After months of big ideas and constant head spinning, I, yes I, finally made a plan. You got it kids. I made a real life decision. I've had a lot of crazy ideas throughout the past few months, and it was tough to know what I really wanted and what made the most sense for me after my time in Australia.
Here are a few of the many things I considered:
- volunteering (long and short term)
- teaching abroad (in Spain, Thailand, Korea to name a few)
- falling in real or fake love with an Aussie to secure another visa
- au pairing in Europe (Italy, Spain, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, etc.)
- solo traveling through Southeast Asia and beyond until I ran out of money
- a career in professional cuddling
You name it.. I probably considered it at one point. I briefly considered going home once too, but that lasted less than one day. Sorry friends and family for trying to keep up with me and my crazy brain. Just ask my sleep patterns... I can be quite exhausting.
There was however, the one thing I hoped for since the day I knew I wouldn't be returning home anytime soon. And that was New Zealand.
I chose New Zealand as my next destination for a variety a reasons. The people are lovely, the mountains are stunning, and the beaches are breathtaking. The population is relatively dense and the lifestyle is incredibly laid back. And to live in a place that beautiful? I could only be so lucky.
New Zealand, as it turns out, is also one of only a few other places where Americans can get legal year-long working holiday visas. There are very few limits, the application process is easy, and the best part? IT'S COMPLETELY FREE (which was an extremely welcomed change after the $365 one for Oz). It's also relatively close to where I already am. And by relatively close, I mean less than a 12 hour plane ride, which as you know, is nothing after you travel for 35 hours straight.
win, win, win, win, win. Is that too many wins? Whatever. You get the point.
And while I had this brilliant idea in my head since day one, I had no idea that finding the perfect family in kiwi country would be so damn difficult. For every 100 of these jobs in Australia, there are probably 2 in New Zealand. Talk about a hunt.
But completely out of nowhere, I stumbled upon the perfect profile on www.aupair-world.net:
- two kids- ages 4 months and 2 years old.
- 2 working parents, who are still in love (believe me, this matters as a person who has to live there)
- brand new, beautiful modern house.
- close to hiking AND the beach, which coincidentally, happen to be two of my favorite things.
- my own car.
- 4 weeks PTO.
- 30 hour "work" weeks with flexibility for traveling.
- 6 month to 1 year commitment.
Welp. That sounds pretty damn ideal. And actually, it sounded a great deal like my current family... a family that I couldn't be happier with.
So, after briefly emailing and deciding we could potentially be a good fit, we agreed to skype. It was currently down to me and 4 other applicants. It was time to rock this thing.
And here's my very professional opinion on how to prepare for one of those over-the-computer-kind-of-interviews:
step 1- think about how fun and outgoing, yet responsible you are.
step 2- eat ice cream... because whatever.. It's ice cream.
step 3- put on some jammie shorts and lay in bed. this is nothing but a face-to-face interview. get comfortable.
step 4- put your hair up and celebrate by drinking cheap wine directly from the bottle.
step 5- (not pictured) think happy thoughts and cross those fingers for dream job # 2!
The interview went extremely well and they were impressed by my easy-going personality, heaps of childcare experience, and ridiculously quick wit. The conversation flowed easily, and in my opinion, we couldn't have been a better match. However, as is always true, there was one other very stellar girl. Like every other potential job, no matter how many other interviews were conducted, it's always down to me and one other person. Why world why?!?!
So like after every interview, I felt defeated and thought of the hundreds of better things I could have said. Was I right for them? Would they pick me? I was going to be utterly devastated if they didn't. They said they'd sleep on it, and I would know by the weekend.
But just as soon as I started my crazy, insane, worrier, panic attack, I noticed 3 new emails. And just like that, I received the offer. I GOT THE JOB!! After screaming, jumping, and a few brief happy tears, I joyously accepted within minutes.
So I spent the last few days celebrating way too hard, applying for visas, and letting the whole idea settle. My next dream is officially coming true, and I could not be happier.
Leaving Australia will undoubtedly break my heart, but having another once in a lifetime opportunity on this beautiful island, should help me cope :). Here is a look at my beautiful new home located in Mairangi Bay (North Island):
Thank you all SO much for the congrats, well wishes, love, and unconditional support. I feel so blessed to have such great family, friends, and readers from around the world.