We try to share lots of yes inspiration with you on these pages – the big and the small things that you can do to live your life to the full.
Today’s post is all about big and inspiring yeses: they don’t get much bigger than moving to the other side of the world, but the lovely Lexa agreed to share with us why she grasped the opportunity and the incredible things that a life of saying yes has brought to her.
Have a read of this, and even if the life of an expat isn’t for you, hopefully you will find inspiration to say yes to that thing that you have been umming and aahing about but haven’t quite said yes to…yet!
Over to Lexa…
Last year I said yes to moving in with my boyfriend…. Who lives in Alice Springs in Australia!
We had met only a year beforehand when I had one of my biggest and best yes moments by taking a four month sabbatical to go travelling around the world. I had been single for two years and was getting really tired and stressed from working consistently long hours whilst also studying for my professional degree. I decided that I wanted to make something exciting happen in my life so I grabbed the bull by the horns and set off on the journey of a lifetime.
Little did I know I would meet the love of my life in the process! I knew from the day we got together that he was the right man for me, so making the decision to move was easy.
the best thing about living the other side of the world
Outback Australia is like nowhere else you could imagine. We are 1000 miles from anywhere else of any size, the landscape is red and rocky, I see the sun every day and I haven’t seen the rain since January.
My hair, which is normally curly, doesn’t even curl properly anymore because there is no humidity in the air!
There are wild dingoes, kangaroos and camels, and we have countless numbers of deadly redback spiders making nests around the outside of our house.
Alice Springs is also home to many indigenous Australians and therefore there is a lot here in the way of crafts, culture and history. It is truly a remarkable place and being able to live here and explore the local area has been a once in a lifetime opportunity.
the challenges of being an expat
Aside from the obvious – missing my family and friends (and the birth of my God child) – the biggest challenge I have had so far is organising visas. Visas are by no means an easy feat and I think we take our free movement through Europe a little bit for granted when we travel closer to home.
I ended up having to apply for a year’s working holiday visa (one of those visas for “young people”) and even a visa as simple as that, still had me fraught at the last minute when one of my medical issues required I have a health check-up.
Now I am working towards my second year working holiday visa where I have been labouring on farms like a typical “backpacker”. My current job is great as it is local and I work with a great bunch of people but my previous stint on a mango farm was a little bit of a shock to the system.
Did you know that mango sap is really acidic and if you get it on your skin it causes “mango dermatitis”? I now have the burn marks on my legs to prove it! Plus some of the creepy-crawlies I came across would likely be the substance of some people’s nightmares; scorpions crawling out of the plug hole while you shower, tarantulas speeding across the floor while you’re trying to watch TV, and also I am now an expert at going to the toilet whilst there are numerous cockroaches sitting on the cistern behind me!
advice for those considering becoming an expat
Say yes! My advice would actually be to not think about it too much. My Myers-Briggs personality type would tell you I am a thinker and not a feeler, but if you feel excited and happy at the thought of moving then try not to let your fears convince you otherwise.
Of course, do all the appropriate planning like getting visas in place and tying up loose ends at home, but try not to fret about leaving your job (you got that one so you can always get another one), missing your loved ones (the internet is a wonderful invention) and moving where you don’t know anyone (you currently have friends so you’re obviously adept to making them).
If you throw yourself into your new life, those fears disappear; you just have to put yourself out there. If it doesn’t work then move back, at least you will have some great stories to tell!
It all sounds pretty incredible doesn’t it?! We love how Lexa has embraced a philosophy to live life to the full. So we had to leave the final word with her…
It’s been an immense yes year for me and I am absolutely loving life. I am determined to keep the momentum going and keep doing the things I love with the people I love. And hopefully, a person I love will ask me something soon that I will definitely have to say a big fat yes to….
[Editor’s note: Lexa got her wish when shortly after penning this post, her boyfriend proposed to her and she said, you guessed it, YES! Huge congratulations Lexa and here’s to your future adventures with your fiancé].