I wasn't expecting to hear Latin music, on a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn. It seemed out of place, which is how I was feeling at the time. I had only been back home for 4 weeks, 2 of those weeks was spent in Europe with Erika. I wasn't prepared for another long trip. I normally alternate, a year abroad followed by a year at home and this works well. Being home gives me time to save money and progress in my career(s). Last year in Manchester I became a Senior AutoCAD technician, a respectable position with good opportunities to specialize. I had also progressed in the photography world, starting off with small pro bono jobs, I quickly found myself shooting large proms and events for the local university.
At the end of this, I found myself on a plane Vancouver Bound. Canada didn't pan out how I initially imagined, rather than working as a Civil Engineer in Vancouver, I ended up working as a photographer in Lake Louise, arguably one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
After leaving Canada I should be staying home for a year and fulfill the other side of my commitments. However, time is a cruel and relentless mistress, since I am 30 now I only have a year to pick and choose working holiday visas. The luxury of being able to relocate and work in a new country with relative ease was something I could no longer take for granted. So I had to forgo my year in Manchester and instead head straight towards my next working holiday visa destination.
New Zealand seemed like the obvious choice. An English speaking country with beautiful landscapes, world class ski resorts and a relatively stable economy. I could potentially get another photography job in one of these resorts? Or seek engineering work in one of the cities. Both had their pros.
I didn't know which path to pursue. I just had a visa to live and work in New Zealand. So why am I on a ferry heading from Helsinki to Tallinn? Well, I can't just fly to New Zealand. Where would the fun in that be? So my route from Manchester goes as follows: Fly to Helsinki, 7 days to explore Finland, Estonia and Latvia, then fly to Singapore, 14 days to get to Bangkok, fly to Chongqing and meet up with Myles, 30 days to get to Beijing to catch a flight to Auckland.
All of this, and only 2 weeks to prepare. I felt a bit out of place and out of my depth. At times like these, I remember a quote I read in one of Paul McKenna's books - "truly confident people take action before they feel ready".