third time’s the charm

my days in Aotearoa were coming close to an end.
I had finally reached what I thought would be my final destination before flying back home. but I got there on Tuesday, earlier than I expected, and obviously I didn’t want to be a pain with my Kiwi family staying in their house for the whole time… AND for the third time… but of course, mom Ali said that there was no problem and that I could stay there as long as I wanted!

notice the "Mexican maid" note there...

notice the “Mexican maid” note there…

I really didn’t do much in Wellington this last week and a half.
I met at Te Papa Museum with Andrea, Angela, and Jimena my Mexican friend that lives in Melbourne (she was travelling all around NZ by bus).


I met with Jeronimo and Anna who came all the way down to this city just to say goodbye. we went to the Te Papa Museum, again… but to be honest I could never get tired of this place. every time I go there, I find something new, it’s like the never ending museum! the Aztec exhibition was about to be open, so there were ads all around the entrance… and I found an old friend of mine among them…


Mictlantecuhtli and me


zee Germans!

then we walked around the city, had dinner at my favourite mexican place Viva Mexico, and finished the night at my favourite pub Molly Malones.

I gathered once more on Saturday with my Funky Green friends to say goodbye to Andrea who was leaving the next day. so we walked around the city, we had dinner at Burger Fuel, and then ended up at Four Kings to have a couple of beers.

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next day I was going to have the Mexican Night with my family. so early in the morning Mark and I went to the Sunday market on the waterfront. we bought all the ingredients, and on the way out I saw my friend Bruno once more! third time in three months… we talked a little bit and then said goodbye for good, chances of seeing him again this last week were very low.


after the market we went to their real home, which is being remodelled, for me to see the changes since last time. then he took me to see the Wellington sign near the airport, a sign I hadn’t been able to see and really wanted to have the cliche picture of it.


we went back home and I started getting things ready to start cooking. Mark’s daughter, Anna with her husband and kid were going to join as well and Tasarla’s boyfriend, Josh, too. so it would be full house for the Mexican night!

I started doing the dough for the homemade tortillas, and then started cooking the main course. everybody started arriving, and I started feeling a lot of pressure, the good thing was that they ALL started helping me, so while I was doing the sauce and the chicken, they became my tortilla making army.


it was a fun night! we laughed, and talked, and drank some wine. I was for sure going to miss them once I left.

the next day I stayed at home all day, writing and setting things for my departure. I was leaving on the 6th of October to LA from Auckland, so I had to find my way back up there. I found one of those relocation sites where you can rent cars for free, and there I found a car I could pick up in Wellington and return in Auckland airport after two days… so I decided to drive up to Rotorua, stay there for two nights, and then leave early on Sunday morning directly to the airport… the tricky part was that it would be a manual car, and it has been a WHILE since I’ve driven one… oh shit!

the next day I met with Angela. we went for a big walk and had some lunch together. we printed a couple of the “Funky Green Biatches” photos to give to the hostel owners as a thank you gift… she wanted to hang out a lot before I left, and I really wanted to do the same, but I just had a lot of things to do so I decided to be with her that whole day, and then see her on my last night… I was going to miss her for sure!


next day my driving lessons with Tasarla started. we went op shopping together along with Josh. I found this very cute outfit to wear the day I would meet with Robert, and other than that, nothing. in fact, I couldn’t really buy stuff, I actually had to get rid of my winter clothes because where I was going, was not as cold as NZ.


almost every day since I got to Wellington I had been texting and skyping with Robert. when I was in Napier, Robert and I had decided to go to Mexico. but I didn’t want to go back to Mexico City, it would not be fair to enter my comfort zone with him, specially if he doesn’t speak the language. I already had my ticket and I couldn’t afford to lose that, I was running out of money and buying a ticket to go somewhere else was not the best idea. so he agreed to come with me. we would fly to LA along with his friend Sebastian, stay there four days, then say goodbye to Sebastian and go to San Diego for a night to take the plane to San Jose del Cabo the next day. in Mexico we would start working for a guy from the States in Cabo Pulmo where he has some kind of hotel, a place that seems wonderful. we also had booked some work in exchange for accommodation with another couple in a ranch with horses, but that was not until the end of December. we decided that, because it would give me the chance to find a job to save some money and travel some more, if that’s what we wished for in the future. he was coming with me! he was being the sweetest guy ever, comforting me because I was really nervous with the road trip, and the manual car… he really cared for me, and we were both very excited to start this new adventure together!

on my last night in Wellington, my Kiwi family invited Angela and me to have a farewell dinner and drinks. this time, was the real goodbye… until they go to Mexico again, which seems more possible than me going back to NZ. we had dinner in an Indian restaurant, and then had some beers at a pub called Laundry… a pretty cool place!


next morning, Tasarla took me to where I had to pick up the car… I was VERY nervous… of course, I took the wheel and the engine stopped like three times right there in the car rental company… in front of everyone… terrible! Tasarla tried to cheer me up and helped me feel less nervous… we said goodbye with a big big hug, and we both drove away…

I was sad to leave my family… but I’m sure we’ll meet again someday… that’s what families do!

note for the road… may the Gods be with me and the people around me while I drive…

family moments

I arrived in Wellington’s airport later than it was planned because there was a huge delay in the taking off part in Chch.

my Kiwi mom, Ali, came to pick me up.

I had only two nights to spend with my beautiful Kiwi family, and that made me feel very sad. I enjoy every moment with them, and besides, I was going to miss Jesse’s farewell party on Saturday…

since the last time I saw them, they moved to a big and beautiful house just two blocks from where they were staying. this house is owned by one of Ali’s coworkers, and she decided to lend them the house while theirs is being fixed.

so here they all fitted perfectly, everyone had their own room… even me…

the first night we had dinner all together in the lounge, then I showed them some of the photos I took in my travels, and then off to bed.

on Wednesday I had breakfast at home, cooked by my sister Tasarla.
after taking a shower I had a skype conversation with a friend of mine in Dublin (who happens to be a hairdresser), and he told me I needed a makeover… more like a fringe… so while skyping, he was directing me, and this is the result…


then, when everyone had left to do their chores, I went off as well to the Te Papa museum to see the Andy Warhol exhibition there… simply BRILLIANT!

after that I strolled around the city until, after lunchtime, I went to Ali’s office to meet up with her and have coffee.

sculpture by Weta Cave

sculpture by Weta Cave

I came back home to repack my stuff and get ready for dinner… this night: Tacos, at New Zealand’s best Mexican restaurant “Viva Mexico“.

if you are ever on the search for genuine (or closest to genuine) Mexican food in Wellington, “Viva Mexico” is the place! they have tacos, tortas (these are NOT cakes, as most Latin Americans call them), tamales… just beautiful food! they are located in two spots. the original on Left Bank (perpendicular to Cuba Street Mall), and another one in Newtown.

we all had dinner there (except for Jesse who was working), and we had a round of mezcal shots… then the owner gave us a round of tequila shots! so nice of him!


after this we went to a bar called The Library, which is a cocktail bar full of books… the whole environment is amazing…

and after that, we went back home… it was pretty late and I had to leave the house at 4am to get to the airport.

but of course, I didn’t sleep at all… with the shots of tequila and mezcal in my system, along with a couple of beers and a cocktail, I was bound to miss my flight… and that thought kept me awake.

Ali had offered me a ride to the airport (which I tried to refuse… 4 am is no fun for anyone), and she actually woke up before to take me there…she’s amazing!
I know my mom or dad would do the same back home, which is why I completely feel like part of this family… when you care for someone and that someone cares the same about you, that’s when you know… and I know that I will always be their Mexican daughter, and they will be my Kiwi family forever!

windy welly

I could definitely live in Wellington
such a nice place, small yet it has everything!
it’s not as spread as Auckland, which makes it a walking/biking city.
the weather might be the only thing that sucks in the windy capital… at first it showed me how beautiful days can be, sunny and shiny and warm, and all was perfect from Tuesday to Saturday… but Sunday came, and with it a long white cloud and wind and rain, and it didn’t stop for 48 hours… and then sun again…

never the less, my days in Wellington were happy days.
I could just imagine myself living there for the rest of my life.
it’s a city with lots of things to do… there’s always a market or a concert or a play… there’s museums, cafes, and premieres of The Hobbit… people are nice and friendly, food is diverse, and nightlife is amazing!
everything is near, and if it isn’t, public transportation will make it near for you! it’s just perfect!

this is the Sunday market on the waterfront... and as you can see, this is the fish kiosk! :)

this is the Sunday market on the waterfront…and as you can see, this is the fish stand! 🙂

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I was totally welcomed as a member of the Mills-Wallis Family.
my kiwi parents and siblings are just amazing! although they were all tight in a small apartment because their house is being renovated as you read, they gave me my own room!
and each one of them took me out to do something different.

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so, on my first day I had breakfast with Jesse, then I visited the Te Papa Museum which is brilliant! it has a lot of stuff, from geological and natural to early and late human history of New Zealand… seems like it never ends, every floor has something really interesting to show.

Te Papa
in the evening I went with Mark to see the sunset from their house in Island Bay, and this is what Wellington had for me (the mountains that are in the far back, are actually part of the South Island):

Island Bay

the next day was all about doing some touristic stuff… I went on the cable car up to the botanic gardens, then had lunch with Ali, and finally I visited the Museum of Wellington City & Sea… not bad!

on Friday I went to “Weta Cave” – Weta Workshop is a special effects and prop company, producing effects for television and films such as The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Narnia, District 9, Avatar, Tintin, The Hobbit, etc- … arriving I met Caitlin from California. we toured together, then we had lunch with Jesse, and at night we went to have several beers in different bars… it was a GREAT night! unfortunately after this Caitlin went to Blenheim to live and work and I wasn’t able to see her again… maybe later we will be able to do some traveling together!



Saturday was my special day with Ali. we went to the Orongorongo Track outside of Wellington to do some hiking, this was my first track in NZ! I really loved it! it was nice to see green from up close, and to smell all those beautiful scents… I hope I can be able to do more “tramping” as they call it in New Zealand, and apparently the South Island has loads of tramping tracks, and that’s right where I’m heading!
in the evening we went to an awesome bar called Havana.




Sunday – FunDay: Saint Patrick’s Day!
Jesse invited me to spend the afternoon pub crawling around Wellington with his friends. mostly we visited Irish pubs, and on my favorite, Molly Malones, the band played a song I asked them to play by saying this: the next song is to Karen from Mexico… this is Rocky Road to Dublin!!!



finally, when my days in Wellington were coming to an end, I decided I should get tramping shoes for my walks in the South Island… and that’s when I discovered the magic of the Salvation Army Family Stores!
Tasarla and I went to have breakfast – mushrooms on toast… yum!!! – and then headed off to do some op shopping on Cuba Street.
I couldn’t find what I was looking for, and Tasarla needed to go to uni, so I went to the big Salvation Army Family Store in Newtown by myself… and there I bought a jumper ($10), 4 pairs of socks ($2.50), and a pair of tramping shoes ($6)…
total spent: $18.50
conclusion: op shopping is the best shopping!


on my very last day in Wellington I decided to finally walk up to the lookout on Mount Victoria. I think it’s the perfect place to see it all… 360° of buildings, mountains, ocean, ferries, and houses… 360° of joy… and that’s when it hit me, standing at the top of Wellington, I just thought “I love you New Zealand”… I’m HERE, and the journey is just beginning!


on my way down I met Christiane, 65 year old German teacher… she’s now traveling because she’s not working anymore back home… after a small chat of where we come from and what we do she said to me in a very sincere and empathic way: enjoy your life! may you find what you need to complete you in every direction!


and that’s all I have to say, about that..


today I met beautiful Paul.
I think he’s one of the “osomest” persons I’ve ever met… a lesson in life, inspiration, a great message: NOTHING CAN EVER STOP YOU (yes, you… and me… and him)

Paul has travelled through Kenya, most of Europe, Australia, Jamaica, and now New Zealand.
in this occasion (I don’t know about the rest) Paul came to New Zealand to see the cricket matches where his home country, England, plays.
the first match is here in Wellington, then he goes to the second one in Auckland, and he ends his trip in Rotorua doing a little bit of outdoorsy activities.

the story of how I met Paul is not very exciting, but it sure is beautiful and it fills me with happiness and somehow with hope.

I was walking out of the Te Papa museum about to head left to go get something to eat when I saw him, struggling a little bit to find his way, but managing to get through, there was Paul… I offered him my services as a guide – though I had NO idea of how to move around the city – and he happily said yes, he told me that he had been kayaking in the morning and that he wanted to chill at a beach called Oriental Bay, and since I had to tell him that I was not a local (because obviously I had to ask for directions), we both found out about each other that we are traveling by ourselves in this beautiful country…

you see, Paul is blind, and there’s nothing in the world that stops him from traveling… he lays on the sand and feels the sun touch his face… he travels to SEE a cricket match… he goes kayaking and seeks outdoor activities… he moves and gets through, all by himself… he seems happy… I can’t even imagine what traveling is for him… and he does it, he travels and feels and smells and listens… he travels and lives, although he’s got a great disadvantage… he LIVES…
what is our excuse to not do the things we want in life?