“What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land” ~ Ernesto ‘Ché’ Guevara
My story on how I started traveling wasn’t necessarily the happiest of times. It took a broken relationship and broken heart to give me that big push to leave my paradise of a home in Hawai’i. I always knew I wanted to travel and explore the world, but never took initiative to do so until the age of 23. I remember being a little girl and dreaming of roaming the streets of Paris, swimming the turquoise waters of Greece, and exploring the endless vineyards in Italy. I’m also pretty sure I was certain I would marry an English man and have 3 Hapa kids with funny accents and live happily ever after. Well it didn’t necessarily pan out that way (yet), but I’ve been immensely blessed with the experiences I’ve had since I left home. I could go on and on about all of my stories from traveling, but instead I’ll sum it up in a shortened version.
I had heard about au pairing from a friend of mine in Florida, and always felt like it was a good way to travel while making money. So I hopped online, made my profile, and started looking at different families. I basically didn’t care where I went; all I knew was that I wanted to get out of Hawai’i and away from anything that reminded me of him. London, NYC, Spain, Amsterdam, Germany were all possible options for me.
I then received a message from a lovely Kiwi girl who was au pairing for a family in Istanbul. She described her experiences so far with them, and they sounded like a wonderful family. We skyped a couple of times, and actually became quite good friends. She told me all about Istanbul and what a life changing time it has been for her. We talked about boys and relationships, and I told her how I was broken hearted and in a fragile state, but also at a point in my life where I wanted to do what I wanted to do without being held back. Surprisingly she had gone through a similar circumstance and that is why she decided to leave New Zealand and go to Istanbul. We definitely connected on that.
I was ready for this, and against my parents will I bought a one-way ticket to Istanbul leaving 2 days after Christmas. My parents didn’t know how to handle this, and were completely against the idea. But nothing was going to stop me at that point. Well something actually ended up doing just that, and the job in Istanbul fell through because of a miscommunication with the family and au pair. So there I was with a one-way plane ticket to Istanbul with no job lined up. FREAKING OUT.
A lot of people I linked with in Istanbul told me not to worry, and that they would help me find a new job. I was running out of time, and decided to take this as a sign that maybe Istanbul wasn’t the right place for me to go. $500 down from my plane ticket (never book with Vayama) and two relieved parents later, here I was back to square one. A couple of days later I received a message from a family in Bermuda. I did not know anything about Bermuda besides the disappearances and other freaky shit in the triangle. But I decided to check out the family’s profile, and ended up setting up a Skype date with them. After talking to the mom and her daughter on Skype, I decided to take the leap and agree to live in Bermuda for a year or more.
I presented my parents with my new crazy idea, and I think at that point they gave up and knew that there was nothing they could do to stop me. I sold my car, majority of my clothes, and quit my job. I remember the day I was leaving I was an absolute wreck. I doubted myself and the decision I made. I choked back tears as I said goodbye to my friends and family, but cried so hard when I got to the airport and checked my bags in. Reality was hitting me, and I was so scared. I’ve lived a sheltered life in a Mormon bubble for most of my life, and here I was moving to a country where I didn’t know a single soul. 23 hours later with a layover in Los Angeles and then Miami, there I was approaching the island of Bermuda as the sun set. It was an incredible scene, and a feeling I cannot describe.
This is the picture I took from the plane as we approached Bermuda. The picture doesn’t do justice to just how breathtaking it was.
And honestly the rest is history-and something I will forever keep with me. I’ve been so blessed to be able to meet the most incredible people while traveling and also have all these life changing experiences while on my journey. I have changed so much and am not the same person I was before. When you travel, you learn so much about yourself and surprise yourself of what you’re really capable of. The first step is taking the big leap and risk. I promise you when you go after what you want, you will not regret it. Leaving for Bermuda was the best decision I have ever made. Now here I am 3 years later living in Melbourne, Australia, and pursuing my dream career and Masters Degree. I’m looking forward to this new and exciting chapter in my life -with every intention to continue traveling.