Travelling, an OE or just a stint overseas. All fit nicely into the realm of parallel universe currently, much to the disappointment of keen jetsetters.
If I'm honest, it's not something I'd thought much about until I settled into my first full-time job.
Sure, that cliche of seeing the world always held a lot of appeal and excitement. But something about realising I'd be working forever - or at least well after age 65 because retirement options would likely be diminished by then - propelled it to the category of "immediate /short-term goal".
It meant in 2015, after I'd assessed I'd worked enough and secured savings for at least six months' holiday, the time was right to launch to a different part of the world.
Broadening my horizons wasn't going to be hard, I thought rather smugly. New Zealand is so small and much-the-same, so somewhere different will be really good.
Obviously, that recollection points to a decent amount of naivety at the time. I'd also like to think it doesn't quite cover the full picture. I'm sure, even with a declaration of "totally over it" after just four years in the adult workforce, there was a bit more to going overseas.
However, like other forays into times gone by, it's always interesting what pops out.
I decided I wanted to see North America. Visa options meant Canada was a good end destination. Before that, I had six months in the US, starting in LA then moving down, across, up and generally east.
It was a lot of fun, a lot of land covered and notably, a lot of learning about America and Americans.
Interestingly, what really dominated the backdrop of that six months was Trump. Amongst all the new places and experiences, his rise as a politician seemed to permeate even the most far-flung spots.
A note from my time in Missouri – probably the closest I came to being in the centre of the US – highlighted a lot of open hostility towards "Washington". Trump, I noted, wasn't so much discussed as a solution to this, but as a forceful antidote. Yes, people knew he was offensive, outrageous and deeply unqualified, but he offered a real and rather dramatic departure from the then status quo. For some, that seemed enough to glaze over the divisiveness of his brand. Or it was at that stage anyway.
Fast-forward a few months and I was on the east coast. Trump had progressed to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination - a wholly different outlook from months earlier. Perspectives here were also markedly different from the centre of the country.
One particularly charming pair of New Yorkers were genuinely surprised I'd visited Texas. Without missing a beat, they asked "What is there to actually see down there?"
Equal parts familiar and amusing, I thought at the time. Not that far off from how some Aucklanders talk about certain parts of New Zealand. Notably, to those New Yorkers, Trump and his supporters were a very embarrassing but temporary sensation.
Obviously, we know that trajectory was way off. It also meant by the time I settled in Toronto, Canada, there was a healthy amount of finger-pointing at the dire state of affairs south of the border.
The general consensus being while Canada had a lot of work to do on various social, economic and justice fronts, its federal leadership was in far better shape than the US. One of my bosses at the time put it best when he said: "Not really sure how much that means though when you're comparing yourself to the US."
Then, after more than a year living amongst Torontonians, and a short stint in the eastern provinces of Canada, it was back to New Zealand. Auckland specifically. Looking back, that time away seems a bit surreal. Like those adventures belonged to a different life. And with the backdrop of the past 18 months, they also give new value to that cliche of seeing the world.