Today is the 8th of April 2012. I've been in New Zealand for almost a year and in exactly one month I'm supposed to board a plane to Europe. Or maybe I'm not. I don't want to leave NZ, I like it here!
I planned big things for 2012 ages ago, but now that my time in NZ is almost up, everything seems to be losing importance. It's hard to leave a place which I enjoyed so much and where I feel at home after all this time.
My future plans are revolving around the return flight, which cannot be rescheduled and which is worth about 500€ that I don't want to waste. However, money seems completely irrelevant in a moment like this.
My idea was to go back to the Czech Republic for approximately one month, chill out with friends and family, enjoy the best beer in the world and play some videogames I've been looking forward to for ages (although my gaming "addiction" seems to be fading, and that's another reason why I'd rather stay in NZ). After the homecoming I'd travel a bit around Europe (Scotland and the Pyrenees), find work either in France or in Italy (extend my experience with wine) and if I had enough money, I'd return to NZ in October, to see the North Island. I'd finish off the year in great style - by watching New Year's Eve's fireworks in Sydney, leaning on the Opera House and enjoying the view over the Harbour Bridge.
Despite this attractive plan, my mind is currently spinning with alternative ideas, and it's damn hard to decide which path to choose. There are so many ifs, so many pros and cons to everything and so many unknowns (and knowns).
If I stayed longer in NZ (the work permit can be extended for three months) I'd do another pruning season. That would mean spending another winter in Marlborough as opposed to a summer in Europe, doing hard and boring work, but having a decent and reliable income. Plus I'm curious whether I'd do better now that I have some experience. Most importantly though, I'd be able to spend time with friends and with my sister, who arrived in January and whom I've been barely able to see. This would outweigh the fact that pruning again... well, that I'd hate myself every second for voluntarily going through it again. In August, when my extended visa would expire, I'd probably go to Australia, work and travel a bit, and at some later point I'd be back in NZ to see the North Island, maybe work another vintage. Not going to Europe would also save me two long flights and a big sum of flight money (even though I'd lose the NZ outbound ticket).
It all sounds great, but there are lots of "what ifs", especially on the financial side. And... but wait, what am I even talking about? I just realized that while putting these thoughts into writing I'm thinking about the great time I'll have hiking across the Pyrenees, how good a real Czech beer will taste in a sunlit garden, and how cool it'll be to travel in Ozz next year, after seeing London (yes, even London) again!
And why should I complicate things just because I want to see how my pruning skills are doing? There are vineyards everywhere and pruning is needed every year. Yes, I'll miss the people who are staying in New Zealand, but it's not like I'm never going to see them again, and there are people in Europe, too. So it's decided. Me, Flying, Europe, May. Ciao!