Saturday, May 21, 2005

Everyone's going to New Zealand...

Well, OK, not everyone, I'm not, and most of the Australian members of the Calgary Kangaroos (best Aussie Rules team in Western Canada, if not the world, actually, definately not the world, but a good bunch of guys) aren't.

But a frightening proportion of Canadians between 20-29 will be travelling to New Zealand. In the last two weeks, I've met five (of the ten I've talked to for any length of time) who are definately going, and most of the rest want to.

Now, this is definately not a statistically valid survey because

1) I keep getting introduced to people's friends who are definately going to NZ - one of my greatest social attributes in this country is being able to answer "stupid" questions about New Zealand.

2) Obviously if you're talking to a New Zealander, you're going to pretend you want to want to go to New Zealand. I mean everyone kinda wants to go everywhere (within reason - only crazy people like me want to go to unpleasant dangerous places like Afganistan or Australia). So, you play up your plans to be polite. And if there's one thing Canadians are good at (all together now) it's being polite. I've done it myself more than once. As an example, although Italy isn't high on my travel plans, when talking to Italians, I've expressed more interest than I normally would.

But anyway, lock the doors and put up the tourist fences. Otherwise there might not be room for me to come home (a little known fact about NZ is that we have a strict rota system to keep 10% of the population overseas at all times, it gives the rest of us some breathing room). By the way, my triumphant return is looking like April 06, since my best friend seems to be planning on finally getting married then. I can't guarantee how long I'll be there. I started to make a list of the places I haven't been, but it got kind of involved.

Let's just say that one of my life goals - yes I have some, no they don't include getting a real job (it's an unpleasant necessity) - is to live for a year in every continent (defined loosely) in the world.

So far I've achieved:

Britain, Africa (both as a child, so it's kind of cheating)
North America (Canada, twice, I guess I went a little overboard)
New Zealand (not a continent, but it pads the list)

That means, at a minimum, I need to spend a year in Japan, Argentina, Israel, and somewhere in Europe. I'm running out of working holiday eligibility too (I spent far too long at university), so I'd better get my act together.

Oh, and Antartica, which will be kind of tricky. If anyone has any advice on how I can finagle that, I'd greatly appreciate it (no, pretending to be a Penguin when I get deported from Canada will not work, New Zealand has penguins too, so they'll just send me home).

I'd also kind of like to get a PhD, because well, it's kind of the ultimate certificate of smartness (except for a Nobel Prize, and I doubt writing about how I don't want to grow up, and Canadians are very polite will get me one of those). There's also a bit of competitiveness there too. [Pop psych alert] Eldest sons need to be prove that they are better than their fathers, and although I did get a better honours degree than my father, he's still got the "undergraduate work doesn't matter" argument (I've got the "your masters doesn't count because it came free with your BA" argument, but his PhD kinda trumps that).

See? I mentioned earlier that our family has a strong competitive streak, the above might look like a joke, but there's enough reality behind it to make it funny. It's one of my genetic curses, along with having to wear glasses, and shedding my hair everywhere like some sort of big mousey-brown lapdog.

Plus I just want to go back to the university lifestyle, where I can sit around reading books all day, and not have to constantly try to sell webpages. I've been doing a ridiculous amount of research about internet marketing recently - some of it is to improve my own commercial writing (basically do the opposite of what I do in and for this blog and you'll be doing well) and some of it is actually to try and sell traffic to webmasters. I now see nothing wrong with using CPC, CTR, CPM, and maybe SEO as well, all in the same sentence.


PS - Nics, or anyone else, feel free to correct me, I might be contrary, and difficult, and determined to make fun of everything, but as I've started to mature (it's a journey of a thousand miles and I've only taken the proverbial single step) I've learned that it's better people tell you when you make a mistake than that they tell everyone else.

PPS - Thanks for reading. Somewhere along the line, this stopped being a blog, and started being more of a sort of opinion / humour column for me (by the way, newspaper or magazine columnist does not count as a real job, so if anyone out there knows of a job, especially in one of the countries / continents on my to do list...)

BTW - to add another TLA (or two;)to your list - Japan and Israel are both in Asia (it's the BIG CONTINENT to the right of Europe, or left of where you are now; and Britain IS in Europe, you even have a European passport to prove it!
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