I’m picking up and moving abroad again—this time to Dublin, Ireland.
For anyone that knows me, this will not come as a surprise. I know that most people can’t understand how I can possibly squeeze all of my belongings into one suitcase and move to another country all by myself.
Some people call it brave, others scary. Some think it’s downright irresponsible to pack up and move halfway across the world without any sort of concrete plan for what I’ll do once I get there.
For me, it just works.
At the moment, I’m single and I don’t have children. I also recently quit a job that was sucking the life out of me. The thought of being able to switch gears and head off into the unknown thrills me to no end.
While I know many people out there are just like me (some of them dear friends of mine), many would never dream of doing such a thing. This could be due to many factors, including financial reasons, fear of the unknown, having young children, a steady and well-paying job—the list goes on.
Everyone is different and wants different things out of life. I have found that I thrive when I’m in an unfamiliar environment. In fact, the thought of staying in one place and getting stuck in a routine scares me a whole lot more than going somewhere I’ve never been.
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” ~ David Mitchell
As someone who does this often, I believe that it’s essential to get out of your comfort zone as often as possible. Whether that means going to that yoga class that you’ve been afraid to try, attempting a new hobby, learning a new language or simply striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know—escaping your comfort zone really can make you feel like anything is possible!
When I moved to Australia in 2011 on a working holiday visa, I had no idea what would happen. The idea to pack up and move to the other side of the world came to me when I was in California for the Coachella music festival with some friends that were visiting from Melbourne. Having always wanted to visit Australia, I was asking them what it was like to live there and one of them suggested that I get a work tourist visa and see for myself.
A month later, I was on a flight to Melbourne.
Sure it was a little scary at first to be moving to a place I had never been, with only a few familiar faces to greet me on the other side. What was even scarier though was not going at all.
I ended up absolutely loving it there and didn’t want to leave. In the four years that I was there, I made several lifelong friendships, had unforgettable experiences and ticked a lot of items off my ever-growing bucket list. Some of my favourite memories took place there and it will always have a special place in my heart.
After a couple of years of being back home, I’m craving something new and exciting.
I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland and could not be more excited to explore this beautiful country and see more of Europe. Who knows when and where I will settle down, if ever. For now, I’m just enjoying the journey and making memories to last a lifetime along the way.
Leaving my comfort zone has taught me many things over the years. Most importantly, it showed me that something truly magical can happen when you do. Self-doubt becomes a thing of the past. That little voice inside of you that says that you can’t do something will disappear.
As someone who suffers from anxiety disorder and claustrophobia, the thought of getting on a 22-hour flight headed to the other side of the planet normally would have terrified me. But, guess what? I did it and I never looked back. I also never doubted myself again. If I could do that, I could do anything.
I’m not saying you have to start off with something grand. Start off small and work your way up to something more challenging.
Whatever it is you’re passionate about—get out there and give it a try.
After all, the moments that scare us the most are often the ones that make us feel the most alive.
“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” ~ John A. Shed
Author: Lauren F.
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Molly Murphy