Afraid of missing an opportunity - should I stay or should I go?
February 15, 2015 3:37 AM   Subscribe

I was in a long distance relationship UK-Canada and lived with my ex in Canada for just over 6 months on a 1 year working holiday visa. Before I left (and broke up) I applied and was approved for a 2nd working holiday year (the limit is 2 years) which I haven't yet used. The expiry date is coming up very soon, I have to be in Canada for March 1st to use it. The visa can't be cancelled. I have to make a decision as soon as possible.

My original motivation for the visa was to live with my now ex. Now this motivation is gone and with expiry so near, I'm scared of wasting an opportunity I won't get again.

I'm currently employed but not particularly happy in my job (although it's nice having one after being unemployed). I have enough savings to cover the cost of the flight/insurance/funds required but really lack the motivation to go, I'm scared of losing all of the stability I've built. Last time I was in Canada (Nova Scotia specifically) I was unemployed most of the time, got really depressed and spent all of my savings on living expenses. When I moved back home with my family I was unemployed for 3 months and had no money. I'm afraid of repeating this cycle especially because know I won't even have the support of someone else out there waiting for me. I do know that I'm capable/have the potential in me to go but these factors that are stopping me.

On the other hand I'm afraid of missing out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to live and work in a beautiful country, travel and gain new and valuable life experiences. I'm resentful that I seem to always take the safe option or easy way out - I'm not an impulsive or adventurous person.

In hindsight it was a mistake to apply for the 2nd year and it would have been better to do so when I actually wanted to go and I know that I have to live with that decision if I decide not go. If I could cancel it I would and reapply in a few years, this is impossible unfortunately.
posted by fallingleaves to Travel & Transportation around Canada (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
How is not using it different from canceling it?
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:51 AM on February 15, 2015


Clearly you don't feel like going from the way you write. It doesn't seem like a good idea to me either. Going because you feel that there might be a possibility of missing out on something is a poor reason. It was never an opportunity for you if it's not relevant to you anymore. If you define opportunity the way you do, then basically your life is nothing but missing out on almost everything. You can still visit this country on a tourist visa, and you will gain "valuable life experiences" elsewhere.
posted by snufkin5 at 4:14 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Canada's economy is kind of in the shitter right now, so it's not great for getting a job. Also, Canada recently put a hold on some classes of work permits, so there's a chance you could get here and be unable to support yourself.

I'd let it expire. If there's a way to tell CIC that you're not going to use the visa, maybe do so, so that your file is in order and to give yourself some closure.
posted by scruss at 4:28 AM on February 15, 2015


You don't mention what your career and education are. If there aren't any special career-advancing options in Canada and you would be starting from scratch then there isn't really a point to moving unless you could easily find work in an area that is under skilled right now, or unless you are particularly young and could absorb another gap year for the sake of adventure and treat it as such, not getting depressed if you don't "achieve" something by the end of the year.

If you're unhappy in your job, you can change it without a transatlantic overhaul. Maybe focus on what you could do to improve things in your present life. You don't sound adventurous enough to make this kind of plunge without it significantly rattling you, so maybe try taking smaller risks closer to home and building up to larger risks similar to this one later.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:32 AM on February 15, 2015


How is not using it different from canceling it?

If I there was a way to cancel I could reapply and apply again but they don't let you do that unfortunately.
posted by fallingleaves at 4:43 AM on February 15, 2015


Last time I was in Canada (Nova Scotia specifically) I was unemployed most of the time, got really depressed and spent all of my savings on living expenses. When I moved back home with my family I was unemployed for 3 months and had no money. I'm afraid of repeating this cycle especially because know I won't even have the support of someone else out there waiting for me.

I think these are pretty solid reasons to stay in the UK. If you have a job, a safety net, and you don't really want to go back to Canada (which I don't think you do) then don't. I understand that you may have a FOMO, but there will be other opportunities in your life to travel and get to see beautiful places.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 4:52 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know, there is an assumption, especially in the UK, that gap year type stuff is part of growing up and that it is something one has to do if at all possible /should do and be excited about. But it is not for everyone and it's not always the right time to go off and travel and enjoy it.

Not wanting to waste the visa is not a good enough reason to go. It may be that you'd love to take time out for extended travel in a few years, slightly older and more comfortable with the idea, better funded and perhaps with a clearer goal. Or your career path puts you in the way of opportunities to travel or an expat life. So don't feel bad about 'wasting' your visa. If you want opportunities to travel or live overseas in the future you can still make that happen.
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:13 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stay put. You never know. You may get a chance to work abroad in the future. Only this time it will be with a firm job.

My Dad took a job with the federal government at the age of 60 so that he and my Mom could travel and see the world. They lived in Japan and Germany and used those as jumping off points to see Europe and Asia.

If you're unhappy in your job, start looking for another. But don't destabilize yourself on the assumption that this is your one and only chance. It's just not true.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:20 AM on February 15, 2015


Would it help if you didn't think of this as a once in a lifetime opportunity? At worst, it's a twice in a lifetime opportunity, since you already did it once. And, well, you didn't particularly love it the first time.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:03 PM on February 15, 2015


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