So i've gone through Smaller Earth now on three different programs. First of all I went to summer camp in 2013, 2014 & 2015 through Smaller Earth's Camp Leaders. I also went on their Best of Thailand trip recently but this Kiwi and Kiwi package blows a lot of the things i've done right out of the water.
To put it simply, this is a seriously cool way to spend a season working abroad. After 3 summers at camp in America I knew I needed a change, the sunshine and the warm nights were amazing but I needed to experience new challenges, new culture and chase new adventures. When I spoke to Smaller Earth they told me this was the answer. They weren't wrong.
I wasn't a strong Snowboarder, I've never even tried skiing so I wasn't sure if I was cut out for this but i've worked in bars and hotels and I have bags of attitude. That's all you need for Queenstown. Attitude.
The application process through Smaller Earth was easy, I've gotten to know some of the Smaller Earth team over the years but I didn't even realise there's an office in Queenstown until I applied. They met me when I arrived, we went for a beer and they helped me get set up for my 6 months in New Zealand. As soon as I landed it felt as though I was meeting some old friends.
Smaller Earth arranged face to face Skype interviews with some resort guys and I landed myself job at The Remarkables slopes working in the bar. Good money, fairly decent tips. Enough to live and enjoy the Queenstown lifestyle!
Queenstown is just a hub for adventure, it's quite difficult to find accommodation but once you're there it's just full of young people with the best outlook on life. I joined some Facebook groups to meet new people but through working on the slopes it's not difficult at all. Sadly all my best friends seem to be the other side of the world.
I flew out in early May to start my New Zealand adventure and on the way home visited via Thailand in November. I only wish I could of stayed for the full year to make full use of the year long visa!
What I will say is that be careful if you go on this program... you might never want to come back!