2013 A Year of Change – My Journey After Traveling Part 1


In 2012, I made a decision to quit my job and move to South America.

I had a plan. My grand plan was to study Spanish, find a writing/teaching job and live there for a year then get my Masters.

As usual, life had other plans for me. I disliked living in Chile and surprisingly grew homesick. My worst case scenario came true: return home broke and jobless.

I thought 2012 was the year of change for me. 2013 definitely topped that. 2013 was the year I tried forming new Grand Plans only for them to fall flat.

Let’s start with migration…

Working in China, you soon develop the idea you want to move somewhere else, shall I say with a bit of permanence. A place where you can get better pay, better benefits, better healthcare, people with better manners.  I wanted to get Permanent Residence in an English speaking country without worrying about my work visa. Back in  2010, I had decided to move to Australia and find a job there.  That didn’t work (catch 22-you needed a work permit to get a job there. To get a work permit you need a job.). So I decided on an easier country to migrate to – New Zealand.

I worked tirelessly to endure that Mt Doom of paperwork and managed to complete out of 3 stages of my migration visa application. Only one was left. I hadn’t visited the country yet.

A stroke of miracle came when my sister gave me enough money to purchase tickets from the Philippines and a cousin in Auckland that offered me accommodations and food. So last June, I packed my hobbit feet and elvish ears and left for Middle Earth.


New Zealand’s beauty jumped out of the musty pages of a thick volume of Lord of the Rings. I’ve never been in such a country that could only be described in one word: EPIC. Endless rolling green hills, fresh crisp air, powder blue sky and I was only in the North. Most say the South is more beautiful. My geeky side managed to pull my cousin and an old high school classmate to Hobbiton – the Shire set for The Hobbit and the rest of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s like you stepped into the pages of Tolkien’s epic and became enveloped with the fresh earthy comfortable homeliness of the hobbits. Sipping apple cider in The Green Dragon’s tavern with a crisp roaring fire and surrounded with musty maps of Middle Earth, I didn’t want to set foot into the real world again..


Still, even though I fell in love with the wondrous captivating beauty of New Zealand for some reason my heart knew it wasn’t time for me to settle in Hobbitland yet.

My mind also digested the fact that it would be hard getting a job for a teaching position there and the job offer was the only thing standing between me and migration into the fold of the elves in Middle Earth.

But there was another thing that stopped me in pursuing full throttle from settling in NZ. And it came in the form of an email that tantalized me to work as a marketing assistant in the Land of the Golden Elephant: Thailand.

To be continued….

Photos YearofChange,  JustTravel, AffairsMagazine


10 thoughts on “2013 A Year of Change – My Journey After Traveling Part 1

  1. Stacey Herbert (@BrazenCW) says:

    Wow. NZ sounds amazing, it looks like you have an ongoing love affair With the place. Hope you get to live there some day. Looking forward to pt2, and hearing all about your time as a marketing assistant in Thailand. Locked in for updates 🙂

    Good to see you writing again, Kate…you’re very talented!

    • Kate says:

      Hey you! How have you been? Hope you’re doing well. 🙂 Thanks Stacey! Appreciate it. I’ve stopped writing for a while but I do need to keep it up. Part 2 will be coming along soon.

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