I didn’t always live the life of a globetrotting ex-pat. At one time I lived a life quite the opposite of the one I live now; small and sheltered, and filled with self-doubt and fear. I used to sit in my room in my hometown reading books about the adventures of other people, dreaming about what it might be like but never thinking that it was something possible for me. How could a small town girl from Canada ever find the funds and bravery to head off into the wild blue yonder? More to the point, how could I, a painfully shy and achingly self-conscious 20-something ever even dream of the lives I read about in endless books? Stop being silly, I told myself, this isn’t something that normal people do.
In 2002 I was a 21 year-old girl with a broken-heart and a life that I didn’t recognize as my own. Time had passed and I had moved through life generally making choices that were for the benefit of others over myself. When I dreamed about the possibility of living abroad for a year I couldn’t imagine how one actually made such a thing happen. I figured you needed to be wildly adventurous and independently wealthy, two things of which I was not. And so, I stayed at home, a place that was comfortable, yes, but boring.
The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom. – Arthur Schopenhauer
In 2004 I applied for university and was admitted largely due to the entrance essay I wrote entitled Not all who wander are lost, explaining my desire to expand my world and spend a year studying abroad. Two years into my university career I was able to apply for my year abroad and in February of 2007 I jetted off to Australia and a year that would change my life.
Since that time I have lived in three countries and have travelled to innumerable others. I finished my undergraduate degree, as well as a Masters. I met the man of my dreams, and in May we were married amongst our closest friends and family in Portugal. The road hasn’t always been easy, I’ve suffered from homesickness, culture shock, depression, and self-doubt. I’ve also seen and done things I never thought possible for that shy and introverted girl from the small town in Canada. I’ve met people from all over the world and I have friends on at least five of the world’s continents at any one time. Not bad for a girl who never travelled outside of North America for the first 25 years of life!
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. – Eleanor Roosevelt
And now we’re getting ready to do it all again. The resignation letters have been submitted, the lease has been ended and the packing has begun. A Crafty Traveler is taking to the roads again.
On November 5th we will be boarding a ferry to Northern Ireland and will be leaving England behind, for now. Northern Ireland isn’t the final destination, it’s just one on a list of countries that we’ll be visiting before reaching our final destination in January – France! Yup, we’re heading to France. It will just be for a few months to begin with, but who knows what will happen after that? For now, all I can say with any certainty is that I can’t wait to embark on another adventure.
Look out world, here we come…..again!
Exciting news. Big congratulations!
Thanks, Carl! I can’t wait to get moving again!
Go girl! Both of us are making our dreams come true!
Thanks! If you don’t do it, ain’t nobody else going to do it! Here’s to dreaming big!
Have fun and be happy & healthy where ever you are!
Thanks, Dana 🙂
Nice article and great plans ahead! I recognize what you write about being shy and introverted, yet leading the life you did and do. I do the same. Cool!
Amanda, I think you are amazing and truly brave. I think this tremendously exciting, my hope is that the Crafty Traveller will continue to write and share the experiences of your continued adventure! It continues to blow my mind that we hadn’t communicated for 10+ years and now, through your blog (& gorgeous pictures!), I’m so happy we were able to “reconnect”. I can’t wait to read “the next chapter” in the story that is your life.
xo your high school friend,
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