So, despite finishing the blog series only a few days ago, my big South Island adventure in Aotearoa New Zealand ended mid-January. I spent a few weeks trying to decide my next move, and it proved a lot harder than I expected.
After three years, I’m going home.
The situation (at the time of writing)
Looking around, it’s quite easy to say that I’m in the best place possible, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Aotearoa New Zealand has been hailed as one of the most successful countries at handling the whole thing, and after our first lockdown in 2020 – and a brief one for Auckland later in the year – we’ve been able to enjoy a relatively normal life.
Rules are strict but fair. Bars and restaurants are open, and domestic tourism has been a blessing for me. I’ve seen some amazing things since finishing work, and there’s still time to see a bit more.
On the other hand, the UK has been in and out of lockdown since this whole thing started. The economy is suffering, and a relatively normal life seems a while away. You can blame what you want for this; poor leadership, confusing rules, people not following the rules or any other number of things. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, Covid has still got the country in its grips, and their hopes now lie in the vaccine program.
So, with all that being said, why am I going home?
The reasons behind my decision
I took this into account when making my decision, but there were other factors.
My work rights were up in New Zealand. Some people have had theirs extended, and I’d hoped mine would be, too. There’s a shortage of people being able to work and with borders being closed, getting more people in isn’t really easy – beyond returning Kiwis. There’s no guarantee they can, or will, do the jobs available, though.
I’m not going to lie, I’m annoyed that people in my position didn’t have the work rights extended, but that’s not a point I want to dive into here. The fact is, they haven’t been.
I have some savings, but I don’t to burn through them just waiting out this situation. I wouldn’t be able to do anything fun or adventurous, and I’d still be in hostels, so it wouldn’t be a great quality of life for me.
I also have a few writing projects on the go, and I need to invest some time. I can do that at home, with a bit more comfort than I can here. Yes, I’m giving up a lot. I’m aware of this, and it’s not a decision I’ve made lightly, but those projects mean a lot to me and putting things off has been a staple for the last few years. I can’t dither forever.
News on those will come in the near-ish future. Promise.
The next plans
With that decision made, I have a little time left to play with. While I’ve seen a lot of the South Island, I’ve not seen much of the north, and I want to change that.
I won’t get to see as much of this island, so it will be a shorter sprint-like adventure than the last, but I have some really cool stuff to explore with you.
What the future holds, I’m not sure, but I’m gonna make the most of the time I have left out here. I hope you’re ready for another epic experience, because one is coming your way. Follow the blog, or see me on the go with Instagram!