“We found a flat on the first day and a job within a week. I did it—I moved to a new country on the other side of the world, found a job, and started a life! It was liberating to know I could do it.”
When I was in high school, I played for a travelling basketball team with whom I travelled all over the United States for tournaments. Then I moved from Pittsburgh to Florida to go to university and lived there for four years. I loved packing, going to the airport, and heading to a new place. I wanted to travel the world, but it seemed so much bigger, and I never dared to actually do it. To leave everything behind: family, job, friends, the familiarity of home, and just start new. The fear of not finding a job—not “making it”—was always in the back of my mind.
That all changed in January 2013. I had graduated from university in 2010 and was in my third year of starting a new degree. I was burned out and not doing so well in my classes. I wanted a change; I wanted to get away from where I was, and not just for a holiday. My best friend was finishing up a year in Australia and wanted to go to New Zealand. She called and asked me to go with her. “Come for a holiday. I’m only going for three months to ski. After that, we’ll go back to the States.” Well, okay, I thought; I always wanted to travel, so why not? I booked a flight, and two months later, I arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand.
It was beautiful, the most stunning place I had ever seen. We found a flat on the first day and a job within a week. I did it—I moved to a new country on the other side of the world, found a job, and started a life! It was liberating to know I could do it.
I fell in love with travelling—“caught the bug” as so many people say. I spent the next two years exploring New Zealand and ended up meeting someone who is now my fiancé. Together, we travelled around Southeast Asia for seven months, visiting Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia. Being on the road for so long was tough but so rewarding.
I’ve seen things I could have only dreamt of in my previous life. I have friends who constantly say things like, “I wish I could do that”, “it sounds like so much fun”, “I wish I could experience those sorts of things”. Well, there is no secret to travelling. You just have to do it; you have to drop what you are doing, buy a ticket, pack a bag and go. Things will work out; they always do.
It’s almost funny how many people say, “You mean you don’t know where you’re going to live and you don’t have a job? You’re just going to show up in a strange country and hope it works out?!”. Yep, that’s pretty much how it works. It’s true what they say: it’s the journey, not the destination.
We are settled now in Australia for a bit, where we will continue our travels and hopefully add to our many stories.
Author - Caitlin Noble
Caitlin Noble is from the United States. She has lived in various cities with her Kiwi partner and loves baking, hiking, and of course, travelling the world.