Monday January 23, 2017
I'm sitting here on board my Air New Zealand flight to Singapore, the first of many flights over the next month, as I make my way over to the UK. I've spent the last month saying my goodbyes to various people from all aspects of my life, and in turn, receiving their well wishes for my journey ahead.
It hasn't really sunken in that I won't be in New Zealand for a while. I've lived here for almost 29 years and it will always be home to me. The past nine years in Wellington has been a journey in itself. I've come to realise my place in the world and what kind of person I am. I've gained confidence in how I interact with people and how I conduct myself at work. I've learned an immense amount about who I am and what I am capable of doing. I've met lots of people and made life long friends, and like the many friends who I grew up with in Auckland, they've helped shape me to become the person I am today.
But there comes a time in Kiwi's life where the call of adventure and travel beckons. We live so far away from everything and the world is such a big place. The drive to leave was also accelerated by the fact I wouldn't be eligible for the UK's youth migrant visa for much longer. So without a real plan or job lined up, I resigned from PikPok and bought a bunch of flights to the other side of the world. It's the classic Kiwi "I'll just wing it" attitude. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, and I still don't really know, but I know that I'm about to have a bloody good time travelling.
Sunday January 15, 2017
I had my farewell party at Southern Cross last Friday, and then a mega Final Karaoke at K Zone afterwards. So many people turned up, it was quite overwhelming! It was great to see everyone, especially those who I hadn't seen in a while. After karaoke, a small group of us went to Sassy Loves Cash for a bit, and it was around 3am that I finally got home. It was amazing. I had so much fun on Friday, and I'm going to miss these people who have been such an important part of my life for the past nine years.
In spite of my lack of sleep, I had my Final Badminton on Saturday morning, then yum cha at Regal. I was off to Wadestown for Andrew and Claire's farewell/engagement party too, and then back home to continue the big decluttering. I managed to fob off a lot of miscellaneous stuff to various people, so thanks for helping me out in that respect!
This morning was my Final Service at Central Baptist, and I had specifically requested to be on the piano to pay tribute to an amazing church that was so warm and welcoming to me those eight years ago. I love that the church continues to be so inviting to people across different life journeys, and that they encourage people to worship in a way that has integrity for themselves. It has been a blast serving on the music team, and I'm so happy I was able to bring a smile to people's faces with my cheeky playing style.
Thursday January 12, 2017
You'd think that being unemployed, I'd have a lot of time on my hands. I had planned to write tons of stuff for my food blog - I have a huge backlog dating back to my trip to Melbourne. My day actually fills up really quickly - I'm cleaning, sorting out rubbish, packing away belongings, running to the post shop, running to appointments, getting documentation, selling items and meeting people. I need to drop some stuff off at the City Mission, dump any discarded clothes in the Clothing Bins, and continue packing away all the things I won't be bringing overseas.
I've managed to complete my itinerary, with every flight, bus ride, train trip and accommodation all booked. Final little bit is to see what to do in each city!
Monday January 2, 2017
2017 is finally upon us. What a year it's going to be for me! In just over three weeks, I'll be starting my Big O.E. with the first leg of my journey from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur.
The past year has been good for me. I'm very proud of Doomsday Clicker and the financial success that it's brought PikPok. It's been a fun project to work on, and exudes the signature polish and gorgeous art style that PikPok games have. It's got that quirkiness and humour, and those systems have been fun to write. I took on a greater role in recruitment and we hired some cool people over the course of the year - some of whom I won't actually get to work with! I leave PikPok with my head held high, knowing I've made a positive impact on the company and proud of what I've achieved in my nine years there.
I got to see the Final Fantasy A New World Concert in Melbourne, and almost exactly a year later, I will be seeing the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds concert. I walked Lake Waikaremoana and barely survived with a bung knee. I went to five weddings, played piano at one of them and was a groomsman at another. We saw the end of Strawberry Fare, but went hard with Wellington on a Plate. There was Little Penang's fifth birthday, mooncake festival, hot pot, yum cha, late night trips to see the glorious night sky, badminton, squash, crocodile biking, and of course, karaoke. There was Pokemon Go and the ensuing hilarity of me being interviewed by the NZ Herald and Flava, and scoring a mention on TV3's Seven Days.
2016 has been pretty memorable for me and it'll go down as a pretty crazy year.
I've been spending the last week catching up with family and friends. Jules, Mana and I did the drive from Wellington to Auckland on Christmas Eve without any incidents. Christmas was spent in Waiuku on my sister's in-law's farm with loads of food and presents for the nine children in attendance! On Boxing Day, I bought myself a new laptop (that I'm currently using to type all this up) and spent the rest of the day on the North Shore at Mat's house with the Pokemon Gang. On Tuesday, I took James and Navi around Auckland for a whirlwind tour, visiting Western Springs, Giapo and the waterfront to check out the massive cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas. On Wednesday, I met Jono and Charlotte for yum cha at Sun World, then Jordan, Tessa and Mana for Korean food and some arcade games. It was my sister's birthday on Thursday and we had lunch at Carriages Cafe in Kumeu, then I was back in town for Bryce's stag do. We had dinner at Elliot Stables, then did an escape room and had drinks at Dr Rudi's in the viaduct. Friday I had dinner with Mel, Jarrod, Jono and Charlotte at At Bangkok, then dessert at Ollie's, and then on New Year's Eve, I was out in Cockle Bay with Jono and Charlotte again.
I've even found time to go to the gym while I've been up here. It's nice to be relaxed enough that I can sort out all my travel plans and organise things for the trip, and fit in time to catch up with people, eat delicious food, and lift some weights.
Here's to 2017 and the surprises it will bring me.
Friday December 23, 2016
Today marks the final day of employment at PikPok. I had been there for almost nine years, and in this final week, I've been too busy with making an awesome game jam game for it to really sink in. But now, sitting at home, packing away my belongings and getting ready to go to Auckland, it's hit me. It's sad! I've made heaps of life-long friends along the way, and dozens of memories that I will cherish. My workmates have been more than just colleagues I work with, they have been like family to me. We've eaten together, gotten drunk together, played badminton, played Pokemon, been white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, sky diving, we've lifted weights together, sung our hearts out at karaoke together and accused each other of being Cylons, werewolves, mafia and fascists. I am so humbled for the opportunity that was given to me, and I will look back on my time here with much gratitude.
It hasn't been all smooth sailing though. There's been some hard projects and some difficult people, but they've added to my experiences and helped shape the person I am today. And though I like having plans to eliminate uncertainty, I'm moving to the UK with no job lined up - which is very uncharacteristic of me! - but I know that it is the right thing to do. It's time to leave everything behind and see what the world has to offer, and that is exciting!