We haven’t updated our travel plans here on the blog for a while. We flew from Vietnam to Malesia two weeks ago and now we only have a few days left here, unfortunately. Next week we will have a couple of days’ stop-over in Singapore and then we will fly to Indonesia for one month. A few days ago we also suddenly realized that we have been backpacking in Asia already nine months! That’s quite a long time even though it has passed unbelievably quickly while traveling.
When our Vietnam trip was coming to its end, we had to get a grip on ourselves and start planning where our travels will continue after Malaysia. We still have many Asian counties on the list that we would like to visit. When there are too many options, making decisions is sometimes challenging and we end up just postponing the planning to the future.
Even though there has been some travel fatigue on the air, we still don’t feel like we wanted to stop traveling and get back to “normal life”, whatever that means. On the other hand, it felt appealing to settle down somewhere for a while, build some everyday routines and replenish our travel funds. We have decided that we won’t go to Finland before next summer because returning to the dark autumn or winter doesn’t sound tempting at any level.
We have met many backpackers on the way that have ended up working in Australia or New Zealand and hyped the experience. Both countries are not only great for traveling but also easy countries to find a job and save money with nice salary rates.
Both countries seem to be very far away and expensive to get to when you look from Europe. But here in Asia we have started to see the whole thing differently. From here, you can easily fly for example to Australia for less than 200 dollars which doesn’t break even our small travel budget. And it’s normally easy to find a job even with a short warning.
We started to research the visa things for Australia and New Zealand and checked some flights. We started to consider for real if we should pause our Asia trip for a while and continue the adventures in a totally new continent. The idea grew in our heads while we traveled through Vietnam. Eventually, we managed to make a decision.
So, we are going to New Zealand in September!
Now it is said. It was finally easy to make the decision and we have been so excited for the last two weeks! When we were in Hanoi, we visited a doctor and took x-rays that were required for the visa application. One Friday night, we sent out the applications. And got e-mails already on Tuesday morning saying that our working holiday visas have been approved! The whole thing went very quickly and smoothly.
Why did we choose New Zealand and not Australia? Firstly, while reading about the visa things we noticed that the New Zealand working holiday visa is free for Finnish people while we need to pay for the Australian visa (we are still not completely sure about this though because there is not so much information available in Finnish. Maybe someone knows?).
What especially fascinates us in New Zealand, is the exoticness and beautiful nature. We already know some people from there which makes moving easier. New Zealand also doesn’t have all those deadly animals that Australia is full of. This is quite positive especially if we end up doing some farm work in the countryside. And it only means that we still have the Australian working holiday visa to use on the next trip.
We have noticed that the more we travel, the lower is the barrier to make even big decisions.
When we started our trip last October, we got on the road with very open minds and eyes wide open for all the opportunities. Our travel plans have changed all the time on the way. It has been amazing to travel with an open schedule and see what the future brings along. We have noticed that the more we travel, the lower is the barrier to make even big decisions. We are not even scared of moving to New Zealand but well, we will see when the travel day comes closer…
We will jump on the plane and fly to Auckland mid-September. So before that, we still have a bit more than a month to live easy-going backpacker life. Besides a city holiday in Singapore, we will climb Bromo volcano in Indonesia, chill on paradise beaches and enjoy Ubud village in Bali where Johanna has been dreaming to go to do some yoga and relax. Before Auckland, we will return to Malesia for a couple of days to enjoy cheap food and shop warm clothes before heading to cool (and super expensive) New Zealand. It will surely be a big shock after spending more than half a year in the heat. Getting used to the price level will take its own time as well.
There will be many posts about how to get the New Zealand Working holiday visa, about the work stuff and how to survive in New Zealand with a small budget. All tips are very welcome if you have ever traveled or lived in New Zealand!
Our trip is definitely not over but even more exciting adventures are waiting on the other side of the world!