Thursday, December 8, 2016

Waiting for the beginning.

Vibrant pastel oranges and pinks, streaks of sunlight barely warming you  as the eternal orange fireball slowly melts into the horizon. Another typical South Florida sunset, unnoticed by many who grew up as I did, on the beach and swimming in the temperate Atlantic on or even after Christmas day. Now, frozen expanses and breathtaking landscapes will encircle my new home, the capital city of Astana, in just a few weeks time.
Abu Dhabi Plaza in Astana. (Rendering)

My name is Nick, and I'm moving to Kazakhstan to work as a Jr. plant engineer on the Abu Dhabi Plaza, soon to be the largest tower block in Central Asia. I graduated with my B.s. in mechanical engineering from Florida State University in May 2016. Shortly after, my first time traveling internationally was to Seoul, Korea for a close friend's wedding (what an experience!). After returning to the states, I slept on a friend's floor in Austin, TX for about a week. Shortly after, with my skateboard and what I had in my suitcase from the Seoul trip, moved to Berkeley, CA to take a job as a tooling engineer at a burgeoning startup. 

Some type of good energy must have been flowing my way, because everything seemed to work out great. The day before my flight to Berkeley, I talked to a friend living there and she had an extra room for me, at a very affordable price. So I made it out there, stayed one night with my Uncle Paul, then moved into my new apartment. I started preparing for work, and really woke up happy for the first time in a very long time. It was surprising, because I felt this freedom and responsibility to myself to really take advantage of life. I hadn't woken up happy for years. I was happy to be out of school finally, I've always hated school. I was finally  beginning the journey of my life, my own life.

I explored the area, settled in, lived off of beans and rice, went camping in Yosemite, went rock climbing, skateboarded around Berkeley, biked around San Francisco. Unfortunately, the tooling engineer job fell through, and I ended up falling back into the service industry, working as a cook in a small french takeout kitchen in Berkeley. Not a bad gig, as I really enjoy cooking delicious food, but not so great to develop my career related to engineering. The days became weeks, and the excitement of my paychecks waned, as I settled into the normalcy of the so called rat race. I actually started to hate it, because it reminded me of my previous kitchen job, sans the friends I had back in Tallahassee. Some of my co-workers actually became some of my best friends, in a very short period of time, so at least there was a glint of silver lining.

So eventually, through someone I knew, (you'd be better off networking for 4 years than going to college) I got hooked up with a Company called Arabtec, a construction company based out of Dubai, and the rest is pretty much history.

I've taken the job, signed the contract, and am currently waiting on a work permit to be approved by the the Republic of Kazahkstan. I've got my snowboarding gloves, long thermal underwear, Redwing boots, balaclava, a ton of vitamin C fizzy packets, and one hefty ass goose down parka. I'm so looking forward to working in my field of study, to absorb the culture, skate in the city, develop my Russian language skills, probably drink plenty of vodka, and most of all meet new people.

Hopefully this Florida boy can hang through the harsh subzero winter in the second coldest capital city in the world, only second to Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.

Until any further developments,

Прощай (farewell).