I’m Moving to Australia
Megan embraces a quarter-life epiphany
I couldn’t take a deep breath. My hands were shaky as I tried to write coherent e-mails to colleagues and clients. It was the last Monday of January and my last Monday of work; a week later I would be unemployed.
I had given my company notice in the first week of November, about a week after I had something of a quarter-life epiphany and decided to quit my job and move to Australia.
Let me back up: Last July, after living in Honolulu for two and half years, I moved back home to work out of my PR company’s New York office. Luckily, I was able to return to Hawaii only four months later to play in the annual lacrosse tournament hosted by the club team I had joined while living on the island. It’s a top-five weekend of the year for me, and the 08 event delivered as usual. Inevitably, though, a weekend with so much anticipation and three days of non-stop action always leads to a tough day coming off the high.
I found myself sitting on Waikiki Beach alone the Monday after the tournament. Even though I was back in paradise, I was – and had been – feeling somewhat off-kilter. It was great being close to my family again in New York, but living with my parents and commuting over an hour to work was a drag. I loved my job, but the stress of the economy was creeping into even our happy office.
As I sat wallowing, it dawned on me: I had zero responsibility to anything or anyone at the moment, save my job. I had no lease, no car payments, no boyfriend, not even a pet to worry about. Immediately following this realization came the deeper understanding that this situation probably doesn’t happen very often: total freedom. This was a call to action to do something big.
So, if I didn’t have to be anywhere in particular, why not go exactly I wanted to be? I had loved my semester in Sydney during college and always dreamed of going back. It was a tough decision to leave my great job of almost three years, but I felt strongly that now was the time to make a change – beginning geographically.
The first questions I received from a few critics were, What will you do over there and what will you do when you get back? Not the point, I’d say, I’m not worried about it. It’s about the journey, right, and who know where it will take me? I’m not moving Down Under to be a beach bum. While hopefully not walking into a 9 to 5er, I plan to use my year abroad to learn, experience new things, stay sharp and, of course, have tons of fun. I have confidence I will return to the real world a year from now a smarter, healthier, more interesting person.
Or, who knows…maybe I won’t even have to reenter the real world as I know it today; perhaps I’ll find something along the way that I can slip into and stay for a while.
So that last Monday of work was three months after I had made my decision; it was no surprise I had five days to wrap up my last three years spent with the company. My shakiness was just reality setting in…with its own questions. Had I tied up or forwarded all my loose ends at the office? Would I be ready to walk away without looking back at 6 p.m. on Friday? Was I really moving to the other side of the world with an entire life to start from scratch in a foreign country?
Finally, I took the reigns and made a decision: what I was feeling was the physical manifestation of my excitement. Yes, I told myself, these jitters were a good thing. It wasn’t stress; I was feeling eager to begin my Australian life.
Now, with my arrival in Sydney imminent, I’m feeling psyched. Of course questions float through my head sporadically. But I’m confident I’ll find all the answers when I get there. Yes, I’ll be learning as I go along. But isn’t that what my adventure is all about?