With a blog that has been running for some time, it can be daunting to know exactly where to start. Below is what I consider to be my story since leaving the UK in 2003. By following this outline of my journey, I hope you get an immediate insight into why I write what I do – and what you can learn from this site.
I hope to inspire you to turn those dreams of a more fulfilling life, one with adventure, opportunity and even the chance to live someplace new, into a reality. I want you to settle for more, not less, because passion, wonder and adventure aren’t only reserved for an occasional moment or the chosen few.
Moving abroad and living the expat life
At 23, I worked in a job going nowhere. At 25, I’d spent the best part of my early years in a place that didn’t inspire me. At 27, I led a lifestyle that left me wanting for more. By 30, I had changed it all.
In my twenties, I quickly realised I’d given up any control over my life. I only saw longing and regret stretching out before me. I needed to take the control back. I knew there was more to life and I wanted to discover my calling at work, home and play.
It was in the summer of 2002 that my partner and I first decided to move abroad. The kernel of an idea was already there but, during that summer, we began to turn an idea into reality.
One year later and our first stop was Vancouver, Canada, where I turned my back on the corporate world and returned to student life. It was tough to begin with but things got easier as time went on. And we moved on.
To Ottawa and a job with the government, a new set of friends, our first Canadian house and a more settled way of life. But we were young and so we grew restless.
With the quest for travel and adventure still burning brightly in our hearts, we quit Canada in 2006 in search of long hot summers and a laidback lifestyle near the beautiful harbour city of Sydney, Australia, where we’ve spent the last nine years.
Read my best posts about moving abroad.
Adventures in travel
Travel is my drug. When I haven’t travelled for a few months, I find myself needing my fix. It calls to me. But when I travel too often, I need a break – a quick time-out and a chance to retune and refocus.
Travel can come in all shapes and sizes. It can be that short trip across the country, a two-week vacation overseas, or a longer and more extensive period away. The thing is that it doesn’t matter because travel is travel and a regular fix is all that I need, whatever size or shape it comes in.
Travel is important. It lets me know there’s a wider world out there. If I’ve become too comfortable in my own neighbourhood, it calls to the spirit of adventure that lies buried within me. It is unknown, not always predictable. It challenges, pushing further each time.
Travel is a release. It lets me leave my stress behind, lets me run away, escape, explore and disappear into an environment far removed from home. It lets me temporarily forget and it refuels creativity and imagination.
I realised early on in my life how precious time is and why there is still so much of this planet left to explore. And so I made a conscious commitment to travel further and explore more.
Moving abroad simply reinforced that desire to never stop searching and exploring.
In the twelve years since moving abroad, I’ve explored the length and breadth of Canada by road and rail, covered the east coast of Australia including Tasmania, experienced New Zealand and Fiji, reacquainted myself with the UK and Europe, and have plans to travel further in 2015 with my growing family.
Because there is so much more to see and do.
Read my best posts about travel.
Creating a career that fits who I am
I always wanted to be the high-flyer. I saw myself as someone who would excel in the corporate world or become a leader in international business. But I eventually accepted that being a major corporate bigwig wasn’t my thing.
So I dropped the idea.
I realised how much time and energy I was spending on seeking the approval of others for ambitions I wasn’t even that vested in. I wasn’t focused on the things that should have been important to me and I wasn’t content with this idea of success.
So I revisited what being successful meant to me.
And I recognised that it wasn’t about money or a job title. It wasn’t about power or the pats on the back from admiring colleagues. These long-held ideas on success no longer sat well with me.
I decided to change my working world for the better yet I was told I couldn’t afford to do this. I wouldn’t be able to buy a house, start a family, move up the career ladder.
Still I gave up the steady corporate career – the car, the perks, flash title and fancy suits – to return to student life. And I loved every minute of it.
I graduated with an A-grade Master of Arts. Avoided the school bullies. And my brain didn’t implode. Then I moved into a steady government career but it still wasn’t right. I endured seven painfully long years before finding a way to create a writing company off the back of this blog’s success.
It was my finest moment and I won’t ever look back. I found a way to make my work fit my life, not the other way round.
Read my best posts about career.
Lifestyle and living life to the fullest
I knew there was more to life and I wanted to discover my calling at work, home and play. I needed to go out into the wider world and find something different. Discover my true passion. Create the life that I desperately wanted to lead.
I knew I had to search for my life less ordinary.
I wanted more time with my family and less time spent in the office. I wanted a life less stressful and more relaxed, with increased time outdoors and stimulation from my immediate environment.
Most of all, I didn’t want to be that guy sat in front of the TV night after night, full of regrets at passing up opportunities, unhappy with his lot in life, and destined to infinite suburban boredom.
Ten years on and I know one valuable thing. I couldn’t wait for someone else to create the life I wanted for me. I had to go out there and create it for myself.
I also learnt that I could never stop searching, exploring or looking for more so I could constantly grow as a person and achieve the most from my time on this planet.
I think about and work hard to create the life I want to lead every single day. I didn’t move abroad to rest on my laurels once I got there. I didn’t find my own tiny piece of paradise to then sit still and kick back. I didn’t choose to work the way I do only to tread water without progression.
I’m always trying to live my life to the fullest.
Read my best posts about lifestyle.