Plenty has changed since I last blogged about me. In fact, plenty has changed since I last blogged at all. I must admit, I’ve been a bit slack and haven’t been maintaining my blog much recently. I must do better. I really must.
So a quick update – as mentioned in a previous blog post, Chris and I finally decided to pack up and move overseas. We quit our jobs at Trade Me back in November ‘07 and the plan was to travel throughout South-East Asia for 3 months and ultimately end up in London where we would both find IT work and earn the big bucks.
Our 3 months in South-East Asia were amazing. I can’t stress that enough – if you haven’t been… GO! Asia has so much to offer and even the NZ dollar gets you so far! Thailand and Cambodia are cheeeeeap and cheerful, Japan was cold and expensive. Bangladesh was fascinating, Singapore was hot and sweaty, Malaysia was wet and Hong Kong was busy. Anyway, we haven’t done Vietnam yet so we’ll be going back… one day :). If you want to read all about our adventures in Asia, go to TravelStash – Chris And Annie, our very own travel blog.
During our holiday, I was offered two jobs – one at Google in Zurich as a Software Engineer in Test (omg, after so many years and so many interviews!) and another at Next Jump as a Software Engineer in London. Took me a while because it was a really tough decision to make, but eventually I picked Next Jump because the role was much more in line with where I want my career to head. Google then tried to convince me to join them in London instead. Let me tell you – it feels great to be so wanted! Anyway, I stuck with my decision and began the process of applying for the UK HSMP so that I could start at Next Jump as soon as I arrived in London. This application form ended up being a real mission, requiring me to provide all sorts of documentation, most of which I didn’t have access to, especially from some beach resort in Thailand! So my parents and brother did a great job helping me out, and together we got all the documents and forms done and sent off. The most memorable part of this process was jumping onto the back of a dodgy little motorbike with Chris AND a driver (yes, 3 of us!), wearing nothing more than shorts, singlets and jandals (psshhh, who needs a helmet!!), and weaving in and out of traffic on our way down to the main post office in Phnom Pehn to post my drivers’ license off to London. That would be enough to give any traffic cop in NZ a heart-attack!
We ended up in London on the 21st of February ‘08, a little ahead of schedule. Only a couple of days later I received my letter of acceptance from the Home Office in the UK – my HSMP application had been approved. However, it was only then that I found out that I had to go back to NZ to finish off the process and get my ‘entry clearance’. That took me a bit by surprise but what the hell, going back to NZ means I get to see my family and friends a lot sooner than I’d expected which is all good! Chris started looking for work (he needs someone to sponsor his work permit) by sending out a million emails a day to recruiters and large IT companies alike. Hopefully he’ll find the right role for him and we’ll be able to stay in the UK!! :)
Anyway, I’m writing this article from NZ so right now I’m waiting to have my biometrics meeting and get my entry clearance so I can finally start my new job at Next Jump. I’m really excited and can’t wait to sink my teeth into a new job! Looks like I might even get to go to New York for 3~4 weeks training on my way back to the UK so that should be awesome! Now I just need to get my brain back into geek mode and I should be fine… lol ;)