Emi Maria, a.k.a. Wanderlady is a Japanese-Honduran traveler and acupuncturist now living in New Zealand. She writes about her travels, life and acupuncture remedies in her trilingual blog (English, Spanish, and Japanese).
Why and how did you end up in New Zealand?
I ended up in New Zealand because I came here for a short travel 2 years ago while doing a working holiday year in Australia and really liked it so I decided to do my next working holiday year here.
What was your biggest fear in moving all the way across the world?
When I decided to move I was already 26 years old, almost 27 and to me that felt like it was time to follow most of my friends footsteps and settle down, maybe even think of starting a family of my own. I was gaining recognition in the Acupuncture clinic I was working at, and I was getting more and more of my own patients. My career was finally taking off which meant I was also getting paid more.
So, my biggest fear was quitting this life that I had worked so hard and for so many years to get just as I was actually starting to see success around the corner. It was a crucial moment in my career and I feared throwing it all away to start from scratch in a new country where I didn’t know anyone and did not even have a job guaranteed. I was scared I would fail and come back home with my tail between my legs and have my family, friends and coworkers see my failure.
How did you get over that fear?
I wanted to go on a working holiday for years and kept waiting for the “right” time but all that was happening was me getting older and older. The right time never seem to arrive and I started to think about the working holiday age limit being 30, I was only 3 years away from reaching 30!!
Even though I was scared of leaving everything I had and starting over from scratch in Australia, a country where I didn’t know a soul, I thought about all the times that I had to start over in my life and things always ended up fine and I always learned something new from it.
It also helped me to see all the beautiful places I wanted to visit and daydream of being there.
Looking back, what would you tell yourself before you moved?
I would tell myself to be flexible and let plans change.
Before I moved to Australia I allowed myself only ONE year away from my family and my career. I didn’t allow myself to even think of continuing even if I loved it, so when the year was over I went back to Japan to work and help my family around the house. But I was miserable all the time and it affected all aspects of my life.
At the end, I finally decided to go away again to New Zealand and this time I planned for nothing and let myself go with the flow of life.
What is one thing you would like to share with others about going after their dreams?
Going after your dreams might be really scary and you might not “succeed” in the life everyone expected, but as long as you are happy doing something that you love I think that is the most important thing.
To me, being happy is my biggest success, I realized I don’t care about not having a big paycheck or a successful career, going wherever I want and doing what I want is what makes me happy.
What are your next steps?
For my next trip I am planning on going to Spain to do yet another working holiday year. It will be my first time in Europe and I am so excited!
Thank you so much for sharing with us Emi! You can find more of Emi on her blog, Wanderlady.
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