How I did it: Down Under (Australia) edition.
Going to Australia for a working holiday was by far the best thing I have ever done in my life. It was also the hardest decision to make. Leaving a cushiony job, a comfort of family home and just going somewhere so far seemed a bit crazy at a time. I will be honest I had my doubts before committing to the trip. My problem is I like to sit in a comfort zone. I am one of those people who don’t mind some mild changes but prefer to have a stable, predictable lifestyle. It’s neither good nor bad but it gets boring. So I decided to act- do something drastic. I quit my banking job, announced my decision to my very surprised parents and started packing bags (lots of them!). Time flew by and before I knew it we were a few days away from saying good-bye’s to our families and friends for at least 6 months. Quite naturally my internal worries peaked at that exact moment. Yes, I was 26 and yes I was going with my boyfriend of 2 years, there would not be much of a culture shock and I have purchased a return ticket, yet “Did I make the right decision?” question was loudly buzzing in my head…..
Fast forward almost a year and I look back with a smile. I am in Canada and miss Sydney immensely (who wouldn’t? the beach, the ocean, fit people, yummy food, great weather… the list goes on but it will be a separate blog entry!)Only now I am starting to realize that at the time I fiercely grabbed an opportunity by the tail and didn’t let my hesitancy to stop me from doing something I would regret not doing for the rest of my life. It was a wonderful journey of self-discovery. I learned how to grocery shop on a budget, cook, live in a tiny room, make sophisticated coffee beverages (while working at the coffee shop) but most importantly I learned that it doesn’t matter where you are: it is who you are with what matters. And I got lucky. I couldn’t have wished for a better “partner in crime”, a person to share my new experiences, sadness and happiness with. I actually believe that long distance travel is a great “bootcamp” for partners (before marriage)- learning how to survive in new surroundings and make things work together is not an easy task to accomplish( especially if you never lived together before) but doable if both are willing to compromise, listen and adapt.
The moral of my story is simple and is well summed up in this good quote I like: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. We shall take chances more often and say “Yes!” to things that might seem unrealistic and wrong- it will all be good and worthwhile at the end!