A Southland showcase for Hungarian audiences

A Hungarian couple have taken their passion for travel and ‘vlogging’ to showcase the beauties of Southland and New Zealand to their home country nearly 18,000km away.
George Polgar and Kata Fazekas arrived in New Zealand from Hungary in 2016 after applying on a whim for one of the 100 working holiday visas allocated to their country for New Zealand.

The couple, who had only been together for six months when they applied, were promptly accepted and soon found themselves travelling to New Zealand and searching for a way to showcase their journey to their friends and family back home.

Mr Polgar said they decided the best way to do this was to ‘vlog’, or video blog, in which they would film short videos and upload them to social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

“When we planned our travelling I thought I would try to vlog about our journey. It would be easier to show everything to our families and friends so not to tell the same story for 20th times to somebody.”

After purchasing a van, the pair converted it into a self-contained motor home and emblazoned it with the word #SZEVASZTESO, which is a combination of the Hungarian words “szevasz” (hello) and “tesó” (slang for brother, bro or mate) to roughly translate to “hello mate”.

After initially inviting around 10-15 friends to follow their journey, they were soon inundated with close to 600 followers and some attention from media back home in Hungary.

“We had our small show in the market leader TV channel in Hungary. Each week on the summer morning show we were live from New Zealand sharing our stories with the audience. We were interviewed by radio channels from Hungary, I wrote 3-4 different articles for print media and websites, we were on the cover four times of the biggest Hungarian news portal and had 800 followers on our YouTube channel… it was a really short but successful period.”

Their blog has since attracted more than 2000 likes on Facebook and over 1100 subscribers on YouTube with over 75,000 video views.

However, despite the success, the pair has had to stop the blog due to the increased demand and lack of interest from sponsors.

Mr Polgar said they had attracted interest from a variety of companies back home but weren’t able to land any to continue the blog.

“That was one of the hardest parts and one of the reasons why I stopped vlogging. We tried to organise our travelling, making videos, blogs, Instagram and Facebook, articles and interviews, building our car and work for money and try to enjoy this whole thing at the same time. It was more than a lot to do so it would have been a good solution to find sponsors.”

Mr Polgar said despite the disappointment in having to stop their vlog, they had discovered a great place in Southland and weren’t planning on leaving anytime soon.

He said the journey had been incredible and they had loved showing off Southland and New Zealand to people back in Hungary and spreading a variety of messages along the way.

“The main message was that you control your life. So if you feel that your life is boring only you can change it, and there is no excuse for avoid changing… we like it so much here. It’s so enjoyable and we are really happy with everything what we have now.”

This article was originally written for The Advocate. You can read the published version here

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