It’s crazy when you actually stop to think about how much time has been wasted on you ponding what could or might have been. For us that time tallied up to almost five years. From the moment we returned to England in April 2010 we had this longing desire to move back to NZ and really try and give living in New Zealand a chance.
This article is the second part of a two-part series, so if you haven’t already check out our other article here.
Why did it take us so long? I realise it now but essentially it came down to two fundamental things that we all suffer from; excuses and fear.
Excuses & Fear:
We spent a lot of those years finding excuses not to take the scary leap of moving to another country. The excuses, (although not the exact words that came out of our mouths) sounded a little something like this; do they sound familiar to you?!
Money ‘We need to save more first’
Job ‘I want to advance my career’
Age “We’re getting older we need to get a mortgage and think about our future’
Family ‘Leaving them and missing them will just be too hard’
Guilt ‘If we move away then it’s a very selfish act to leave our friends and family’
And so these excuses turned into modes on a washing machine, each one coming around in cycles, every couple of months. It was a cycle that we felt like would never end. Our excuses were fueling our fear…
“Excuses are just obstructions that you have to overcome.”
It wasn’t an overnight thing, in fact, it took years but I soon come to realise that our excuses were down to fear of the unknown, but then I had started worrying about the what ifs.
What if … we couldn’t find jobs;
What if … we don’t like it;
What if… we lose touch with our friends:
What if… we never make any friends;
What if… we can’t afford to support ourselves;
Can you see the pattern here? The ‘What if’s’ were becoming another set of excuses all fueled by fear, this damn washing machine cycle was never ending!
“Fear is nothing more than a state of mind”
The pattern for us had to stop. The mindset had changed, it had been almost 4 years of this cycle and we were sick of it. And if we are truly honest with our selves that is why it took us almost 5 years to pluck up the courage and move to New Zealand. It wasn’t an easy decision but we had decided we couldn’t live with our regrets of ‘What Ifs’ – that would have had a more negative impact on our lives. A chance we were willing not to take!
What travel REALLY taught me:
Yes, I could be all cliche here and say travelling really taught me new languages, new cultures, about history but if I was being 100% honest with myself it taught me not to be fearful of the unknown.
You see it was around the same time of the ‘What If’ cycle coming to an end that I had realised the travelling experience I had all those years ago had taught me a lot about taking chances. Life is too bloody short after all!
“Living with What If’s, fears and excuses just is not sustainable, and certainly not healthy for your mental state”
We go on about how life is too short to worry about these things and very few people actually do anything to stop the What Ifs, the fear, and the excuses. Humans unbeknown to them get stuck in a pattern of suppressing their dreams and desires and letting their fears and excuses win. Travel taught me that I was not going to let this happen to me.
I realised that the ‘small-town bubble’ I was living before and after my travels fueled my excuses and fears. And on that day in April 2014, 4 years after returning home from our first trip abroad I hit the submit button and booked those flights to NZ for the second time. This mindset of not letting excuses and fear win changed our lives, we now live in New Zealand and call this beautiful little country home!
Not everyone has an opportunity to travel, we are the fortunate ones and I try and remember that every time I scan the internet to book my next holiday!
Excuses and fear should never be a reason for not doing anything you want to do in life. Or at the very least folks please please please don’t be like us and let those excuses last for five years!