Chapter 8 Our Family Dayan

Our Family

Dayan was born in May 1974 in Invercargill.

We were in the fortunate position to have our home in Riverton and Belda House in Invercargill so Dayan had a home situation wherever we were – the great benefit of working from home.

As I travelled a lot from each business Dayan always came along. He was a great traveller and attended lots of exciting events as he was growing up.  Our Overseas Seminar travels, normally at least 2 a year meant presents after every trip, so the opening of the suitcases was an exciting event!

We had great support from Neville’s parents, who were always on hand to help. Dayan always travelled well and had 5 overseas trips before he was 5.

Dayan’s story

In 1996, Dayan started work at what was then called The Park Royal Hotel, and later the Crown Plaza, Christchurch’s top hotel. Working in the Guest Services dept, Dayan made his way through the ranks from Nightshift Porter, Commissionaire, to Concierge – ending his tenure at the hotel after 7 years in 2003 when he went to live in Japan with his Japanese partner, Yukiko.  Residing in an apartment next to a train line on the outskirts of central Tokyo, Dayan got a job as an English conversation teacher who had him working all around the Tokyo area.  Dayan enjoyed the experience of living in Japan, embracing the culture, food and language thoroughly before returning to New Zealand with Yukiko when his 12-month contract concluded.

Dayan later married Yukiko in 2004, before embarking on a 3-month mostly solo, overland adventure between St Petersburg, Russia, and Singapore. Experiencing, Russia, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand – before meeting up with Yukiko, to then continue on through Malaysia and Singapore together.

Shortly after returning from this journey, in 2004, Dayan began work as a Travel Consultant with House of Travel Barrington, where he would work for the next 11 ½ years.

During this time Dayan had many grand adventures including, hiking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, overland travel in South America, luxury travel in Canada, United States, Pacific Islands, Australia, and numerous trips to India.

During this period, Dayan and Yukiko brought their son Thane into the world in 2005 (now 14 ½ yrs. old)


In 2010 Dayan and Yukiko separated and the following year Dayan met Jody and shortly thereafter they began living and travelling together.  Eventually, they brought a home in Christchurch with Dayan’s sister Bonita in 2014, where they all lived together for 3 years.

In 2016, with his friend Ron, they drove a Tuk Tuk across India, accompanied by a cameraman and travelled over 2400km from New Delhi to Ahmedabad.

You can view some of their promo videos from their adventure here:

Shortly after leaving Barrington in 2016, Dayan began work at House of Travel Upper Riccarton, where he would stay until 2018.

2017 would see significant change for Dayan and Jody, as they parted from their home in the city and moved to the country.  Finding a small lifestyle property in North Canterbury, about 45mins North of the city that would give them a taste of semi-rural lifestyle, which included a unique feature.  As part of the land, it had a separate self-contained dwelling.  Such a feature was perfect for Dayan’s parents, Fran and Neville.

So Dayan, Jody, Fran & Neville all moved to the country to start a new chapter in each of their lives.

After a year of Dayan commuting back and forth each workday, an opportunity landed in Dayan’s lap to work for a company called “Customwalks” – a New Zealand owned, but Italian based tour operator that ran guided walking, cycling and Vespa tours in Europe.  Dayan was appointed Sales and Marketing Manager, which was a home-based role.

This suited Dayan immensely and gave him further opportunity to retain his engagement with House of Travel, but now as a Personal Travel Manager…. which also suited his home-based work lifestyle.

Now with the majority of his time spent at home, he was able to spend more time working on the formidable section, an ever-expanding flock of Chickens and even took up Beekeeping, which today brings him his own personal supply of honey from his 7 Beehives.

November 2019, brought news that Jody was pregnant, so a new Muntz would be expected in July the following year, 2020.

With the onset of Covid-19 having an extremely detrimental effect on both of Dayan’s travel-related roles, he was made redundant from Customwalks in June of 2020. Dayan’s House of Travel business experienced a dramatic downturn, resulting in the cancellation of all his client’s travel arrangements from April onwards for the rest of the year and as a result, all meant an abrupt and extended disruption to his income.

Having travelled to over 40 countries, and spending the past nearly 16 years in the travel industry, Dayan has decided to take the opportunity to embark on a new career in real estate… while still keeping his toes in the water with House of Travel, Dayan begins the task of studying for his Real Estate licence.

July 2020 rolls around, with Jody now expected to give birth any day.

Update:  So after 41 weeks + 6 days we finally met our newest member of the Muntz family… Dayan and I are excited to introduce Miss Aaliyah Rose Muntz weighing in at a hefty 4.38kg/9.7 pounds and 55cm long, born 25 July at 11.58am. Both baby and I are doing well…. so is Dad


You may also like