So why would we decide to travel halfway around the world to try and live in New Zealand?
Did we visit lots of countries, do lots of research, talk to lots of people finally making a thoughtful considered decision that that was the place we wanted to live? No. Did we analyze the political, economic and social situation in New Zealand, compare and contrast it with other lands, and decide on that basis? Not at all. Study books, talk to people on forums and people who had moved there? Naah. Did we even consider other countries? How about Belize or Costa Rica? Lots of people are going there! Mexico or Italy? No, we didn’t consider those options at all.
Basically we visited New Zealand for one month in the spring (their spring – nice time of year!) and thought it seemed like a nice place. Did we go back and visit several times in different seasons? No, too far away and too expensive to get there. We were like those people who visit the mountains here in Colorado (our home state) in the summer when it’s warm, when the sky is blue and the aspens are all full-leafed. And then they buy a place and don’t realize it’s actually covered with snow and ice much of the year, wind-swept and cold, in fact all the time except for those few days that they had happened to visit. We were like those people.
And having talked to a handful of people while in New Zealand, we had also concluded based on our very brief survey that “the people seem friendly.” Thus, based on the scantiest of research, crumbs really, we would attempt to set our sails for that land.
A sort of spur of the moment decision, or perhaps a hare-brained scheme.
It happened like this. It was a fall afternoon. My wife and I were standing in our backyard.
“Maybe we should leave here and go live in New Zealand,” I said.
“Okay, I think that would be fun,” Rebecca answered.
And that was about it. From that moment forward, we basically started the process. The plan basically was for Rebecca to get her New Zealand nursing license which would hopefully lead to a job offer and us moving there. It is said that there are some decisions in life where giving them much thought, time and consideration are required and prudent. And there are others where to delay too long in deliberating and making the decision is foolish. This was one of those decisions it felt right to just decide and do it—just like that. Also one can make the case that only by acting with a certain amount of boldness, and perhaps impetuousness, can one put oneself on an equal par in a world where there truly are no survivors.
Also things in our lives had been telling us for a long time that it was time to make a change. It was as if the Universe was saying, “You’ve stayed here in Colorado Springs long enough. It’s time to shake things up, do something different!” Both of us also had a vague discontent with our lives, not that things were bad or wrong, but just that we had done and seen everything there was to do here. In a word, we were bored. And in our minds we figured the next years would be more of the same until we got too old, tired or just too entrenched and lazy to do anything different.
And we were getting older. As my Polish mother used to say, “It’s later than you think.” I had been sick in the hospital too. After having a routine minor surgery, I had grown increasingly short of breath over several weeks time. I had continued to hike up my favorite hill each morning perspiring copiously in the middle of winter, panting like I had just run a mile (and I can’t run a mile), and just plain dying with every few feet of altitude I climbed. Having a scientific bent, I had even done experiments on myself during my hikes recording my pulse, respiratory rate and even my oxygen saturation with a small portable pulse oximeter I had bought. Finally when I had concluded that I was indeed very sick, I had been diagnosed as having large blood clots, pulmonary emboli to use the medical terminology, which had broken loose due to my surgery and travelled to both my lungs. I was lucky I was alive. But it wasn’t initially clear to the doctors what I had although I knew I had something bad. After a certain age, any time you get sick it becomes more and more likely to be something Bad – with a big capital B just like that – or even something big and bad with a big capital ‘C’ like cancer. Anyway lying in the hospital bed, I realized as we all do hopefully before our time that life is indeed very short and very precious. And if there was anything I wanted to do, if I recovered, I better do it.
But first let’s see what the Magic 8-ball says about going to New Zealand? Is living in New Zealand everything I imagine it to be? Better not tell you now. Are there things I might not like or downright hate? It is decidedly so. Will things be different from the way I imagine them in my little pea-sized brain? Without a doubt.
And finally is it a good thing to do? You may rely on it.