Monday, January 13, 2014

Getting Rooted in New Zealand guest post

I'm excited to welcome author Jamie Baywood to my blog today to talk about her book Getting Rooted in
Zealand. I love travelling, so this one definitely interests me! Anyway, here's Jamie:

It was always my dream to live abroad when I was growing up in California. I had bad dating experiences in California and read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’s population at 100,000 fewer men than women. I wanted to have some me time and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so. Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband a Scottish man in New Zealand. 

I consider myself an accidental author. I didn’t go to New Zealand with the intentions of writing a book about my experiences there. I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too.

One of the first people I meet was Colin Mathura-Jeffree from New Zealand’s Next Top Model. I had no idea who he was or that he was on TV when I meet him. He is friends with my former flatmate. We had a steep staircase that I kept falling down. Colin taught me to walk like a model so I wouldn’t fall down the stairs. 

In New Zealand, I had a lot of culture shock. One of the most memorable moments was learning the meaning of the Kiwi slang word “rooted.” One night I was brushing my teeth with my flatmate and I said, ‘I’m really excited to live in this house because I have been travelling a lot and I just need to settle down, stop traveling and get rooted’. He was choking on his toothbrush and asked me if I knew what that meant because it had a completely different meaning New Zealand than it does in the States.

I had the opportunity to write and perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland. The funny thing about that experience was Tom kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their experiences in New Zealand. All of the other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren’t their own. At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,” laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I would tell them, “I wasn’t acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.” 

I love making people laugh more than anything else. I feel very grateful when readers understand my sense of humor. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland. 

About the book Getting Rooted in New Zealand:

Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.

About the author Jamie Baywood:

Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon

Jamie Baywood can be followed on the following sites: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

Thanks so much to Jamie for being on my blog today (and for making me check the meaning of rooted on Urban Dictionary)!


  1. Isn't that always how it works? You decide to stop looking for a significant other and decide to focus on yourself and then BAM! They show up out of the blue:) I've always wanted to go to New Zealand, it looks like an absolutely stunning country. Plus, accents. I've had the pleasure of visiting Scotland, but I hope to go back at some point as I was only there for 2 days. Thanks for sharing some of your experiences Jamie!

  2. Okay, I read this post on another blog, and I am still wanting to know what exactly rooted means. Guess I better just go google it.

  3. This sounds so good! And funny! I'm a Californian who would love to go to New Zealand and get rooted. ;)

  4. I've seen this book on another blog before and it sounds really hilarious and anecdotal. Thanks for sharing Megan!

  5. Hmm, never heard of this before! Thanks for sharing! <33

  6. We picked this book up last year and recommended it as a good read if you were travelling to NZ. It just gives such a great sense of place (+ unusual experiences to keep you hooked!) that an 'ordinary' visitor may never experience, so it's a lovely way to get to know the country from a different angle. Great interview!