The Kia Ora Project

How it all started

Last year I was planning what have become my furthest & longest trip so far: A whole year in New Zealand, followed by Australia, Southeast Asia and India.

From the get go I’ve decided I didn’t want to work my regular job. Don’t get me wrong -“I freaking love my job”- in fact it was right after my first travel that I’ve decided to completely changed careers so I could keep traveling, but I didn’t want to come all the way to New Zealand to stare at my computer screen for the best part of my day

So I’ve saved enough money (or so I thought so :D) to work part time and use the remaining time to do something different…

…And so I did

Working for Red Cross – Paying it forward pt.1

That will definitely be one of those things I mention whenever people ask me about cool things I have done. When I saw the chance I didn’t think twice…when can I start?

Being in a new place, talking to people of all sorts, “selling” an idea you actually believe in…it doesn’t get much better than this.

If this would’ve been part-time it would’ve been perfect, but volunteering full-time while juggling clients and trying to experience a new culture…no sugarcoating: everything was half-assed!

While this was a great experience I couldn’t keep with it without sacrificing a great deal, and although difficult it was the right decision to step aside.

Working in the Kiwi Orchards – Paying it forward pt.2

What is more New Zealand than working with kiwifruit? Pretty much anything else!

People tend to think that the New Zealander got their nickname “Kiwis” from the kiwifruit.

Sorry to disappoint you, but it actually comes from a rare native bird, that also gave his name to the kiwifruit (formerly known as the Chinese Gooseberry, as it’s originating from China)!

It was definitely a different experience as I’ve only had office jobs up until that point in my life. Would I go back to it? Only if I had no other choice.

It was hard physical labour and I was not particularly good at it and I really don’t like underperforming.

It wasn’t starting at 7am and finishing at 5:30pm, it wasn’t the sun, it wasn’t the no talking / no listening to music rule…it was the stress of not meeting my targets that got me. I cannot stress enough how much I hate underperforming.

That was by far my most stressful time in New Zealand and it definitely took its toll on me. Neverthless…a new experience.

The Kia Ora Project – Paying it forward pt.3 (3rd time’s a charm)

Right after I bought a car and start traveling outside the main centers I realized a lot of businesses didn’t have a website, mostly small family owned business.

Whenever I’d stop at a cafe, restaurant or any other little shop I’d have a talk about that and it was no surprise to me that it was mostly a matter of opportunity (or lack of).

The internet is still perceived as something overly complicated and too technical for a small business owner.

Funny enough it is the other way around when you look from a client’s perspective: Most people know how to perform a google search and they use it daily to lookup for products and services, but due its complex nature they tend not to get their business online and/or rely merely on facebook pages for their clients to find them.

Although I was still reluctant to get back into my old routine as a web developer I’d still think like one and my business background didn’t make it any easier to ignore this fact.

It was in Nelson that I first start steering into the skid and drafting something that could meet the sweet spot between making it as easy as possible for just about any small business owner to get their websites up and running without breaking the bank?

Fast forward 3 months, a couple dozen cities and you get The Kia Ora project.