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Feeling disillusioned and wanting to escape? Getting depressed with the mundane activities of life and wanting to take on the world? Wanting to leave New Zealand and start anew?
After years of feeling this way, I decided enough was enough. University was boring me! It was depressed! In the midst of this, I felt an itch – a sensation gnawing in my stomach – longing to do something new; longing to be free! So I decided that I would leave university, leave Wellington and leave New Zealand to move to the UK, with a trip around Europe first.
If you want to do something right it can’t be half-arsed, you have to give it your all (Yes First-Year Law Students I am speaking to you, too, here!) and so within days flights, VISAs and accommodation were sorted. But this was just the beginning.
Packing my valuables was next. It becomes apparent when you are moving how much crap you collect! Album cases, old magazines and seriously, why did I bring a large umbrella to Wellington? I am not Marry Poppins! After culling, selling and giving things away I packed the rest in boxes for storage (For eventual shipment). Never underestimate this task! You must chose carefully what you need! Don’t do what I did and realise only after finishing packing you left your iPhone charger in one of the boxes and can’t remember which one!
Jet lag is a bitch, and plane travel is it’s best friend! Sure, there are a load of movies to watch and a plentiful supply of scotch to drink – Lets just say during turbulence was the only time I was walking straight – there are the pains of queues and metal detectors. Queues are like giraffe arses, they are long and stink! Also there is always that one person, that, when a queue moves, they don’t! They are Public Enemy Number One! Also the risk of being felt up by a stranger may please some people, but not me! Metal detectors are annoying and it is only then you realise how many coins you have!
Sydney to Perth was a fine trip and relatively uneventful, but next was Perth to Dubai! Now talk about Hot! As soon as you leave the palatial airport it feels like someone has jammed a blow-drier down your mouth. The heat mixed with tiredness and scotch required a room service antidote and sleep! Thank God the room was air-conditioned! I arrived at the end of Ramadan, and so as I slept, echoing down the streets from megaphones were beautiful prayers – a wonder to behold.
From one liberal country to another more liberal country – The Netherlands. Amsterdam however proved to be quite moving… From my room, in the hotel, I could see the memorial laid to the victims of MH17 (The plane that was shot down over the Ukraine). Flowers extended as far as the eye could see, with flags of the victims’ countries wafting in the wind. Teddy bears situated near small candles commemorating the innocent brothers, sisters, children, loved ones lost. It was a place of sadness and one that I will never forget.
From Amsterdam I continued to Munich via train. Munich was lovely, but unfortunately I arrived too early for Octoberfest… Like that stopped me… Mornings started with a machiatto, followed by a beer. When I needed a pick-me-up I had another coffee; when I needed something to calm me down I had a beer – and thus the cycle continued… Suffice it to say Munich is a blur to me. I do however remember the Schnitzels and strudels (Well at least my waistline does!).
After visiting family in Slovenia I trained to Vienna, Dresden and then Berlin. It was a quick tour: parliament, to Brandenburg Gate, to see the Berlin Wall, witness Checkpoint Charlie and… you guessed it… another beer hall! Berlin lead on to London, where I have been establishing friends, enrolling for distance-education and successfully getting jobs/ interviews.
So after all this I feel like I have a new lease on life! If you feel like I did, than an OE is definitely for you!