I finished working this week - got 2 weeks of holiday left, so might as well use them - which is obviously nice. One phrase that cropped up though when people found out I was going to New Zealand was "oh you lucky thing".
I don't really count myself lucky at all - the material cost, well, I paid about £1000 for flights and a working visa, and there's been other costs as well, but nothing someone on a standard salary couldn't afford. Equally the decision to go and live in New Zealand for a year, well, that just seemed perfectly straightforward for me - sure I will miss my friends and family, but I've learnt that a year isn't really a long time at all in the grand scheme of things. I guess what I'm trying to say is that most people could do what I'm doing if they wanted.
But then it struck me. "Most people" have families to look after, both children and elderly parents. "Most people" have debts. "Most people" have responsibilities which stop even those with the material means from getting out and doing something even slightly crazy or different. I have no responsibilities, not direct ones. No-one depends on me. My only debt is my student loan, which I'm told if I ignore it for 20 years it will go away. I was quite good at my job but I certainly wasn't irreplacable. I haven't got a partner with their own attachments who'd much rather stay put.
Leaving my friends for a long period of time and going somewhere I've never been before (okay once, overnight, but it was dark) is something that doesn't phase me at all - I'm kind of used to doing things by myself and I like meeting new people. But I am lucky, I realise that.