28.12.2012 - 07.01.2013 4 °C
Today for the first time in 15 days we spent money. A lot of money to be precise. We paid for some airplane tickets... home.
Now lets start at the beginning, because according to Julie Andrews this is a very good place to start.
Since the Mayan calendar situation ended in nothing, I thought I would come up with some other useless numbers. 70 weeks ago we left New Zealand. 2012 took us to 10 countries, where we spent 8 different currencies. It has taken us 490 days to decide what the heck we are doing in the world, and 2013 is the year to make some decisions.
As you can imagine, there is only so long you can travel the world being fun-employed before reality starts tapping away in the back of your head like a woodpecker. What are you doing? Where are you going? But more importantly… how are you going to pay for this? Anyone keeping up with our travel itinerary has seen that we have sort of circled the outside of Europe and not really got to experience anything in the middle. However those who have travelled Europe know you cannot really do central Europe justice if you are counting your pennies.
So as I mentioned before we have to make some decisions. I cannot in my right mind sacrifice the Europe experience because I cannot ‘afford’ to do it, but I am not prepared to spend the next few months living in a tent, hitchhiking, dumpster diving and waiting for my hair to dread. So for those who have been anticipating this announcement, Iain and I have decided to leave the Navy and look for employment in the UK.
For many of you this will not come as a surprise (it certainly didn’t for our career managers), but it was not the easy decision that many of you may imagine. Since leaving in December 2010 almost every day we have thought about NZ and returning to our careers. When we first left we had about 90% of our days foreseeing our return to a happier, more productive and appealing Navy. Since then, this percentage has slowly dwindled as we watch social media channels, and see more of our friends giving up on the service, or being short changed for the hard work they put in. Back at the end of 2011, we had just had the first round of civilianisation and things were bad. Low morale meant going to work was exhausting, constantly battling a climate that was consistently taking more and more away.
Although we would rather see a solution to the problems rather than jump ship (literally), after a year away from the service neither of us felt we had the energy or enthusiasm for the Navy that we once did, which is what we would need to rejoin and make a difference. Someone employed just for paycheck in their back pocket is not what the Navy needs now, it needs motivated and determined individuals who see the light at the end of the tunnel, and unfortunately we have seen too many trains on the tracks. Many of our peers who are still in, can be defined as these people, diligent to bettering the atmosphere for others, as they are dedicated to the cause, not because they feel obliged. As for us our decision is mostly based on a rejection of the secure, comfortable, easy option - we need a new challenge.
There becomes a time when you start thinking, well if I don’t commit now... when? All the things that have been tying us to coming home to the Navy and New Zealand seem to be falling away. So it is time to leap into the big bad civilian world, manage our own careers and find something else that confronts us and makes us stand up and test our integrity, something the Navy used to do.
So with all the doom and gloom there is a little joy in this blog. Whilst we are intending to go to the UK for work in the near future we are going to return to New Zealand for a short stay – to see everyone. Yah! I can hear you all staying! I will be returning for 6 weeks, hopefully enough time to process and receive a UK work visa. Iain will be back for 4, as he already has a British Passport so he is just coming back for the visiting part. Thanks to the Hobbit there are really cheap flights from London at the moment (not in the return direction funnily enough), so we thought we would lock them in and make the big journey back home to sort our affairs and drink copious amounts. The intention is currently a week in Christchurch, a week in Otorohanga, one in Wellington and then the rest of the time in Dorkland, starting on the 29th of March. We hope we will be able to see all those who are around and catch up on our many months apart.
In the mean time we are still in France until the 20th of January, when we will head off across the continent in a rental car for three weeks before heading to the snowy slopes of Bulgaria.
So surprise 2013, you thought you had revelations for me, well - jokes on you - I had one up my sleeve. We apologise to those we didn’t get a chance to tell individually, the 12 hour time delay and the holiday season has made us slack. It is nice to get the weight off my chest in one succinct article with a concentration on honesty and clarity, and in addition it is a good test of who reads the blog. Salutations to those who we didn’t get to share champagne and donuts with to sing in the New Year. There will be plenty of time for that in April. Let us know if you will be around, as we have now gone from fun-employed to legitimate unemployed bums, we are offering a good dishwashing and wine consuming service in return for lodging…