A funny thing happened on the way to New Zealand. Maybe it wasn't so funny. I got rejected.
Despite five years of training and hard work, two weeks of maddening attempts to be interviewed, and a ski instruction resume I truly feel is worthy of pride, it took less than 48 hours from the time of my interview to receive an automated form rejection. Consensus from those who had made it overseas in previous years is that I'm too old and too expensive.
SIDE NOTE: New Zealand allows a large number of 18-30 year-olds to get "working holiday visas"; they allow a young person to travel to the country without a job and find whatever work they can during the 6 months they're traveling. It's an exchange program between dozens of countries including the US, Canada, and New Zealand. After 30, however, that privilege goes away and each country has its own stringent rules. In the case of New Zealand, a work visa must be sponsored by a company, meaning the person in question would need a job waiting for them and the company would likely have to pay a bunch of money to get the worker over there legally.
Though in other years, I might've lounged around and lamented my plight, the ejection only angered me and filled me with an odd sense of relief. I wouldn't have to worry about the cost of getting overseas, and my months-long journey in summer work limbo was, in one sense, over. Instead, a different sort of limbo, one much more familiar, took over: unemployment.
Through the weeks that followed, I spent more time thinking about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and how I wanted to work than I did applying for jobs.