When it is time to pack up and go home? I am at a standstill trying to decide on whether it's time to go home to visit and refuel, or to keep living the Australasian dream. Family is important to me and I'm worried about my grandma.
Almost a year ago
, I was on here freaking out about doing a working holiday year in New Zealand. It turns out to have been the best year of my life (I'm almost 28.) The responses I got on that thread were amazing and true.
There were a couple rough spots to begin with (a bit of a struggle to get going at first, broke up with the boyfriend I came over with -- turned out to be for the best) but overall it has been the an amazing adventure and the richest and most rewarding year I've ever had.
I was able to work my way up to an amazing job as a communications adviser for a large government agency (best job I've ever had) and I have made some of the closest friends I've ever known. I've been able to travel to Thailand and Australia with new friends I've made, get scuba certified, and I've also seen lots of New Zealand. It's changed me a lot, for the better, most of all it's been really exciting, interesting, and fun nearly all of the time.
My work contract runs out at the end of June (can't get it renewed), and my visa runs out at the end of July. I've become really attached to a lot of people here and I get anxious when I think about leaving.
I've been thinking I might go do the working holiday in Australia, hopefully working in Melbourne. I've spent a bit of time in Australia (mostly in Melbourne) and loved it.
I only intended for this trip to last a year. I promised my grandma I'd come back to Canada, saying I was only intending on staying a year. (She was worried I'd move over here and never come back.)
I do miss my family, and I am starting to feel very detached from my former life.
I have always been very close with my grandma, closer than my own parents in some ways. She's an inspiration for me. I want to be able to spend some more time with her before she dies, which I hope isn't anytime soon.
She's 83, healthy - goes to the gym 3 times a week, sends me emails regularly, has an active social life, etc. We talk on the phone about once a week. But she's 83 -- should I go home and spend some time with her now, or keep going and spend a year in Australia?
More importantly, how do I get on with making a decision instead of in a state of paralysis?
I need to get going and apply for the Australian visa if I'm going to do it.
Some other points:
- Money is a factor. I've spent most extra money I've had on travelling, and if I go home, I'll have to spend 6 months or likely a year working to save up for the flight back.
- 'Home' in Canada (where my parents live, same town as my grandma) is a small town with a couple thousand people in it, an hour's drive from the closest city.
- I know the 'economic crisis' is also probably a factor but I can't be bothered to factor it in too much. It's bad everywhere, it's probably worse in Canada than Australia, and I'm content to take whatever job I can get.
- I guess Australia calls because I've had a great time every time I've been there, I love the crazy animals they have there that don't live anywhere else in the world, and the cities are bigger than in New Zealand. I've love to explore a lot of the country. Also, New Zealand is still close enough that I could come back and visit my friends here and travel around more.
- My family doesn't have the money to come and visit me so right now that's not an option (though I'd love to be able to save up enough to help bring them over here for a visit!)
- Cutoff age for working holiday visa in Australia is 30. NZ's is 35, and I can get another year long visa for NZ.
- Aside from being close to family and catching up with a couple close friends, I don't really have any desire to be back in Canada right now.
I'd be interested in hearing about people who have lived away from their home country for at least two years without a visit home in between. Or anyone else who has gone through a similar experience.
The 'worst-case scenario' voices in my head are screaming at me that my grandma is going to die and I didn't spend enough time with her, my dad is going to have a heart attack and I'm the last person to know, and something drastic is going to happen to my brother or sisters while I'm off gallivanting around the other side of the world.
Sorry this is rambled and incoherent -- my emotions are getting tied up and I really am having a difficult time getting anywhere with this decision.
How do I decide? How do you make decisions -- what works for you, pro and con lists?