Dubliner Gavin Lang Loves NZ’s Mountains
Each week, The Irish Times column “Abroad” interviews an Irish person working in an interesting job overseas. Last week the newspaper met Gavin Lang, who is originally from Glasnevin, Dublin, but now lives in Lake Wanaka where he works as a mountain guide.
“I visited New Zealand for the first time in 2000 and loved every minute of it,” Lang explains. “To satisfy my curiosity I returned just over a year later and travelled around both islands on a one year working visa. I was never homesick for Ireland. Now I had a longing to return to New Zealand, my spiritual home. My interest in mountaineering became a reality through various trips with regional clubs. I already had good balance, endurance and rope skills, and I loved being on the side of a mountain, more so than underground.
“I figured I could return on a study visa and hopefully use that as a gateway to working in the outdoor leadership industry, or more specifically guiding. In 2004 I left Ireland knowing that I was going home to New Zealand. It had an intangible attraction that I couldn’t explain. The energy of this place, particularly the South Island, gives me what I need and makes me whole again. Wide-open spaces, tall glaciated mountains, rain forest, rivers, and a general ‘can do’ attitude from the people. There is a resilience and resourcefulness in Kiwis.
“I feel at peace here. I have a freedom I could never have in Ireland. I feel very connected to the environment and the sense of space here. I have also grown my hobby of photography into a business where I combine people in motion with the alpine landscape to produce my favourite kind of images. I’m currently working on a personal passion project in photography that that draws from my interest in self-development. The project will fulfil a long time creative desire. I have spent long enough living here to know how to put all the pieces of the puzzle together with support.”
Original article by The Irish Times, January 1, 2020.