What I’ve learned in 2016 – Jamie

Jamie’s been with us in the lead-up to Christmas, helping us get through the silly season and bringing her expert PR and writing skills to the table. She’s been a fab addition to the team – and has a pretty unique take on 2016, given that she moved halfway across the world this year! Here’s what the move from the US has taught her:

2016 was certainly a year of change. An international move, leaving a job of 3.5 years, and finding a new one… or two. But after plenty of soul searching, emotion, and stress – at the end of the year, I’m happy with the decisions I made and thankful for the lessons along the way.

At the beginning of the year, living in New Zealand was just a pipe dream. An idea my husband and I tossed around, but had no real expectation of coming to fruition. But by mid-year, we were making plans for the big move. The couple of months of visa applications, selling all our furniture, storing a few prized possessions, and saying goodbyes were difficult, but the result was worth it. As we close out the year, we’re completely settled in the most beautiful country.

Here’s what I’ve learned from the big move:

What jandals, togs and chilly bins are.

And that you take all these items to the beach…on Christmas. While the culture shock was very minimal, I still got to add a few new phrases and words to my vocabulary. Christmas decorations in the summertime may always feel out of place, but having two summers in one year isn’t too shabby!

How to deal with FOMO.

Living across the world from your closest friends and family is hard. I’ve conceded to the fact that I’ll miss family Christmas celebrations, eight (yes, eight!) weddings in one year, and those silly impromptu phone calls with friends (#timezoneproblems). FOMO is a real thing, and I had it bad.

But when I take a step back and realise I have pristine beaches, volcano hikes, and arguably the world’s best coffee at your fingertips, I feel that, actually, it’s everyone else back home missing out. My new mission is to convince them all to visit. I know I’ll still feel lonely and left out from time to time, but I’ll just have to suck it up and distract myself with an amazing hike in the Waitakeres or a perfectly brewed long macchiato.

It’s okay to hit the reset button and take a break.

I loved working for my last company, and am very thankful for the opportunity to carve out my own career path. But at the same time, deep down I knew it wasn’t the road I wanted to continue down long term. When life is comfortable and convenient, sometimes you need a big push to reevaluate.

Moving to New Zealand forced me to step away from my role – and think about what I’d ideally be doing in a new one. While I felt guilty being unemployed for a couple of months, I had the luxury of being choosy and not settling for something that didn’t serve my future goals. I’m feeling refreshed and refocused after some much-needed time off. I’m so happy to have found Intelligent Ink – an outlet to combine my PR background with a love for storytelling.