This piece for Enchanted Serendipity’s Expat Series has been written by Lauren from Last Fiasco Run Blog.
I had always wanted to travel, I always dreamed of seeing places all over the globe and experiencing new cultures. I had many a plan of when I would leave home and jump on a plane with a one-way ticket, but there was always something holding me back: money, relationships, work.
Eventually after graduating and working for two years – 9-5 in PR, I decided that if I didn’t do it now, I never would. So I quit my job and booked that one-way ticket.
I was terrified and excited all at once, I was worried that I was jeopardizing my career prospects. But it was more terrifying to me; that I might never see the world.
My first few years as an expat: USA & Canada
I started by living and working in America for a summer. I worked as a camp counselor, a completely different experience than my 9-5 office job. I loved it, I was meeting people from all over the world and I got to spend my days outdoors, just playing really! After the summer was up and I had road tripped from California to Miami, I jumped on a plane again to Canada.
Lauren In Colorado
I then spent two years living and working in Whistler, a ski resort town in British Columbia, Canada.
It is hard for me to explain just how amazing living there was. I was surrounded by beautiful mountains and trees and lakes; but it was more than just the scenery, there was a community of like-minded travelers who looked out for each other; and I think that is why I lived there for so long, even though the rest of the world was calling.
Living in Canada completely changed my life. I had gone from living to work, working all hours and constantly stressing about deadlines, to working to live, taking any kind of job that would allow me to stay in Canada and make the most of my time there.
The lifestyle was incredible. I worked in hospitality so my hours were different each week, meaning sometimes I would work nights and other times I would work days – allowing me to pack adventures into my time off. I could get up and snowboard all morning, or go on a hike…before my shift even started.
Walking On A Log Walk
The people I worked with were from all over, I had friends from Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, and many more; they were some of the most amazing and open-minded people I had ever met. They wanted to make the most of their time as well, whether it was taking camping trips, or discovering a new lake; they were always inspiring me to do more and experience more.
I felt like I was finally making the most of my life, constantly on the go, always exploring. I also felt like I belonged again. I have never had too much interest in settling down, getting married and having kids. Don’t get me wrong I want that one day, but at a time where all my friends were getting engaged and buying houses, I wasn’t ready for that at all. Here, it didn’t matter how old you were, or how young you were, it didn’t matter where you were from, whether you had money, or your gender, race or sexuality. All that mattered was that you were kind-hearted and wanted to experience as much as possible.
I had to leave Canada eventually. There was still so much of the world I wanted to see. However, I probably would have stayed longer if I could had done.
Lauren In Vancouver
The Current Expat Experience: Australia
I am now on my next adventure living and working in Australia.
My life has changed dramatically and it has definitely changed me as a person. I now search for that community and lifestyle wherever I live, I now know places and people like that exist, and when I am travelling that is what I look for. I worry less about my career and ignore that voice in the back of my head telling me I should find a husband; it has made me want to do and see as much as I can.
I now treasure moments rather than belongings, I am more independent and I am happy spending time with myself, but appreciate sharing experiences with others. I don’t focus on the negative as much. If something isn’t right with my life I do my best to change it, whether that means packing up and moving or switching jobs. My priorities have changed entirely, I am always trying to make the most out of my situation, the most out of life, and I care less about the small things.
Being an expat has made me appreciate life more, but it has also made me unable to sit still, always searching for the next experience or adventure; I am always in limbo never quite content.
However I would rather look back on all the experiences I have had living abroad, than to look back at all the money I made, or cars I owned. Will I regret the chance I took to leave my home town and experience another country? I doubt it.
I think I will only regret those places I didn’t see and experiences I missed out on. Because really, when we are old and haven’t got much time left, it will be our memories that we hold close; so I want to make as many amazing ones as possible.
If you enjoyed this, you will want to read Natasha’s experience as an expat in South Korea.
Who Is Toni?
The USA has my heart - Australia is my home. I write travel tales with an entertainment edge, in a time when filming locations are truly driving tourism. Over the past decade, I have been traveling the world, bringing film, television and tourism together. I also have a love of history & food.
I want travelers to be inspired to take their own vacations - and really connect to the places they visit.
Join me as I embark on every adventure!