Still Got It Stories or How It All Began
Still Got It Stories
Him & Her
For those of you who don’t really know us, here’s a short background story about us and how we decided that we still got it!
Algirdas and I (Ruta) are a couple of geeks from Lithuania who have always dreamt of traveling the worlds (yes, plural, don’t judge us – one can dream 😉 ) even before we have met each other. To be fair, both of us had already made plans to do so individually. I had my grand plan to embark on around the world trip on my 27th birthday while Algirdas had it all sorted with the plan to do a programming traineeship in USA. Anyways, I guess things don’t necessarily always go as planned.
Thanks to one awesome and determined person (yes Vaiva, it’s you), we’ve met each other and fell for one another. After that, life just happened: we worked, lived together, partied with our friends, visited our families and worked again. At some point, we just got into a routine and without even noticing forgot our dreams. I have pushed away my plan to leave everything and travel. Algirdas got a great job in Vilnius and left behind his traineeship and travel dreams. We were living a happy and stable life – both had great office jobs and climbed up the career ladder, we lived in a cute apartment and had (still have) the most amazing friends and family to spend our time with.
But something was still missing, and the suppressed travel bug just kept knocking back in our lives. We did travel though trying to satisfy it. We went on holidays and business trips and during 3,5 years that we’ve been together we’ve visited quite few places (together or separately) – Peru, USA, France, Italy, UK, Morocco, Norway, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Thailand, Slovakia, Costa Rica, Sweden, Ukraine and Denmark (not sure if I didn’t miss anything). However, it just never felt enough. Don’t get me wrong, we were super thankful of having these opportunities to travel, however, it always felt like holidays, not the ‘travel’ traveling where you get to live in the country and experience the culture rather than rush through the place in few weeks.
Anyways, at some point in our life, we got to the point when all of our friends were getting married, getting loans and buying apartments, having kids. And this just made us realize more than ever that we were just not ready yet to settle down and get ourselves tied to the place – we still had dreams that now were screaming in our heads louder than ever, reminding about the time that’s rushing by with less and less before we have to settle (or do we?).
So, when we read about Lithuania negotiating Working Holiday Visa (WHV) program with New Zealand it was like an eureka moment for us – the seed was already planted. For me New Zealand has always been the number one dream destination ever since I saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the cinema back in 2001 – it was love at first sight. However, there is so much more to New Zealand landscapes than ‘just’ ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Not to mention it is the furthest possible destination from Lithuania (more than 10 000 miles) which on itself wakes up a voyager spirit in us. Therefore, after reading about the potential program we started discussing the possibility to do it, though nothing was confirmed yet and it seemed more like an illusion we liked to dream about together. However, when Lithuania finally signed the contract in 2016, shit just got real and there we were having to make the decision. At this point, we both had great careers, for sure not enough savings in our accounts and lots of other reasons why we shouldn’t do it (or did we?). And so we did it.
First, I got a new passport in 1 day, we practiced filling the form and we did apply on the November 29th, 2016. We just guessed the best chance of us both succeeding was to apply the first year since only 100 spots per year were available and only a few years left before we turn 30. Long story short, few weeks, medical exams and chest x-rays later we both had our visas and one year ahead to get to New Zealand. So here we are one year later – jobless, homeless and happiest we’ve ever been. I guess, we Still Got It!
P.S. You can read here more about our New Beginnings in NZ.