The Decision That Changed My Life
My life was completely different before 2016. I was a typical teenager you would normally find anywhere else. I spent my whole day on video games. Occasionally went jogging around the park on weekends and hated mom’s advice.
Everything started to turn around in January 2016, when I successfully applied for the ultra-competitive New Zealand Working Holiday Visa online. It was open for 1,150 applicants only, and I was one of the lucky ones.
Check out here if you’re interested in applying one!
I had a 9-months break from education during that time. Wondering why? Well, the education system in Malaysia is a little screwed up. Races are taken into consideration, but I wouldn’t talk about it here. Anyway, I was thinking, why not spend the 9 months on something crazy, instead of working in a restaurant.
Fast forward to February 2016, I didn’t have much time so I bought a flight ticket right after my successful application. It was undeniably a little expensive when I bought 3 weeks prior to the flight date.
I never had any experience traveling overseas alone. In fact, I’ve only been outside of Malaysia once, with my family on a tour to Bangkok.
I would say it’s a brand new challenge for myself. Walking into a land full of unknowns and uncertainties. Everything I knew about the country is from the internet. All I had with me are two backpacks and a handful of cash (NZ$2,250) which is required to enter the country.
Did my parents support my idea?
Well, not really. But they did not try to change my mind. They were very worried, of course. The memory of my mom saying that she wouldn’t try to change my mind because she knows well of my personality is still clear. And I am grateful to them for not stopping me.
On 13 February 2016, I boarded the flight from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, then to Singapore’s Changi Airport before Auckland in New Zealand. I’ve never boarded an airplane by myself! To be honest, I was still doubting my own decision the moment I arrive at the airport in Penang.
The crazy idea ultimately turned into a decision that changed my life and perspective forever.
Wondering what you can do in New Zealand South Island? Read this!