I made the decision to move overseas more than a year ago but I never really meant it until a month ago. It was something I would say because it was a journey I wanted to undertake, but wasn’t sure I could hack it. It sounded good; interesting for a conversation starter with strangers. But recently, I’ve been thinking more about purpose or just living life simply. Me, like many others need purpose, something to look for in life. I don’t know what I’m looking for but I’m going to try and find it.
Finishing school or finishing a uni degree is supposed to symbolise the beginning of something new; the beginning of your career. For 12 years, we study at school before moving onto uni for 3-5 years (sometimes more) and many of us have often never left the country or been challenged outside of our own comforts. Unknown of the cultures that vary from one border to another, the opportunities behind an unknown corner 15,000km away, the beautiful strangers who quickly become friends before a new rotation of beautiful strangers arises on another journey. So how can we be expected to know exactly what we want to do with our lives?
I’m stagnant in my current thinking and my current lifestyle. I previously despised change but now; I cannot look forward to the future without a challenge ahead, or a journey outside of my comfort zone. The structured, traditionalist life consisting of an education followed by a full-time job, marriage and kids is the right life path for some. But for me, I feel as if I owe myself more than conformation because it’s familiar, I should not follow a path just because it’s already paved. As Robert Frost would say, “take the road less travelled.”
As I am at a crossroad, I can’t exactly tell you who I am, but I know who I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I know mostly who I am but only in my current context…only in Australia in the comforts of a place I have lived in the past 5 years. But who am I in another country? Who am I when I’m challenged in a group of strangers 16,000km away? The UK is only the tip of the iceberg for me, I have many places I wish to see and so many goals I want to achieve. Not just in my career, but alternative achievements. What is it like to complete an international Marathon? What is it like to hike an extraordinary journey in nature with just a bag on your back? To volunteer in Africa? To learn a new language? Without exploring the many opportunities and adventures in life, how can I begin understanding my purpose?
I could wait until I’m 100% ready. I could wait until I’m more comfortable moving overseas by myself; but I decided to stop waiting for the right time. I made a commitment to myself this year, to say yes more. I was reading “The Art of Making Memories” and a point in the book really resonated with me. If you will remember the experience ten years from now as a positive nostalgic memory, you should take it. Sometimes I’m too cautious and I miss out on actually living life to its maximum potential. This year, I made a promise to myself, to step out of my comfort zone and outside of my overthinking tendencies. I’m really thankful of the people I have met in the last few years whilst living in Brisbane, both those who I am still friends with and those who I no longer am. Every single person has contributed to who I am now and who I will be. Although it is daunting moving to another country alone, this is something I needed.
To those wondering why I’m not pursuing a career in Business or Psychology after completing two degrees; well there’s something telling me not to…just yet. Every second person has asked me if I’m moving to London to pursue a career. Well no actually, I am going to work and live in a pub. Why? Because I can travel freely, meet new people, leave work at work instead of going home and writing more notes and developing ideas. I can begin to understand who I am more and who else is out there. I can find what and where makes me feel whole. I don’t want to have a big fancy house, a nice car or a closet of designer clothes; I want a life. When it’s our time, all we have is our experiences and memories.