#2234 How Hard Is It To Get A Visa To America?

Photo: Haw-lin

Hey Isaac! I’m living in the US for a year and was wondering if you knew any places I absolutely MUST see, without getting too touristy and going to all the spots that everyone else has already seen?

If you’re into freaky off-the-beaten-track experiences, my house is the pits of hell – over 40 degrees inside with no air conditioning, chicken gizzards in the fridge, and a Croatian/Australian roommate who swears violently whenever you knock on his bedroom door… It’s not exactly touristy but it is a must see. Come over? Or you could try flying to LA, renting a car and driving to Santa Monica beach at sunset. I did it last night and I’m fairly confident that it was one of the top 10 most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

Hi Isaac, I was wondering what advice you had for someone who has a significant amount of men’s fashion retail experience and a business degree looking to get into the corporate side of mens fashion – particularly in a bigger NZ company e.g. Barkers or Hallensteins?

Hey man, I like where your head’s at – if you’re standing still you’re going backwards; goals are key. The dream job for you is a menswear buyer/merchandiser. It basically entails flying around the world a couple of times per year and spending a day or two in the greatest cities on earth, buying clothing and putting together ranges based on what you see happening in London/New York/Milan/Paris etc. The only way to do it is to tirelessly contact the companies you want to work for and tell them you’ll do anything to get a foot in the door: Intern, volunteer, get them coffees, put together a capsule collection that represents your vision of where you see menswear heading in the next few seasons and force them to listen to what you have to say. You’ll need to be able to see the future, have a good grasp on garment construction, a mind for business and a realistic idea of what will actually sell in the New Zealand market (which is one of the toughest on the planet). Best of luck!

Hey Isaac. I know you’re flooded with fashionistas wanting tips on moving to NYC, but what about those of us not in the industry toying with the idea of entering the US citizenship lottery? We all want the Jack Kerouac adventure, but just how difficult is it going to be to land on our feet in the States if we actually know NOBODY living there? Best to have one good buddy with you (a la Mr Bull) to make it work, or will we end up sitting alone in a tiny apartment listening to gunshots?

I’ve entered the Green Card Lottery three years in a row and had no luck so far. I know a couple of people who’ve won it, and it’s brilliant if you do – it gives you freedom to come over and try your hand at anything your heart desires. But to answer your question, New York is an incredibly difficult city sometimes, regardless of how many friends you have here. A lot of people think that you’d never get lonely because you’re constantly surrounded by humans, but the opposite is often true – it can exacerbate those feelings of being alone. I think if you’re an outgoing, friendly dude then you can make it work, but it’d always be easier to come over knowing at least one person.

One great thing about the city is that everyone has come from somewhere and everyone is trying to make it, find their place, embark on new relationships, grow friendships and fill the gaping void that appears when they uproot themselves from their hometown/country/family/friends/comfort zone.

And based on personal experience, sitting alone, feeling sorry for yourself in a tiny apartment is not conducive to success, personal happiness or anything positive. New York will beat you down and you have to beat it straight back. The moment you sit still and try to take a breather, opportunities will pass you by, friends will forget about you and you’ll just end up perpetuating the problem. My advice is to get a job as quickly as you possibly can and work long, hard hours to avoid giving yourself the chance to sit and wallow. New Yorkers aren’t interested in sad, lonely, quiet people lacking in personal confidence and ambition. You’ve gotta be tough. It’s hard, but imagine the feeling when you make it.

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