Every few weeks we sit down with someone interesting, doing something interesting. This week we meet Harri Jordan, who happens to be the Nelson Weekly’s newest reporter. She speaks about crossing the Atlantic, her perceptions of New Zealand and how she is finding the job.
So, what are you doing in Nelson?
I visited Nelson for a weekend last year. I did fall in love with it a bit. We did a big hike to the Mt Arthur summit and drove around seeing all the vineyards with the backdrop of the mountains. I love that. I used to work on a ski resort and got really used to it. So, when I got the opportunity to come and work here, it really appealed to me.
What were you doing before this?
I was working on super yachts. Before that, I was freelance chefing and grew up sailing as a kid and raced dinghies. I still do lots of windsurfing and love the water. A lot of my friends were working on super yachts. I wanted to travel so it made sense to get my tickets to do it. I was cooking and also sailing and deck handing. We went over to the Caribbean and went back to Europe, so I did two transatlantic crossings, which takes about 17 days.
What was that like?
It’s amazing. It’s full of ups and downs. There are really frightening moments with big swells and huge knots of winds, and you have life jackets on 24-7 and have to harness onto guy lines. But then you have times when it was really quiet and tranquil, and you have moments to really reflect. There is no light pollution, so the stars are incredible and the marine life is amazing. On my birthday I had two Atlantic minke whales behind the boat for three days. It was one of the best things I’ve done, ever. But at the end of it I knew I wasn’t using my brain enough. I was always writing so I knew at the end of the travelling I would try and make journalism work. So, after I finished up there I started looking for something.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Warwickshire, in England. It’s definitely different to here. Going back, I do feel very landlocked there and I do feel like the values are very different to here. When you come here, people, instead of asking what you do for a living, they ask what you are into. And for me that is so much more important than what sort of car you drive and what you look like. It’s really valued if you do stuff here rather than what job you have.
You’ve only been working at the Weekly for two weeks – how have you found it?
It sounds cliché but I love the fact that every day has been so different. Even the days where you can reflect on stories you have come across and you get time to take them apart and rewrite them. Then to be able to see it in a paper or online makes me really proud of what I’ve done, and I haven’t really had that job satisfaction before. Then being able to meet really brave and courageous, interesting people who you would never get to come across in normal life. That’s what I’ve really enjoyed, and it’s only been two weeks.