I keep forgetting that we aren't all connected to the same hive mind and am surprised when friends don't know that I have left Weta (again). Everybody asks why I chose to leave, and the answer is simple. Despite the fact that I adore my job, doing it left me with very little emotional energy to do anything else. I realised that for most of my adult life, work really has been my life. For a long time that was fine because I loved my work and was happy to make it my life. However with each passing year that compromise has seemed less acceptable. With "Avatar" wrapping up, and especially now that I'm single again, it felt foolish to not take a punt and try something different.
Of course this leaves the question of what exactly is the next step, and honestly the answer is that I don't know. What I do know is I've been talking about travelling the world for longer then I can remember. As a kid, shuttling between California and New Zealand with my parents, I remember idolising the scruffy hippy kids that I'd see congregating in the corners of airports. Over the last <gulp> twenty years I've ended relationships and quit jobs to head off on this journey more times then I care to count. Yet I always allowed life to pull me back before the final plunge. The time has arrived to stare the dream square in the face and either plunge in … or get over it.
What I do know is that I'll be spending the next couple months in Wellington enjoying summer and the company of friends. Then around April I'll be heading off towards Southeast Asia. My destination? The cheapest flight that gets me to Southeast Asia, I'm guessing Bangkok but hope to be surprised. From there I intend to slowly make my way westward. Since I'm not in a hurry I intend to stop for as long as I like and enjoy everything which seems worth savouring. I'll be avoiding planes and will instead travel by foot, bicycle, motorbike, boat and bus as much as possible. After exploring Southeast Asia I hope to make my way into China and from there to Tibet, down through Nepal and into India. After that I really have no idea, I suspect my initial travel companions will have headed for home by then so I'll be properly on my own. Then depending on how comfortable I am in my new traveller shoes, Africa or Eastern Europe seem the most likely choices.
I've been saying that this is going to be a years trip but really I have no idea. More realistically it'll end when I: get sick of it, run out of money, find something I don't want to leave or end up back in New Zealand.
Between now and then I hope to keep the new travel section of this updated with what I learn and experience along the way.