We all have dreams. Dreams are these ideals that people strive towards. Or they can be just that – dreams. You’ll often find yourself thinking how and if things were different. And what you’d be doing if you won a million dollars. Why is it so hard to make dreams come true? Well. We are built to chase instant pleasures. Easy fixes. The hard truth is, that most people never achieve their dreams. You do your daily tasks, while thinking about a sunny beach in Hawaii. And before You know it, it’s time to go to bed and right back to work. You close Your eyes for a minute and boom – 10 years have passed and You’re not even a step closer to that beach. They’re called dreams, because they’re idealistic situations. Great safe zones to escape to in Your mind, while You’re getting ready for Your next boring pre-planned part of Your daily routine. Most of these dreams require You to get off Your ass and start putting in the work towards them. You can visualize that shit all day, but if You haven’t moved a muscle by the end of the day, that’s as close as You’re going to get to catching any of those dreams.
I, too, like to dream, but as I’ve said before, I’m really more of a planner. There’s something about that moment, when all those thought out details and leads come together as another one of Your good plans is succeeding right in front of Your eyes. I live for that moment. It makes me feel bulletproof. Ever since Australia, I’ve always had the next plan in the works. I hate the feeling of standing still. You know what I mean. That feeling, how You’re just another little hamster in someone’s wheel and just grinding on and on for someone else’s dreams. In general, I have no problem with it. We all need to grind every once in a while. It’s inevitable, Mr. Anderson. But while I’m on the grind, I always feel locked down. Like I’m a puppet and some other dude is pulling the strings. So I dream of breaking out. I can dream for years and never get to it, because there’s always another daily problem to fix. But I’ve been planning this one for years now. I spent the last few years getting my shit together and building myself up for this moment. I deserved a break. And so I finally felt stable enough to fulfill another one of those dreams.
I always heard backpackers say amazing things about New-Zealand, while travelling Australia. It’s nominated everywhere to be the most beautiful country in the world and from what I’ve heard and seen from the pictures, I totally believe them. It’s got the perfect climate and is simply naturally breathtaking. It’s also financially quite well off. By the important numbers, it seems to be comparable to Finland, which I know quite well. And most importantly – I’ve been a fan of Lord of the Rings for my whole life and I’ve always wanted to see some of these amazing landscapes with my own eyes. Besides, I’ve already role-played as Frodo once in Australia, when I delivered a ring 3300km’s away to an Estonian girl, who had forgotten it in my bed prior to that.
I remember an early date with X, where I mentioned, that I might just randomly move to New-Zealand. She freaked after I said that. She tried every kind of manipulation tactics, she could think of, to get me to reconsider. Hell, I remember her even shaming me for wanting to be an irresponsible child. Similar things have happened with other women as well. I guess travelling to New-Zealand has always been one of those dreams for me and it’s quite normal for women to try to control men. But I am my own man. A free man. And a free man can do whatever the fuck he wants.
After looking into the Working Holiday Visa requirements a year ago, I found out, that they only let 100 Estonians into the country per year. They open the online visa pool at the end of march every year, so I just had to be online at the right time. So I waited a couple of months for the 31st of March. When the right date and time arrived, I had my passport and my credit card ready beside me and just kept refreshing the immigration web page. They literally opened the visa registration by the minute. That must’ve been some of the fastest application filling I’ve ever done. I was finished and ready to pay in 6 minutes. They stopped accepting visa applications 12 minutes in. Boom! All 100 visas gone. A week later I got an email congratulating me on being one of the 100 Estonians, who got the visa this year. Felt like a small lottery victory You know. One of hundred! God damn…
I couldn’t chill forever and I’d quite possibly have to get back to my grind right after I’ve enjoyed everything New-Zealand’s got to offer. But that could be 6 months into the trip, could be 12 months, or I could even decide to move on to another country. The possibilities are endless. Even though I was ready to jump right back into the chaos, I still had too much shit on my plate and with the summer coming up in Estonia, I wasn’t ready to leave quite yet. I needed to get the best of both sides, so I was now putting plans in motion to leave right after the European summer. It’s logically the best time to leave. One summer ends, another one begins. I’ve worked hard these past few years, so I couldn’t wait for my well deserved holiday in the unknown.
While I was enjoying the Estonian summer, I was constantly plotting my escape plan. I even got cold feet a couple of times. I realized, how comfort zones can actually build up fear in a man. It’s not the fear of death, that stops You. It’s the fear of the unknown. We all accumulate things and responsibilities, as we get older. I have a mortgage to pay and will have to keep paying that, when I leave. You fear, that You can’t perform, when needed. That You can’t find a job, go broke and lose everything, because You were stubborn enough to try to break out of the system. I figure, that, when shit wants to happen, shit will happen anyway. All I can do, is do my best to minimize the risks, while I chase that dream. I quit my job in Finland in the end of October and I left myself 2 weeks of downtime in Estonia, to sort out all the nuances. I also sold my well-kept and maintained beamer. The buyer got a good deal and is definitely happy with her purchase.
After all that shit with the blonde, I wasn’t really going to just waste my 2 weeks watching porn. So I made a Tinder account and spent time with a couple of girls. They were all looking for an excuse, to get out of their boring bland lives and so I offered myself up. Mostly one night things, but all that worked out great for me, as it was something to do in between my gym sessions and taking care of last minute problems.
Straight into Mordor
I landed in NZ on 11/11. It took about 48 hours and 3 flights to reach Auckland. Before reaching Auckland, I had quite a scare in Kuala Lumpur, as I’d lost my wallet somewhere in the airport. You can’t really move to another country without access to a single cent of money, can You? And so I had to move fast. I managed to get in touch with a buddy, who I first met in Australia. I knew he was currently somewhere in Auckland after checking his blog. Luckily he was ready to organize me cash ASAP, but I decided to check the Kuala Lumpur airport information desk one more time just in case. And damn, it must’ve been my lucky day, as someone had found my wallet and handed it in. I made it onto the plane 10 minutes before the boarding ended.
I had booked myself a hostel bed in Auckland CBD and so after Ubering there, I basically crashed for the next 12 hours or so. It took a couple of days to walk off all that jet-lag, but in general, I was immediately ready to roll. Comparing to my first days in Australia, I was on top of my game. It’s like I’m on the expert level of the ‘moving to another country’ skill with a checklist to complete.
Step 1 – Local SIM-card
Apparently they have sales people right in the airport now, as I had barely gotten out of the plane and was already handed a great deal from Spark. Too fucking easy, mate.
Step 2 – Local tax number
I discovered, that I could apply for the IRD number online. Compared to the Australian experience, that went smooth as. They texted me my IRD number the next day.
Step 3 – Local bank account
This is where it got tricky. They’ve made it ridiculously hard to open a bank account here. First of all, a couple of the big banks in this region didn’t even want to talk to me, an alleged backpacker. After going through a couple of banks, I finally ended up in ANZ bank. They told me, that they hold group sessions for everyone whose on a working holiday visa. But first I had to register online for the group session. Then I waited for a phone call, which came 5 days later. Then they set up the group session, which was another 5 days from that. And then I was 30 minutes late to the group session, so they had me come back the next day for another session. All in all the process of acquiring a bank account was a pain in the ass. It took me around 2 weeks to get it done. I would’ve been pretty screwed, if I hadn’t found my wallet in the Kuala Lumpur airport.
Step 4 – Own transport
While I was setting everything else up, I was also browsing cars on TradeMe and the Facebook Marketplace. Own transport is one of the key elements to being able to move around freely. My buddy sold me his 2001 Mercedes, which we had lots of electrical problems with, but it’s better than no car. It’s a comfortable ride, but drinks petrol as if it’s coming off a tap. Speaking about comfortable – the traffic in Auckland is completely fucked. The traffic jams are so terrible, You can easily age 10 years while driving to Your local bottle shop. Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to travel 5km’s, other times an hour.
Step 5 – Sharehouse
Hostels are expensive and You don’t have any privacy when You’re living in a bunk bed. I booked myself a pretty decent YHA hostel and was only sharing my room with 3 other people, but it’s a temporary solution nevertheless. After buying the Merc, I started setting up appointments with people, who were looking for flatmates on TradeMe. Met some pretty cool people and some pretty crazy cunts. I found a decent place with some great people about 5 days into my whole NZ adventure. Nice house and good quality/price ratio, so I’m fairly happy with my selection.
Step 6 – Get a fucking job
That’s always either the hardest or the easiest one. Turned out to be quite hard to do if You’re a bit picky, like I tend to be. There’s a clause in my visa, that I can only work in one company for 3 months. That clause immediately started causing me some headaches. I had lots of great interviews and did some amazing walk-ins, where they basically wanted to hire me on the spot. But after they got hold of my visa details, I never heard from them. I mean, I can’t really blame them, as I wouldn’t really want to hire anyone for 3 months either, but man. That 3 month rule has got to be one of the worst ideas I’ve ever seen implemented anywhere. I figured it was going to bite me in the ass, when I first saw it, while applying for the visa and that’s exactly what it did. I did end up getting hired by a big local company, 5 minutes after I first step foot into their main office.
Ready for action
I’ve been here a little over a month now and just finished my first full week of work. It cost me a little over 5000 euros to get myself comfortably set up here. I didn’t exactly cut any costs – I’ve been eating out quite a bit and I’ve been driving in and around Auckland a lot. But I haven’t really splurged on anything either. This whole trip is a once in a lifetime kind of thing anyway, so as long as I’m not bankrupt, I’m quite happy with my progress. Now it’s all about discovering this amazingly beautiful country. Gotta chase those dreams… One of 100, baby!