How a failed journey to Malta brought me to apply for a working holiday visa to New Zealand

How a failed journey to Malta brought me to apply for a working holiday visa to New Zealand

(photo by @helloemilie)

Earlier this year I applied and got a job to move to Malta for the summer. Unable to talk openly about it because I didn’t want to tell my job I was leaving, I had to celebrate quietly and personally, only telling friends and family, as opposed to making a grand social media “So excited to announce.” But that didn’t stop me from preparing for the journey. I started google mapping my way around Maltese towns and doing research like “Malta is HOW small?” and “but like in general, what’s their deal?” From the months of January to March I daydreamed about swimming in clear, blue waters and working for an international education company. Unfortunately, my excitement resulted in me not asking enough questions during the interview (don’t be afraid to ask about salary and schedule!!) and in the end I had to reject the opportunity because it didn’t make financial sense and the schedule wasn’t the three glorious months under the Mediterranean sun I was expecting. I was happy that I didn’t have to make a social media apology but I still felt dreadful having to send messages to my friends saying, “yeah so I’m not going to Malta….”

When the pain wore off and I was left with the facts that I wasn’t spending the summer in Europe I was faced with the fear of what was next. It was a Saturday when thoughts kept rushing through my head during a walk in the park. Should I stay at my job? Should I quit my job but find a new one in New York? Should I travel somewhere else? I didn’t seem to have a simple answer. My logical side was deeply aware of the benefits of staying put, planting roots, and progressing in my career. But deep down was my other side telling me that an adventure was on the horizon. My sister had done a working holiday in Australia and I myself had thought about doing a working holiday more than once. But I never seemed to have a firework moment of deciding to bite the bullet and do it. On that Saturday, I didn’t feel like I was about to make a life changing decision. I returned home from my walk and simply went on the New Zealand immigration website to “look around.”

I clicked on the application form and began to fill out it. I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to apply, not before properly THINKING ABOUT THIS HUGE DECISION. Instead I would just fill out the form until I got to the payment page, then I would close the website and not open it up again until I had thought it through. To my surprise, the application fee was waived and all of sudden I had clicked submit and a page appeared informing me that I had applied to a working holiday scheme. I texted my best friend, “when you get bored on a Saturday and apply to a New Zealand visa.” As soon as I sent the follow up text to my friend that read “I’m not even sure I’d go just really bored lolol” I knew I was going to go to New Zealand. I’m not religious or even particularly spiritual, but the moment I pressed submit on that application, I felt something. That Monday I woke up to an email in my inbox that said I had been approved, and that was that. I was going to New Zealand.

Sometimes things just happen. After months of planning and preparing for Malta, the whole thing was destroyed with a salary and a schedule. Then it took me all of twenty minutes to apply to a visa (seriously efficient, NZ government) to move across the world. I spend so much time trying to figure out what the right decisions in my life are while forgetting there really are no right and wrong decisions (unless your decisions are physically harming yourself or others). Life just comes at you and you just have to be open to what is thrown your way. Deciding to go to New Zealand might not be the “right” decision, but it’s the next chapter I want to write. A quote by Deepak Chopra explains it best:

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.”

So with that, I look to the next adventure. NZ, here I come.