Today, I’d like to give a long overdue shout-out to two of my favorite things: My awesome pal Noemi, and New Zealand. (As she endearingly explains to güeras like me, that’s No Emmy. As in didn’t win one.)
Since only 30% of Americans actually have a passport, it never ceases to amaze me how even the most travel-averse among us will wax rhapsodic about a lifelong desire to visit Aotearoa, or the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Italy, schmittily. Give ’em a bungee jump off the Auckland bridge, or a roll down the hill in a big plastic hamster ball (Zorbing). From the ski-slopes of the South to the beautiful beaches of the North, it’s a great place to visit.
But MOVE THERE from LA? That’s a 6,000 mile leap of faith, my friends. Sure, I did it, but was lucky enough to find a safe place to land. (And a warm, loving Kiwi family, for which I am eternally grateful.) Noems did it the old-fashioned way. She EARNED it.
She started a house-sitting business, so she doesn’t even pay RENT. This is the current view from her window. SERIOUSLY:
Noemi also designs jewelry. Sings in the odd musical production. And keeps a toe on the corporate latter remotely (very remotely!) by hiring herself out as the web design/content expert she most certainly is.
So for those of you who would love to follow in her adventurous footsteps, you can! (You may even be able to get a Kiwi work permit for certain in-demand careers. There’s a list posted online somewhere. If you find it, please share in the comments!)
And for those of you who are perfectly happy right where you are, I envy you from the bottom of my restless, wandering heart. But even still, it’s nice to know that someone like Noemi is out there. Rolling down the hill in her hamster ball. Living the dream.