I was asked by a new friend the other day why I decided to leave my home country of England and move abroad to become an expat. I was stumped by the question. Other than the obvious answer that my boyfriend is Kiwi, I honestly didn’t know how to answer.
It’s not the typical response when you tell somebody you’re an expat, especially as a Brit living in New Zealand. There are thousands of us here already!
New Zealand is the third foreign country I’ve lived in now.
First, it was Canada for 2 years where I lived my best life shredding sometimes knee-deep pow on bluebird days and working at 2,240m above sea level. There are no words to describe this time in my life. You only understand if you were there.
Next up was Australia for just over a year where my boyfriend Ro and I did some serious road tripping, covering a helluva lot of kms! Again, one of the best adventures of my life living in a 4WD with a rooftop tent for home.
Now I’m calling Aotearoa home. (That’s Māori for New Zealand, don’t cha know.)
When I’m not learning Māori, I’m doing my freelance thing, writing online content for a number of clients. So far so good in ol’ NZ. It helps that it’s a lot like home. Who knows, maybe this one will be the one that becomes permanent!
So anyway, this interaction with my new buddy got me thinking about the real reason I left home in 2015. This is what I’ve come up with:
☽ I have always craved adventure, ever since I was a little girl who used to pack an adventure bag and run off into the nearby fields to ‘get lost’.
☽ I’ve been lucky enough to travel from a young age (my first trip abroad was to Florida at the age of 4!), so it seems weird not to and short trips to Barcelona and New York were never enough to satisfy my thirst for travel.
☽ The UK is turning to shit thanks to #Brexit + I’m not sure there’s anything there for me long-term, other than my amazing family and friends, of course.
☽ Simply travelling to a new country is not enough for me. I like to move slow, road trip, make friends and immerse myself in the culture of a place.
So, the reason I left home in 2015 to become an expat is not that I wasn’t happy in the UK, or because I thought the grass was greener. (Which, FYI, it isn’t necessarily.) It’s because I’ve always felt like I need more from my life than just living in my home country and I’m fortunate enough to be able to explore the world, so why wouldn’t I?! I’ve also worked hard to be able to keep going non-stop.
It’s not a decision I made lightly. There are pros and cons to being an expat, as with anything. But it’s these decisions, these pros and cons, that make me who I am today. And that’s someone I never would’ve known if I hadn’t made the jump across the pond.