Should you move abroad?

 

This is probably the most common and repeated question I am asked. Should I study abroad? I was thinking about teaching overseas, what’s it like? What brought you to Thailand…Australia.. New Zealand?When I sense this reoccurring theme I think… blog post. That’s what happens when you’ve been blogging for this long. It’s easier to just get out all the advice in one fell swoop.

So… you’re thinking about teaching abroad? Dreaming of leaving your boring job behind to travel the world? Want to meet a sexy foreign man and never return? Be careful.. It can really happen! Trust me, I’m speaking from experience here.

So let’s go through some pros and the cons and what I believe you need to be ready for no matter where you go or why.

Pros

Your life becomes a “holiday”— When you move abroad everything feels shiny, new and exciting. You always feel like you are traveling because, well, you are. You feel excited to do ordinary and mundane things and every single day someone comments on your accent. You are an outsider, which to me makes life fresh and unusual. And I love that.

You see so much-– I always say the best way to see a country is to live there. 2 weeks in a country. Forget it. You don’t actually get a real feel for the culture, the people, the struggles, the local spots and the hidden gems. Should you still go if that’s all the time you have? Of course. But the best way to see a country/ area of the world is to just move there already. Stop thinking so much.

You never have to say “what if”— I have had so many older people tell me that they wished they did what I did when they were young. I promised myself I would never be someone who looked back and regretted getting settled down too fast– and I am definitely keeping that promise. I would rather give it a shot and hate it, then never try and just dream about it for the rest of my life.

You gain a newfound respect for your home– You start to love and appreciate home more than ever. You understand what a gift it is to have familiar faces and places. You savor every second with loved ones. You realize how privileged you were to grow up where you did. (in my case, anyway) and you are proud to represent your country-no matter where you roam.

You find out what you actually like– Traveling and living abroad teaches you to actually figure out what hobbies and interests light you up. You can’t travel and see the world while having 17 random hobbies you only do because of your group of friends. You probably can’t get your nails done every two weeks and buy all the latest trendy outfits, but if you’re like me you’ll realize that shit didn’t really make you happy anyway.

You don’t define yourself the same way– When you live in your hometown, home state or even your home country: you are constantly defined by constructs outside of yourself. Your family, your church or religion, your friends, your college, your favorite sports team, your gym or your state. Once you cross the borders, you have to define you. Everything about your past is just a story and a memory. People meet you at face value–who are you today? You can be whoever you want to be. Sure, you never lose those parts of yourself but you get to decide how closely you let them define you.

You realize it’s not the only way– This was one of the biggest things for me. The perspective. The cultural differences. It’s absolutely mind blowing at first. I remember when I first moved to Thailand I felt so sorry for the young children playing in the streets with no shoes. I could tell that they lived in the small area at the back of their parents shop and I felt like I wanted to adopt them and “save them.” I quickly realized they had every single thing they needed and they were as happy as clams. I stopped feeling sorry for them and started feeling sorry for the  4 year old kids, glued to their iPad in the back seat of the Range Rover with 4 nannies and a serious lack of attention and interaction with their parents.

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How to not give up this time.. even if you already did

Do you feel frustrated with yourself? Maybe you already broke your “resolution” for the new year or you “gave in” to Netflix and wine instead of what you thought you should be doing. Maybe you didn’t write down any goals but you still feel “the same” and you can’t figure out why? Or did you go in full force and now you feel like you failed because you’ve already skipped the gym for a couple days? Did you succumb to the persuasive power of Ben and Jerry again? Now is the time most people are quitting when the shiny glow of the new year starts to fade. How do you make yourself part of the group that didn’t give up this time…even if you already did?

STOP RIGHT THERE! Take a deep breath.

The new year is an awesome time to start chasing after new goals but the amazing part is, we get a clean slate everyday. You have the power to rewrite your story, every single day. The question is will you let yourself? Are you hiding behind fear? Let’s get to the bottom of this so you can figure out how not to give up this time.

Celebrate progress– Progress comes in many forms- small and large. Saying no to cookies in the staff room or choosing to take a deep breath instead of lose it on your partner- that’s progress. Even if it’s one time! Find something that you feel like was a success everyday and start building on that.

Acknowledge your power- When we give up on our goals we try to place blame on everything around us. I’m too busy, I’m just not good at eating healthy, I have no willpower. How many times can you feed yourself excuses before you begin to acknowledge that that is exactly what they are. Lying is awful and when you lie to yourself, you’re wasting everyone’s time and energy especially your own. YOU HAVE THE POWER. You always have. Act like it.

Try new things– If the same gym membership and Lean Cuisine diet isn’t doing it for you and it hasn’t for the past five years, why do you keep thinking this time will be different? If you want different results DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Don’t just say, “Yeah, that would be nice.” “Someday.” DO it now, for goodness sake. If you hate it, then at least you tried!

Non-food rewards– You are not a dog. You do a trick, you get a treat? Come on. Even if you LOVE food (trust me- so do I) try rewarding yourself with things other than food. Manicures, facials, massages, a bubble bath, new workout gear, or a Groupon for a fun and active date night.  Branch out. Stop saying okay, I ran 3 miles now I shall eat my body weight in pizza. You are not a pet, don’t treat yourself like one.

Allow yourself to quit– What? This sounds silly. No, it’s not. If you sign up for Crossfit and you end up HATING Crossfit, do yourself a favor and find something you do like. Human beings were born to MOVE, so I promise you there is something that will feel good for your body. Don’t see exercise as a punishment but as a gift and blessing.

Find your tribe– MAN. I don’t know how many times I can say this. Find people who motivate you. Find people who don’t sit around on the couch every night. Find people who want to plan the trip, take the class, run the race, start the business. Fire breeds fire. Find people who make you HOT!

Ask for help– You don’t have to do ANYTHING alone. If you are struggling with mental health issues, see a doctor. If you are struggling with your relationship- ask a friend or someone you trust for advice. If you can’t get your diet and exercise under control SEEK HELP! There are experts in every area of your life you want to improve and you’re probably already friends with them. It doesn’t have to be paid advice or programs, just seek out what you need and be open minded!
Be flexible– You should NEVER be so set in your ways that you hinder yourself from finding and creating the life of your dreams. This goes along with trying new things, allowing yourself to quit and asking for help. Be flexible. ALLOW yourself to grow. Don’t feel like you MUST do what you have always done. It’s so incredibly sexy and fulfilling to better yourself. HOP ON BOARD.

Continual Forgiveness– Alright, you messed up? Welcome to the club. Seriously, it will never be an uphill progression. It’s a roller coaster. Be kind to yourself. I don’t like to say be “easy” on yourself because that leaves  a lot of room for excuses. Be kind but firm. Alright, beauty you messed up- let’s do better tomorrow. YOU GOT THIS.

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Let’s Talk Transformations

It’s not Tuesday, but my headspace is all about transformations. In the social media universe #transformationtuesday has become a beloved hashtag of fitness fanatics, entrepreneurs and motivators. Every Tuesday my Instagram is filled with tons of before and afters. Of course, our eyes are attracted to the photos and usually they are discussing a new fitness program, nutrition plan or diet they have been following. But usually, when you read the caption you find that there is so much more that happens when you shift your lifestyle and take control of your life.

My Transformation Tuesday this week was a little different and I shared a very raw but what I thought was evident story about myself. When you are constantly sharing your journey you forget not everyone has followed along the whole time. I forget that I meet new people both in person and on social media almost every single day. I forget that with all of the growing I am doing I am changing a lot more than I realize each day. I spoke about my internal transformation and the freedom I have gained from leaving behind my “party girl” lifestyle and diving deep into my writing, traveling and healthy lifestyle. If you have known me for a while this transformation might be more apparent to you but I realized it may not be something I have necessarily opened up about. Based on the response to that post and the countless personal messages I received about I feel as if I should elaborate a bit because it seems to me like this is a topic that many women my age and people in general connect to.

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Let me start out by saying, this is absolutely not a post to claim I am a “forever changed person” and I will never drink or party a day in my life. I mean, Cabernet Sauvignon will always be a part of my vocabulary. I fully appreciate a good espresso martini. I can drink crisp ciders in the sunshine. And, yes I will still get down on the dance floor when presented with one. But from a girl who was voted “Life of the party” in high school and started drinking as a young teen, to a crazy sorority girl in college…to who I am now-I feel I have made leaps and bounds with my habits and quite honestly my desires have changed. I used to feel free when I was out dancing, drinking, going to clubs, bars, house parties, and anywhere in between. I went to WVU for heaven’s sake, WE KNOW HOW TO PARTY! I do not regret one second of those memories (or lack thereof) but I have realized that is simply not what lights me up any more. And I don’t know if it was ever truly lighting me up or just helping me escape.

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How to say goodbye to the scale

I need to get some weight off my shoulders. I feel adamantly about  this topic and I verbalize it all the time to friends, family, clients, and even unwilling strangers. It’s time to get this message out to the world in writing. It may be one you have heard before but I feel it is my duty as a health, fitness and overall WELLNESS enthusiast to preach this until I’m blue in the face. I share this not in a critical or condescending manner but from a place of genuine concern and confusion.

Let’s talk about the scale. The scale is like this crazy dictator who is ruling millions of people and doesn’t even know how he got into power. For some people the scale is their worst enemy, yet they continue to hang out with him time and time again. Let’s start with a few questions to get you thinking and being honest with yourself about your relationship with the scale. I want you to answer these in your head or if you’re up for it write the answers down. Dig deeper to find these answers.

How often do you weigh yourself? Why do you choose to weigh yourself? How often does the number you see make you feel good about yourself? How often does your dog, children or loved ones ask you how much you weigh? How many times have you stepped on the scale and felt let down? Embarrassed? Angry? Depressed? Defeated? Upset? Why does it matter the number of pounds you weigh? Who does it matter TO? How do you feel when you don’t know how much you weigh? What does your weight have to do with your overall happiness or satisfaction with your body?

My guess is that your relationship with the scale is not a positive one. What do you know about negative, time-consuming relationships where you give more than they do? You are taught to leave those relationships. You leave people that make you feel unworthy, unloved and inadequate. So, why do you hold onto your negative relationship with the scale?

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The people I want to help

Today I hit a milestone goal in my business that I have been working really hard to achieve. Although it feels really good I can’t help but think about how much I still want to accomplish and how this is only the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur and in fact my journey through life.

This week has reminded how powerful what I do is not because of the achievement I reached but instead what this business has done for me both mentally and spiritually( and of course physically. Two of my closest friends really needed my help this week. I was in a place where I could give them my full heart, attention, and advice. We discussed how easy it is to give advice but how difficult it is to take our own advice.

I realized how many people I have left to meet, touch, help and learn from. I realized how many mountains I have left to climb. I realized how important it is to extend your hand and your heart to those who need it and how that in turn helps YOU. I realize that I have the incredible platform in which I can do that, not just for friends in my immediate circle but for hundreds of people, friends and acquaintances old and new. Thanks to technology I have the ability to meet and be uplifted by so many beautiful, creative, inspiring souls around this big and beautiful world.

The people I want to help have open minds and hearts.
The people I want to help are always down for adventure.
The people I want to help may never like this post.
The people I want to help know they are made for something more.
The people I want to help might feel trapped, uninspired and stuck in a life that doesn’t make them want to spring out of bed in the morning.
The people I want to help feel a lot, have strong emotions and attach themselves to others.


The people I want to help have a spark in them that they may not even see yet.
The people I want to help CRAVE freedom in a way that can’t be fulfilled by being trapped in a cubicle or broken system.
The people I want to help may look beautiful and happy on the outside but have demons and pain past or present that hurts them deeply.
The people I want to help are ready for a change, ready to feel like they are a part of something and ready to take control of their own lives.
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Life is a Special Occasion

My apologies for missing a week of head space. Last week I worked over 80 hours between my two teaching jobs and my coaching job and I came down with a nasty cold mid-week. I haven’t been sick since I moved to Australia and I honestly can’t really remember the last time even before that. I am extremely conscious of my health; what food I  put into my body, getting enough sleep, and exercising at least 6 times per week most weeks so getting sick is not something that happens to me very often. I also live according to the law of attraction. I believe I won’t get sick and I am very healthy; so I am. But unfortunately and fortunately, sometimes we all fall victim to a creeping bug that is going around.

My headspace this week is reflecting on the serious juxtaposition  between my week last week and my week this week. Last week forced me to slow down. I know, I know, 80 hour work weeks surely don’t sound like slowing down. But- I took 3 days off from exercise and also spent 2 days with strictly yoga. That is the longest break I have taken  from intense exercise since my backpacking trip last July when I first moved to Australia. Since then I have conquered the difficult task of training my free spirit to have and enjoy  consistency. The easiest way for me to give my day structure and consistency is to control my mind and body with exercise early in the morning. This puts me in a great mood, lets go of my nervous energy and sets me up for a productive day. I have been full fledge chasing my dreams for the past 6 months and I rarely take time for myself but I am also learning slowly the power of consistency in RELAXING & SHUTTING OFF.  Only you understand your own mind and body and so often we listen to what society thinks, our boss thinks, or what our inner circles think that we stop thinking at all.

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