into the city. He informed me I had to physically mail my passport to Wellington. I am only hoping I have enough time to do this and enough pages in my visa. Of course I went to check this at the American embassy and they were closed. The bad stuff just couldn't stop happening.

So then I met a friend and it was good to catch up with her and we actually had a really good time. That was a bright side to my day finally. We decided to go to an American sweet shop to cheer me up so we were going to get the bus  but we missed it and my day pass didn't apply anyway. I was so freaking frustrated that I threw away my day pass for the bus.

Then I just decided to go back to my new (temporary) home in Mt Eden. It was quite a walk so I decided to take the bus. You want to guess what bus I had to take home? The exact bus I just threw away the pass for! Then I just started laughing and how horrible my day was. The only other bright side to my day was I hitch hiked home and got a free ride.

Now I am back home shut in and not going anywhere so it can't get worse. Tomorrow is my first day back at work and it is a new day. I am trying to stay positive and hope tomorrow is much better. This is it for me tonight. Take care,Tyler

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My time off update

Well I have had roughly a week off and honestly not too much has happened and that has been exactly how I wanted it! It has been great just to decompress and relax and do nothing. I have been out with some friends and had some drinks and relaxed a lot. Taken some walks around the city and just caught up with everyone and done general stuff.

I did go today with some friends of mine to hang out at a pool. Rach's parents have a pool and they are gone to England. They live outside of the city a bit so it was great to get out there and relax. I went out there with Amanda and Jenneke and my friend Kate and we had a BBQ. I was surrounded by beautiful girls all day and got to eat a feast and relax. Every man's fantasy right? :)

I really feel that I have done more than this but I guess I haven't lol. I have to go to the Brazilian Embassy tomorrow to suss my visa for Brazil and shop for a few other things but I plan on having a relaxing last day with friends before I go back to work. This has been quite a boring update but this is me.

April will be here soon!-Tyler

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Earthquake

Just wanted to let those of you know who were worried, that I live in Auckland not Christchurch so I am safe and sound. But, it is very sad because Ch Ch keeps getting slammed by earthquakes and this time people have died :( so please keep them in your thoughts. -Tyler

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A day off finally...

After roughly 12 days on the road and 12 gigs in 12 different cities I finally have a week off. This is much needed because right now I am sick as a dog with a head cold which has been aggravated by my lack of consistent sleep lately and my insane working hours. Today (my first day back home in the city) I went to the doctor and got myself sorted though so hopefully soon I will be good as gold again.  I work with good people and make good money though so in the end this has been good for me so far and I have got a lot of great experience and seen many really awesome places I never would have seen otherwise. I have learned a whole lot about what it takes to get a show ready to go and I will never take it for granted again and never look at a concert the same way again either! It sure does take a lot of work to build the stage and set up the lights and sound for just one show and we do it over and over all over the north island.

I finally got to watch the whole gig last night for the first time and I really enjoyed it. There is three bands, Midnight Youth,Op Shop and Brooke Fraser on this Winery Tour. Almost all of our gigs are performed at these wineries. So there is fancy people and fancy catered food and drink. (Which I don't mind eating hehe) Our company pays for our accommodation and our food so while we are working we basically have zero expenses plus we get our daily rate so it isn't a bad job just really long hours and full on hard work. I have a great boss and work with great people though so that sure helps. Not to mention I get to work with my friend's Ben,Brian and Thomas and get to make many new friends! :)

The only other thing I wanted to mention was that I have actually had the time to talk to some of the bands back stage and one band in particular Midnight Youth (they are all guys my age or younger) are really awesome. They have really taken the time to talk to me and get to know me and really make me feel like I matter and I am not just some random crew member. I think that is really awesome they are so down to earth.

One band member in particular Nick (one of the guitarist) has talked with me quite a bit and even gave me a CD of theirs for free. But not only did he give it to me for free he autographed it for me along with all the other guys in the band! I was actually out in the crowd watching the gig at the time and he actually searched me out and found me in the crowd and gave it to me. He even talked to my friends that I invited to the concert. It really meant a lot to me that he would do that and I wont forget it.

I have one week off before I start working again and I will work straight thru until 15th of march then be done for good. Well that is all I got for now. Yall take care,Tyler

Saturday, February 12, 2011

An important one about true happiness

I felt this was important enough to  make a separate blog just for this.I don't want to sound all holier than thou and all high and mighty like I know something everyone else doesn't but, I have just recently really truly realised this and I wanted to share it with everyone.  I know I have touched on this before but I wanted to talk about this again. Really I just have one question for yall. "Are you happy"?. Be honest with yourself and and answer that simple question. That's it really, are you happy with your life? If you aren't happy with your life why not? I know this sounds stupid but it is so true, when I say that I really really am happy now. These travels have really helped me become honestly happy with my life overall and much happier than I was before.

Back home sure I have a great family and awesome friends but I was going nowhere in life really. I was working a 9-5 job that I didn't really enjoy that wasn't going to be my career. I was going to work and coming home and doing the same thing over and over meeting the same people going to the same places doing the same things and not being satisfied with life. I was saving money but I had no specific goals in mind and no long term goals or career motivation. There was things I wanted to do in life but I would always make up an excuse as to why I could wait and do them later. Really I was just going thru the motions of life but not really living.

Then I got laid off in October 2009 and realised I had a choice to make. I could stress about finding another job in our shitty economy or I could make a change in my life and take a risk and do something new. The decision to come alone to a country I had only been too once before for three weeks was a big decision but I am so glad I took the risk. My first month in Australia alone was rough and I was home sick and regretting my choice. At first I didn't know anyone or anything. Most people thought I was crazy back home for just packing up and leaving.

Then something amazing started to happen. I started to meet great people and feel at home. I got steady work and started learning my way around Sydney. I started to learn how to rely on myself and my skills and learn new skills. Then I met Ben and we started traveling together. I was able to make any decisions that I wanted in my life. I could go wherever I wanted with whoever I wanted for as long as I wanted. You might think you can do that back home and up to a point you can but it is much harder when your traveling you are just so much more flexible and open minded and willing to just randomly pack up and take a risk and try something new. I have met tons and tons and tons of great people (even some now life long friends) by just striking up a conversation and saying "Hi my name is Tyler"

Long story short, I really have fallen in love with this life style of being free and open and willing to take some risks but in return I get to travel the world and see tons of great places most people can only dream about and meet so many great people I can't even count how many great friendships I have made. My one year trip has now turned into two. I have seen Australia,New Zealand,South East Asia and now we have South/central America to go! I am so happy and took the leap of faith and came away traveling. It has been the best decision I have ever made and I don't regret any of it. If I had stayed home I never would have learned what I have learned about myself and what I can do and never learned what I wanted to do with my life (Yes now I have a career plan!) nor would I have met all these amazing people or seen these amazing places. There is nothing that makes me happier so far.

Earlier I touched on the fact that back home there was things I wanted to do with my life but I would always make up excuses as to why I could wait. Well you (or me for that matter) might be dead tomorrow so there should be no waiting. I have made a commitment to myself to learn at least one new skill a year until I am happy and well rounded enough to say that I have learned the things I have always put off.

I have never known how to use chop sticks and all my life I have said I will learn one day and always managed to put it off. I have always used a fork at Asian restaurants and just forgot about it. Well my good friends recently bought me my own chop sticks and sat down and taught me how to roughly use them. I am really proud that I can knock this one off my bucket list. My next commitment to myself is to learn Spanish. I have always wanted to learn it and always put it off. This year I am committing to myself and to yall that I will learn it. There is no reason to wait any longer. I can always keep coming up with excuses or I can just do it.

In the next years I want to learn how to play a musical instrument, I want to start a regular exercise program again, I want to try sword fighting, I want to get my A license for skydiving, I want to give pistol shooting a go again since I ruined my chance in my teens. I also want to learn how to salsa dance. The funny thing is I always waited on all of these goals but if I put my mind to it doing at least one of these things per year is easily obtainable and there is no reason I can't do it.

I want to end this ( I hope your still reading this far haha) with a challenge. Ask yourself if you are happy with your life.  Be honest with yourself and just ask yourself if you are happy with your overall life. If your answer is no like mine used to be then you can change it. It is easy to say the words but it is a little harder to actually make the changes. It is a little harder but not impossible. If I can do it you can do it. Think about what you want out of life and go for it. One goal a year. Not hard!

I know I am making it sound easy especially with me being way over here traveling and doing my thing not being ay home in the same place as most of yall but YOU MAKE YOUR LIFE WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE. Only you can make the changes. Stop making excuses and being unhappy with your life. You have the power to do what you want when you want. Even one small change makes a big difference. Just remember there is no reason you can't have the life you want. I only hope I can still be as happy with my life when I get home as I am now. If all goes well I will be a salsa dancing Spanish speaker when I get home though :) and this is just the beginning.....-Tyler

Friday, February 11, 2011

Back on the road again

The last of our days off for a while back in the city managed to be pretty eventful actually. Mentally I had planned to have a quiet night and just rest up completely for work the next day. What actually ended up happening is I went out for drinks with friends then I went to dinner and a comedy club. The comedy was actually really funny I had a good time there. After comedy we wandered over to the weekly Couch Surfing Drinks. We were quite late but there was still some people there there and as always I had a good time there. I met some old friends in the city and made some new ones and got to catch up with everyone.

After drinks was over I went out to a night club in the city with my friends. Pretty quickly I realised it was quite late and I needed to be in bed! So I left and went to bed. We had to be up and at em the next day at 8am so I got ready and picked up in the city at 8am and we started our drive to Gisbourne. It took about 8 hours and luckily I got to sleep most of the way :)

Now we have a new guy on our "German" team at work. Steve has been reassigned to the site crew (he is working with Ben now) and my good friend Thomas is now working with us. He just started his first shift last night. Actually all things considered it has been pretty cruisy so far because We got to Gisbourne a day before the concert so we had time to set up the whole stage and not worry about sound or lights until today.

Today has been a pretty full on day though, We unloaded all three trucks and set up the sound and lights. After that we got to go and rest for a bit which has been good to catch up on some sleep. In just a few hours we will be back to tear down the stage and pack everything up then hit the road yet again and start it all over. On an unrelated side note, apparently Gisbourne is one of the first major places in the whole world to have the sun shine on it. It is a huge New Years Eve destination and the population triples here! So now I can add it to my list of awesome places I have been.

Oh ya one last thing, I finally saw Ben today (I didn't manage to see him at all during our break back in the city) and I only saw him briefly today but he is now sporting a mustache. I wish I had a picture for you haha. It is one of the worst looking mustaches I have ever seen and even he knows it. It is a huge joke but his whole crew is sporting mustaches and I have to give them props for having the balls to even walk around in public with those things haha. (To be fair I will be looking just as horrible in November of this year when I participate for the first time in Movember)

Work actually went fairly well at the end there last night. We had a few delays with loading the sound and lighting truck but, once we got to actually break down the stage we busted it out in 2.5 hours and that is our fastest time yet. Also on another related side note we actually had enough time earlier yesterday to have a nap and then go for a drive. We saw the Gisbourne coast line and the spot where Captain Cook first landed here back in the 1700's when he can from England. Funnily enough they made a statue of "Captain Cook" in 1969 and placed it there but it isn't actually him! Historians have noticed the clothing and facial features look nothing like him and no one can figure out who it is haha.

This morning we have now checked out of our hostel and hit the road headed to Martinbough to get ready to set up for our show tomorrow.

Just a little side note, I have always told myself that I wanted to learn how to use chop sticks and never actually have done it. Now that my friends have gotten me my very own personal set of chop sticks I have no excuse not to learn so I have been practising some and now I can actually use them to eat was long as the pieces of food are large enough. I am really proud of myself and now I can take it off my bucket list. Well that's all I got for now. I wont get Internet access to terribly often I am afraid but I will try and keep yall updated when I can. Take care, Tyler

Monday, February 07, 2011

My day off

So today was my first full day off of work where I wasn't totally wiped out. Last night I did go out with Debs and her friend Jess and DS. We had Korean food and we had to cook our own meat but it was good! After that we had beer and ice cream and topped it all off with a beer. Good times had by all, too bad Nadia had to work :(

Today I noticed my laptop charger was lost so I had to make a train journey to buy a new one :( but now things will get better because I got a new one! I am also headed to the beach shortly with some friends and tonight I will have dinner with my English student and her boyfriend as a thank you for my help. They are very nice!

Tomorrow I will head to a comedy club for a show and then to drink night and possibly a movie. Then the honeymoon is over and I will be back at work. Well that is all so far. I know this is a really boring update and I didn't say much but I just felt like randomly blogging.

The only other thing I wanted to mention was that there is a ton of homeless people here on Queen St (the main street) here in the city. It is kinda sad actually but they are like fixtures here. I pass them on a daily basis pretty much and I even know some of their names. Sometimes I give them money if I have spare change. There is one guy with one huge long dreadlock, another guy with a huge beer belly who always goes shirtless. (gross) another guy has a radio which he blares all day but just sits there in silence and expects you to pay him for listening to his bad music haha.

Then there is Blanket Man down in Wellington he is a local celebrity. He wears nothing but a blanket and a loin cloth and that is it. But people give him stuff all the time even an Ipod! They even wanted him to run for mayor haha. He is just a local fixture. I am quite sure he has mental issues but, when I met him in Welly he was an interesting guy for sure lol. I actually am really going to miss Auckland in general and my friends here for sure. Funny because I hated it so much my first week here but I really like it now!

LATE EDIT: SHE PASSED!!! I have been teaching English to a now really good friend of mine I met. She is from Taiwan and her boyfriend is Chinese. She wanted to learn English so I said I would be her conversation partner. While she already had a pretty good basic grasp on English I worked with her a lot and just tonight I found out she passed her English competency exam!

 That means A) that she is a great student and B) that I am a pretty good teacher! (although she is much better student than I am a teacher haha) I am so happy for her and happy she did it and I helped! They also took me out for a celebratory dinner and paid for everything. I know that was a big sacrifice for them money wise so it really really meant a lot to me to have them be so kind to me. I won't forget them for sure!

In addition, I had said I wanted to learn how to use chop sticks. Not only did they buy me my own personal set of chop sticks to practise with but they taught me roughly how to use them. Ang and Raymond I wont forget you! It really means a lot to me when people do great things out of the kindness of their hearts and these days that is rarer and rarer which is why I try and pass it on!

Oh ya  tomorrow I get to go out on a boat with my friend and today I will see Ben and Brian (yet again lol) I work with them and I can't even get away from them on my day off haha. Well that is all I got for now. Yall take care,Tyler

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Work again!

So I started my new stage building job with Ben and Brian only Ben is on a different team. Brian and I work with two other really cool guys Steve and Val. Us four are classified as "The Germans" which is amusing because Ben is actually German and he isn't on our team haha.

Our first two days have been really full on. We showed up at 10pm on the first day and worked until 5:30am. Then we slept for a few hours and woke up again to work from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Then we slept for a few more hours and woke up to work from 10pm to 4am or roundabouts. The hours are long and hellacious but the people are nice and you stay busy and we get paid pretty well. Our breaks are pretty short though, we get just enough time to sneak away and inhale some food and water really quickly then it is back to work!

I never really realised how much work it actually takes to build a full stage,unpack three trucks and set up everything in time for the bands to get there and play their gigs. It is really full on and long hard physical work with crazy hours so I will never take it for granted again but, it will be a good job with some good experience and I am learning lots of new things for me so I look forward to it. I really have worn quite a few different hats job wise since I came away traveling it has been good.  They provide our accommodation and our food so really no complaints there. Our rental van was pretty awesome too.

Now we have 2 days off and all I have done today is catch up on my sleep. But, it is Superbowl Sunday back in America so I feel like I should go do something considering it is in Dallas this year even though I haven't seen a single game this year!

I almost forgot about this! I witnessed first hand right in front of my eyes two bums fist fighting in the library here in Auckland! It was one of the wildest things I have ever seen and I have seen a lot haha. There has always been three security guards in the library here and I never knew why until now. The bums came down the escalator. ( Many bums actually semi live in the library or sleep there at least) and for some crazy reason they just started punching each other and choking each other right in the middle of the floor! They started to yell and then the security guards swarmed them and tackled them.

It was just like a crazy movie in front of my eyes lol. Eventually the real police showed up and took them away and everyone calmed down. It was the wildest thing that happened to me that day lol. I also saw the aftermath of a lady being hit by a car. She didn't die but it was messy and very sad :( her purse was all over the road :( sometimes Aucks gets wild! Especially Queen St on a weekend haha. but no worries I am always fine! :)

I hope everyone is well back home and staying warm. (It is hot here, most of the time!) but when it rains it rains! anyway yall take care,Ty

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Opps I skipped one!

I somehow managed to skip a blog entry so I will add it now, out of order. My apologies hehe.

When we arrived in Taupo we met up with our friends Amanda and Jenneke after we had caught up on some serious Internet time doing banking and all that boring stuff. But, once we met the girls we decided to go climb this mountain. It took us an hour and 15 minutes to get to the top.

The mountain climb was not SUPER hard but there was points where I was dragging ass haha. I really am not badly out of shape but nor do I have my 18 year old body anymore. As 30 approaches I can feel that this is really a time for me to get serious about working out or just accept that I will have a beer belly and be lazy forever haha.

The thing is, it wont take me much to get back into quite good shape I just need time,a consistent schedule,a good work out plan and motivation. Right now I have a personal trainer with me (helpful huh?) and all the knowledge of what I need to do. I just need the time and consistent schedule along with the motivation to do so. I like to think that I wont let myself slip into beer belly mode and I will be motivated to stay in good shape.

After we got off the mountain we headed directly to the beautiful Lake Taupo. The view from 1200 meters up on the mountain really was amazing and totally worth the hike. The lake was quite cold and the rocks were really slippery so we decided to go to some thermal hot springs.

Now that was the ticket! Those hot springs had the perfect balance between super hot and super cold and you could switch back and forth. It was all free and all natural. Brian has a really cool shock proof underwater camera so we got some really great photos from under the water. We met some really cool people and just had a great time relaxing. The stars out were absolutely amazing last night.

I really couldn't have asked for much of a better day yesterday. Our last days really have been great and made me happy to be alive. Soon I will upload photographic evidence to facebook so yall can see how awesome its been here. It was one of those days that really makes you appreciate life and living and being alive and hanging out with good friends. You hear so much negativity in the world all the time but when you have a day like that its really easy to focus on the positive and just try not to take everything for granted and realise that we really do have great lives.

Today we will head to our CS gathering at The Crossing and tomorrow we will get ready to hike 20 k's across (hopefully the weather holds!) it is going to be a fun celebration with 120+ other couch surfers and I can't wait for our last blast before we start working.

I wanted to quickly touch on the subject of motivation. When I was a kid I tried many different sports including track and even competitive air pistol shooting. Both of these were things I really could have been good at  I was just lazy and unmotivated pure and simple. It is funny now I look back almost 10 years later and I want to try these things all over again. I also want to learn Spanish and learn to play an instrument.  All of these are things I could have learned back then and been really good at if only I had tried harder. It frustrates me now to think this I wish I could go back to teen age Tyler and scream at him and tell him to get his ass in gear!  But the good news is it isn't too late I plan on picking up one or all of these skills in the future.

Yall take care,Tyler

The CS Event

So the girls and Ben and Brian and myself made it to the CS event and we got there with 120+ other couch surfers! This was the biggest CS Event in New Zealand history! we arrived on Friday and built our tent and got settled in. Originally we were supposed to do the 20 K Crossing the next day (Saturday) but the weather was bad so that meant that they pushed it back one day. So we got to drink and party and have a good time. Eat and have fun. I met people from nearly every major country in the world it was amazing.

Most of you know that my birthday is 30th of December. Well I was working my railroad job I didn't have time to celebrate it at all since I was working so full on. So, I decided to have my belated birthday party at the CS Crossing Event. But, somehow the message got twisted around and people assumed it was actually my birthday on Jan. 30th haha. at first I tried to let people know it wasn't my actual birthday but eventually I just went with it lol.

I had one of the best "birthdays" ever. 120+ people celebrated with me and I even got a trombone solo for my birthday! It was amazing lol There was also a girl there named Amanda who I met and she shares my exact same birthday only she is one year older than me. So that made it even more festive. All around I just had a great time.

The next day since our crossing was canceled we got up and worked off our hangovers by going and seeing the sites around the local area and let me tell you there is some beautiful places there! We did some great day hikes and such. We also went to some great thermal hot springs for free! I got to spend time with tons and tons of amazing people from all over the world who share a love of travel. It is so easy to talk to anyone and everyone about  anything under the sun because we all have a basic love of travel. There is no need to justify anything about ourselves or our love of travel. We just always ask each other "where next?"

Sunday was the day of the crossing and it was 19.4 K's which is just over 12 miles. With all our stops and so forth it actually took about 8 hours. It wasn't EXTREMELY hard it was just long and very windy and cold! The scenery was amazing though! I should have pictures loaded up on my facebook page before too long. After the Crossing we all drove to see some more sites and relax in the hot pools then we came back and had a massive bbq/beer fest it was a great weekend.

The only downside was the owner of the place we were staying. He was SO mean and rude it was insane. He literally told us "I hate you couch surfers" and he locked the bathrooms so no one could use them all night! He complained about the rate of pay HE set for us and told us to "go to bed" all the time like we were 12. It was so stupid! I don't know how they organised us to stay with such a jerk but he was horrible and I will never stay there again ever. The list goes on and on with his stupid crap but other than him though everything else was amazing and I had a great time.

I am also back at work now for my new concert stage building job and today was the first day. We will be traveling all over the north island following a few bands on a winery tour. Our job is to build the stage for them and get everything ready then tear it down when they are all done. It was really full on and long hours but not SUPER hard and its good money. I get to work with Ben and Brian and a lot of other cool people so no complaints so far :)

Well yall take care,Tyler