Tag Archives: moving abroad

Chapter Two: Hello Chicago

I’ve sat down at my computer several times over the last few weeks trying to write this post. I felt like I had a lot to say, and I was struggling to organize my thoughts into a concise post. This is my best attempt yet, so please bear with me.

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Chicago in Summer, a snap of the city from Lake Michigan in June

I moved back to the US this summer. This was the end of my four-year run in Sydney. It was a both a happy and sad decision to come back here. While in my heart I know it was the right choice and I’m excited for my next adventure, I can’t help but already miss Sydney. It had become a home to me.

One of the hardest parts of leaving Sydney was saying goodbye to friends. I had attended a lot of farewell drinks for friends leaving over the last few years before my own. Sydney felt like a very transient city at times, especially with so many of my friends being fellow expats. However, even my Australian friends were adventurous travellers and world-wanderers. It was never a guarantee that anyone would stay put, but I’m thankful for that experience too.

It was my friends in Sydney who taught me a lot about what it meant to travel and to see yourself as a citizen of the world. It’s been through watching them and their fearless approach to what’s ahead that I’ve gained a lot of my confidence to be away from home for so long, go places that I never thought I’d go, and see the world through new eyes. It’s a wonderful gift and something I’ll carry with me forever now. Thank you guys.

I’ve started a new job, working for The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) from their Chicago offices. They specialize in helping US students to study abroad in Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia and China. TEAN is the very same company that helped send me on that very first journey to Australia, as a study abroad student on the Gold Coast.

It’s a brilliant group of people that I’ve admired since I was a student with them. It feels very fitting that I’ve gone full circle to end up working for this company. I’ll now have the opportunity to help students take the first steps on their own journey.

One of our students wrote a blog post this week about her return back to the US from a semester studying in Shanghai, China. I thought that her description of how it felt to come back was beautifully told. It made me tear up reading it, thinking about my own recent return.

“There are places there to be discovered, they are just waiting for you to come.

Personally, I know about one that melted my heart.

Yes, China made me feel alive.”

Now please excuse my melted heart ❤

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Moving to Australia

I believe in the importance of setting goals, always looking at the big picture and trying new things on a regular basis. I think it’s a combination of these values that is driving me to move to Australia after I graduate this year.

I had the opportunity to study abroad in Australia for a semester and returning there has been on mind ever since. I loved the culture, people and lifestyle. I know that I really only got a small taste of that during my four months there.

When I was younger I refused to leave my mother’s side and now here I am ready to graduate, pack up and move thousands and miles away from home. My time at college has been part of a transformation and amazing journey, but the best part is I know I’m only getting started. I have many more jobs and careers ahead of me, communities to join, and networks to build.

A wise professor taught me that people often say “life is short” and seem to adopt a seize the day attitude when in reality, life is quite long. We have time to complete or attempt the tasks we set out to accomplish. My international move has less to do with being spontaneous and more to do with looking at the bigger picture of my life. A few years of my life living in another country might seem like a big deal, but really it’s not long at all. I may end up living many places in my life.

I never want to stop learning and experiencing new things. I think that curiosity keeps us sharp, and empowers us. Mahatma Gandhi said “Learn as if you were going to live forever, live as if you were going to die tomorrow.” I can’t think of a more appropriate quote to reflect on as my senior year comes to an end.

I look forward to having more updates to share with you soon.

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Filed under About Me, College Life, Travel