Answering Union Jack’s call

I don’t know why I spent a good two minutes laughing at the title of this blog post. It’s probably because I thought I was being really funny and smart at 1.55am but then it hits me that it’s neither funny nor smart but I keep it anyways as a reminder of how ridiculous I can be.

Anyways, hello, I’m neither funny nor smart but I’m here to talk about probably the most exciting and scariest decisions I’ve made in my life to date: moving to London. Eeeek!

london

So when did I make this decision? Well, it’s always been in the back of my mind. Since I was about 12, I’ve always wanted to go to London and Europe in general to explore castles, hilltops, visit historical spots and touch all the forbidden items in museums and art galleries and set off alarms, get arrested and deported back to my native NZ… okay I digress, but you get my point. But I never did it when I was younger because life got in the way. I was either in a long-term relationship, building a long-term career or just swimming in debt because of my shocking poor money decisions.

Now that I’m no longer single, no longer working on my career since I’ve put it on hold and a little bit better with my debts, I feel like it’s finally time to do this. I know for a fact that if I don’t and I settle, I’m always going to wonder ‘what if?’ and I’ll probably go through a painful midlife crisis that includes abandoning my partner/husband and children to go on this crazy ‘finding me’ trip. So yeah, it’s time.

I’m going on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa, which entitles me to stay and work in the UK for two years. I leave New Zealand on 20 March from Auckland International and head to Doha and then leave Doha to London on 21 March. I arrive in London at 6.20am (LOL) and I know you’re probably like wtf but I chose my flight based on two important factors: price and shortest wait time. After buying my tickets did I realise I was arriving super early AND my flight from Auckland to Doha is 18 hours long – the longest flight in the world, literally (YEAH WTF). But what’s done is done and it’s part of the adventure so I’m not gonna cry about it. Yet. Maybe I’ll do a blog post on the experience… (let me know if you’re actually interested…)

I’m going to be staying with an old work colleague while I find my feet and I’m so grateful for her letting me crash on her floor. I know it’s going to be a hella busy first week filled with job interviews with different agencies, picking up my BPR (I think that’s what it’s called), sorting out a bank account, working out how to use the god damn public transport system, finding a flat, etc etc etc. Gosh I’m exhausted just thinking about it all but I know deep down that it’s all gonna be worth it and I’m gonna be okay.

I mentioned last year that I’ve been quite unwell. The bad news is that I still have my off days but I don’t think I’m going to let that get in the way of my plans. I’ll of course be discussing the trip and my worries with my doctor before I go but I’ll be sure to register with a GP as soon as I find a flat (apparently the UK have these rules where you can only be registered to a GP in the area that you live in). Worst case scenario is that I end up hospitalised in the UK or I have to cut my trip short and come home earlier and that’s totally fine because by then I would’ve done some travelling and gone outside of my comfort zone. So yeah, I’ve thought about this, I haven’t neglected this pretty significant detail.

So how am I feeling about it now that I’ve got 61 days left to go? Well, I’m shitting myself. There’s always the doubt of whether or not I’m going to find a job, of whether I’m going to find a place to stay, whether I have enough money to get by before getting a job and a steady income, and hell what if I hate it? There’s always going to be the thought of failure if I do come back early but I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay because I repeat, at the end of the day I’ve travelled and I’ve tried it and yeah.

There are so many exciting things happening when I get there. I’m going to see Flight of the Conchords at the O2 (I think it’s there) and I’m going to Prague in the first week of April. I’m still planning other trips away in April because it’s birthday month so why not treat myself!

While I’m shitting myself about this, I’m also really freaking excited and I think excitement outweighs fear. I’m really looking forward to the sites, the experiences, the people, the journey, the tears (I know there’s going to be lots and lots of tears be it joy or sorrow) and the memories.

I guess that’s all I’ve got to say about the journey for now. I’m thinking I’ll do like a moving blog series closer to the time but for now, it’s back to the list of things to sell, downsizing my stuff, to-do lists of things I need to do before I bail and yeah… thanks for reading and see ya next time!

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Have you moved away from your homeland? What was it like? I’d love to hear all about your experiences and if you’ve got any advice!

Reflections

Wow. 2018. You’re finally here. I must say I’ve been really looking forward to you. I’ve got so much planned and I can’t wait to create new memories with you.

2017; you’ll always be a bittersweet memory. We went through many highs and many lows (let’s be honest – more lows than highs). But you’ve made me stronger. I’m glad you happened and you’ll always serve as a reminder of the strength that I have within myself; of the courage that I can call upon when shit really hits the fan.

IMG_3167The sunset out at Oakura, New Zealand

I hope you all had a safe and merry New Years and a wonderful 2017 Christmas. Here’s to a 2018 that will hopefully raise the roof.

I’ve always found it interesting that when we’ve had a shitty year, we just can’t wait for it to end because we want to start fresh. So when the countdown starts, we’re all waiting in anticipation for something incredible to happen when the clock hits 12.00am. What we’re waiting for, I have no idea. A router reset? For our memories to fade? For everything to just change? Let’s be honest though, nothing really changes. Fireworks may go off, we’ll cheers to a better year and we’ll sing and dance. But our problems are going to follow us into the new year if we don’t acknowledge our troubles or strive for change. Perhaps it’s the comfort of knowing the year has come to an end and a new one has begun. But the thing is, we can always start fresh at anytime, we don’t need to wait for the new year. Anyways, I’m going off on a tangent, I’ll stop here.

I’m sure many of you can relate when I say that a lot has happened last year. Towards the end, I did a lot of self-reflecting about what I wanted, what’s important to me, what I hoped for and what I need to do to get to where I want to be. I made some changes for the better; acknowledged that some things needed to change but I’m still trying to work out what I need to do to change it; cried a lot; laughed a lot; held on to bitter memories; let go of said bitter memories; prioritised my family and myself; finally went paddle boarding!!! – The list goes on and on and I don’t want to bore you.

IMG_3482Photo credit: dawnchapmanphoto

I think my year started right – I explored my creative side by setting up my bullet journal, I went for a swim at the beach, I ate fish and chips and I saw Bryan Adams perform live at the Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth. Mind you, the weather was absolutely shit with rain and wind and I got absolutely saturated. But hey, I had some sweet gumboots on, gems on my face and I got to dance to ‘Summer of 69’ in the rain, along with everyone else. It was incredible.

It was kinda hard to get a decent photo since it was such a wet, wet evening so please don’t laugh at the poor photography skills (or do laugh, idk).

I’m thinking that this year I want to experiment more and do things that scare me, even if it’s a slight scare.

So what does this mean for this blog? As you can see, it’s undergoing some changes. I’ve created another logo which I think is a huge step up from the last one (haha) and I’m working on changing the look and feel of the blog. I’m also planning on trying out different content and seeing how it goes. I guess it’s going to be a time of trial and error and I hope you stick around for the journey to give me feedback on my content and share your thoughts on what you’d like to see more or less of.

Before I go, I just want to quickly announce that in three months, I’m going to be embarking on probably one of the most exciting and scariest adventures: I’m moving to London. More details of the planned trip to come!

LONDON CALLING

And of course, more blogs coming your way too!