Big OE: I found a new home

Last updated 12:00 28/11/2013

GOOD TIMES: Me at Mt Coot-tha in Brisbane.

TOPDECK FUN: Me and Leigh, to the left, who I took on my Europe tour with me outside the Vatican.

Related Links

My big OE: Frozen in Finland Big OE: Summer in the USA changed me My big OE, on the streets Big OE: 50 countries in eight years Big OE: In search of everything Big OE: Late-flying Kiwi My big OE: My bond with NZ is stronger

Relevant offers

Kiwi Traveller

Click Here
Auckland plumber films European adventure on GoPro Expat Tales: Working on a super yacht in southern France Ask an Expert: Getting a Russian tourist visa Expat Tales: Spanish lessons in South America Dear New Zealand education system, travelling with one language sucks Kiwis plan overseas travel further ahead than other nationalities Things every traveller should have: 11 signs that say you're a real traveller Ask an Expert: Beating the solo travel butterflies Expat Tales: Life's a beach in St Kitts Ask an Expert: Going it alone in Myanmar

I was 18 and barely two years into a management degree in Dunedin when I got a call telling me I had won a trip through Europe for me and a friend online.

I still don't remember entering it. After not believing it and barely packing my bags, accepting that I'd turn up to the airport and get sent home, I spent 26 days in eight different countries starting in London.

The trip absolutely changed my life. I met some amazing people and have some amazing memories. Nothing in the world can beat climbing the Eiffel Tower in the pouring rain, even if I fell on my face on the way down.

When I got home, I knew I'd caught the travel bug.

I ditched university and worked for the next two years in hospitality until I moved to Australia and start my journey.

Australia is an obvious place to start as it has good medicals and no need for a visa. Although, as I found out quickly, being easy isn't worth leaving your family for. If I was going do it, I needed to go all out.

So, almost three years after the Europe trip, I'm a 21-year-old Kiwi in Malaysia, managing a hugely successful cafe in Kuala Lumpur which is expanding throughout Asia. That huge opportunity when I was 18 seems like so long ago and my life has been on full speed ever since.

My advice to people just out of school that don't know what they want to do, as cliché as it sounds, is to go with your gut.

I had no hospitality experience in school but I always knew I wanted to run my own café or bar.

I left New Zealand to get experience and see how my career could progress on my own.

I don't miss the small mindedness and small town syndrome that home is guilty for.

However, I do miss the scarfies and I definitely miss the Marmite,

View all contributions
Ad Feedback


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content