A Facebook memory came up for me this week where I had posted that “New Zealand had only gone and given me a year’s visa!”
That was ten years ago…
I had done various bits of travel, but had never done the Big OE or gap year. There was always something in the way, until there wasn’t, and when I realised there wasn’t, it was a decision that came quite easy.
There’s a story that I share about how the gremlins came too, and my drinking and that it wasn’t all a bed of roses, but that’s not this one.
I was only coming to New Zealand as a first stop. It was the one place that did working visas up to 35, other countries were only up to 30, and as it had been a fairly quick decision it wasn’t like I had years of savings behind me. In fact I was in debt when I made the decision, and then worked my butt off for three months to get out of debt and enough money for a ticket and a bit in the bank. I needed to be in a country where I could start working and earning pretty quick.
My work visa got renewed and then turned in to a partnership visa, a residency, a permanent residency and in 2021 I became a citizen of New Zealand.
Was that my plan ten years ago? That I would get one of these beautiful passports?
Did not ever occur to me, as I say it was just meant to be the first stop…
Had I planned to become a Life Coach, be self-employed, work alongside the most incredible charity? No, during my nursing degree, I even tried to get out of the mental health placements, because I did not see why I needed to do them, ‘but I am never going to work in mental health’ I would protest!
Had I thought that I would buy a bach on the water’s edge, a little piece of paradise?
Heck no, although maybe three or so years in to my time here, a caravan started to appear on my vision boards, and turned out pretty darn close to those pictures!
Before I left back in 2013, Dad asked me, what is this, what can we call it, because it’s not a holiday. I think my response was that it was a journey because to me that held that unknown. Knowing what I know now, I would have probably replied an adventure.
The best bit? I feel I am still on it. I am still on that journey, I am still having that adventure.
When I was back in the UK this time a friend asked me when I was coming back, I said ‘not yet’, I was asked ‘so you are’, I said ‘I don’t know’.
It’s not easy living a life that I love, doing what I feel I was put on the planet to do, but it’s on the opposite side of the world to the family you love. But this is what my journey, this adventure looks like for now. I remember my sister once saying to me, “we know where we plan to be in five years, that doesn’t seem to be important to you.” She was right.
I’m not in a wishy washy place of ‘going with the flow’, seeing what happens. I am making plans, getting adventures booked in, but with an openness to the outcome, the opportunities and paths that will show up along the way. I sit here writing this thinking about what the next ten years could hold, or even when thinking about what this weekend could hold, it fills me with a beautifully warm, grounded, aligned excitement!
The not knowing is not the life for everyone, I don’t have children, I don’t have dependents, and it will not be everyone’s choice, and I totally respect that. But if you’re reading this and thinking, I do like the sound of it but I’m broke/got dependents/no time, please know it doesn’t have to be big travels.
As I mention in this podcast, adventures can be of any size. They can be a few milliseconds long, or they can last a lifetime. We really can bring an adventurous mindset in to our everyday, and I will finish here by giving you 100 everyday ideas to ponder on…