I Moved Across the World and Feel Completely Overwhelmed
Two weeks ago, I packed my bags, kissed my boyfriend goodbye, and boarded a plane headed west for Auckland, New Zealand. I had gotten myself a working holiday visa valid in the country for one year. For the two months leading up to my move, I faced constant questions. Aren’t you scared? What will you do? Won’t you be lonely? What’s your plan? Each time I provided similar versions of the same response, a vague, lighthearted “I’ll figure it all out.” I would figure it out, I hoped.
It’s easy to talk about something in the future and pretend it’s easy or doesn’t scare you, but as my departure crept closer I was pretty ****ing scared. In the past I’ve studied abroad, taken weekend trips, backpacked for a few weeks, and road-tripped across the US, but I had never truly moved outside of my home state, Connecticut. Some days I found myself questioning the entire thing altogether. There were a lot of anxious text conversations and phone calls in the week leading up to my goodbye to my familiar USA.
After spending much of the last few years traveling to new places and planning my next adventure, I touched down on Auckland soil hit abruptly with a feeling very foreign from those I had felt in the past. I was overwhelmed. It finally dawned upon me that I was here in New Zealand, with no job, no plan, and an entire year of possibilities open ahead of me. Initially, these points excited me about my adventure. But I’m a planner. I love writing lists and knowing what I’m doing tomorrow. In the past, my travels had been so short (in comparison to a year of travel) that I was always wondering how I could possibly fit all that I wanted to do and see into my timeline. Now I found myself with nothing but time and no idea what to do next. I sat down at an outdoor coffee shop on Queen Street, looked around and thought, I can literally do anything, and that was overwhelming. How was I going to decide where to go first? Should I get a job right away and settle down or travel around North Island? What if I run out of the money I painstakingly saved for months? What if I fail and have to return home early?
After dreaming about this adventure for a nearly a year and transforming my dream into a reality within the last several months I had finally arrived. I was incredibly excited but also sad because, more than anything, this step has finally helped me recognize that my life is changing. I’m not in college anymore and I don’t want to live in my hometown for the rest of my life without seeing what else the world has to offer. Childhood is a memory and I live in the now. That made me feel lonely. After two weeks, I have begun to figure out my life here a bit more. I moved to the nearby Waiheke Island, have a job, a house to live in, and I’ve met some really colorful people. I have come to realize that it’s okay. Feeling overwhelmed is okay. Feeling scared is okay. As long as I don’t let anything intimidate me from doing what I came to do, it’s okay.