You’d think that after five years of continuously nagging about New Zealand, I’d know what the conditions of entry to the country are. I rocked up to the airport two hours before my flight, not even grasping the fact that it’s technically international travel. I thought I could just walk in, find myself a husband, and stay forever, but I was wrong – god, the amount of times I get shit wrong is starting to be a bit worrying, isn’t it? Apparently, you need proof of leaving before they let you in, so before I was allowed to check in, the flight attendant made me book my flight back to Australia. I did a quick count, gave myself a good 40 days to travel the country with this Kiwi Experience bus – thought that would be long enough given how wary I was to start this trip – and was finally on my way.

I’ve been a spoilt little brat living in the city, having an extensive wardrobe to choose from (jk, it’s all black dresses anyway), showering in hair free bathrooms, and not having to wash every kitchen utensil prior to cooking out of fear of getting chlamydia, so my first night in the hostel in Auckland was a good wake up call. From then on it was going to be fishing shorts out of the bottom of my bag, sniffing shirts to check if I could wear them another day, and of course, hand washing and blow-drying knickers in the hostel bathroom. You could say I could just organise my pack properly to make my life a bit easier, but given that I had packed my bag in two minutes, shoving literally whatever I could find in it so I could Netflix with my hot Welshman, there was not much I could do to make this shit show any less bad. Turns out you don’t need five jackets, four jumpers, and three pairs of jeans (especially the ones that don’t even fit anymore). I was, and still am, a proper mess.

In the morning, I shoved my unnecessarily unpacked shit back in my bag, and made my way to the bus stop. I instantly met two girls I hit it off with; one of them literally the crazy English version of me. We made more friends on the bus – and by make friends I mean I went around and called all the other English people bus wankers – and by dinner time, we’d formed a nice group. The hostel was having a pub quiz, and I teamed up with the two Scotsmen and their English friend. As per usual, I didn’t always get what they were saying, but thoroughly enjoyed listening to their accents. We were absolute shit at the quiz, so naturally, as always happens when hanging out with Brits, we just got smashed instead. Meanwhile, my Crazy Blonde’s team was doing even worse, and when they announced the final ranking, they had literally done so badly they got a bar tab for being the second worst. Her group had already left to get a good night’s sleep, so we took it upon us to make most of the hard-earned prize. Needless to say, it all went downhill from there.

I don’t know if it was the vodka, the knock-off Jägerbombs, or the Arctic Monkeys, but all of a sudden, my English team mate started to look very much like a fake Zac Efron. I won’t go into detail with what happened – and how I may or may not have said he looks like a fake Zac Efron, and how I may or may not have talked about The Inbetweeners 90% of the time – but it ended with a proper make out sesh on the beach, and approximately 30 minutes later, my head in the toilet bowl. It was quite the night to end my first fucking day on the bus – especially since it was literally downhill from there the next day as we were going sandboarding off these massive dunes – but it was well worth it. If university has taught me anything in those four years, it’s how to (pretend to) be a fully functioning human after a night of drinking. I had the best time with my Bus Wankers the day after, and after having explained to one of the guys that I’m actually not a huge bitch, but just love quoting Simon, Neil, Will, and Jay, I knew we were going to get along great.