I’d always wanted to live abroad. Technically moving to London, England was living abroad after being raised in Bridgend, Wales but only a total prick would actually speak those words out loud. Sure I’d been on lots of holidays, but my FOMO was real when it came to my peers who had gone ‘travelling’, talking of their experiences as being on some sort of higher plane than my mere taster of foreign cultures. Whilst I never had the courage to take the financial leap into the red to hop on a train and discover myself, I couldn’t help feeling like I was going to regret the decision in my later life.
Fast forward more years than I’d like to admit, and I now live in Brisbane, the one in Australia. Over time I postured that even those who went travelling never really got to see a place, never got to understand the positives, negatives and tedium that a place can offer. I wanted to be taken out of my comfort zone with my close-knit group of friends and try and find my place in a city on the opposite side of the planet which I’d never been to before. Living in London saw tourists galore, and people who were there for a summer or a few months, people who barely got to scratch the surface of what living there was truly like. Life isn’t all about great experiences, it’s about everything from a good night out to filing taxes, you need to experience the bad to appreciate the good. I had a chip on my shoulder that I needed to get chiselled off one way or another. My then-girlfriend now-wife was a huge inspiration to making it a reality, having lived in multiple countries of her own volition since she was a teenager. After she got the job offer in Brisbane, we decided to go for it. Meanwhile, I tried to appear as though I was assured of our decision while inwardly panicking that I was making a huge mistake.