My name is Matt Lillywhite. I was born in the United Kingdom, and have had an extremely prosperous life growing up. I went on vacations to Australia, France, USA, and several other places. I’ve traveled 4 continents, and in comparison to some parts of the world, I’m relatively wealthy.
I grew up in Dorset, a small county in England that’s approximately 2 hours southwest of London. I lived with my mum and brother in a 3 bedroom house. We would have Sunday lunch, have a Starbucks in the town center, and do all the stereotypical things that British families do whilst spending time together.
Christchurch was a fairly small town (approximately 45,000 people) and you’d often bump into friends & neighbors whilst walking down the street. It was a 10-minute drive from the beach and felt very safe & secure. Essentially, it was in its own little bubble on the south coast of Britain.
During August 2017, I decided to put myself out of my comfort zone and moved to Melbourne, Australia aged only 18. My assumption is that subconsciously, I wanted to experience life away from all the typical home-comforts that I was used to in the UK. I went to start a new life. I went to start a new chapter within my legacy. And for the better, it changed me & molded me into a much better person.
When the time came for me to leave the country, I was not ready. It was as simple as that. I packed my clothes, booked a flight, and headed over to Sydney on a flight back to London via Abu Dhabi. I said goodbye to my friends in Australia. I said goodbye to the dozens of family members I have there. I boarded the plane. I stepped into the aircraft knowing that my life would never be the same.
Approximately a year later, I have decided to move to New Zealand for 23 months. Maybe longer. Once again, I crave a new home, a fresh start, and the opportunity to experience life in another country. I know that I have made the right decision.
My personal opinion is that being an immigrant in a new country gives you a massive advantage compared to the entire population. Whilst the vast majority of society is locked in complacency, Immigrants are consistently hungry to succeed and pursue their dreams.
Instead of taking things for granted, immigrants are able to appreciate the small details of their new country… their new home. Whether it’s the grocery store, the friendliness of the local community, or a variety of other things, they tend to see how wonderful each opportunity truly is.
Over the past few months, I have slowly come to the realization that the reason I’m traveling the world is that it gives me the opportunity to experience life. I want to overcome any adversity that I may face wherever I go. I get to work for my success and reap the rewards upon completion. I get to live in a society which I want to contribute to and benefit in any way that I can.
I realize that everybody’s circumstances & opinion are different. I’m empathetic towards that. I get it.
“Citizenship is the chance to make a difference in the place that you belong”.
I was born into fortunate circumstances — I don’t deny that. But that is my truth. I believe that anybody can create a new life for themselves, and a chance to prosper in a nation in which they belong.