After a whole year of planning and hustling, I’m finally ready to take the next step of my journey: moving abroad!
For the next nine months or so, I’ll be living and teaching English in Pais Vasco, Spain, as well as writing and exploring.
I’m extremely excited for this opportunity to live abroad and learn a whole new culture but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous! So nervous actually, I’m not even sure how to write this post but let’s start from the beginning.
Right around this time last year, I moved back home from the San Francisco Bay Area. I moved there because I wanted to see how well I would be able to handle moving and living alone. “If it all goes well,” I thought, “I will move abroad.”
Well, a year later, things went swimmingly fine, but for some reason, my gut instinct told me to go home. It ended up being the last time I saw my grandmother.
After her death, I started to question my dream a lot. I wondered if traveling was worth it anymore. Not only had I lost my grandmother but also my confidence, motivation, and drive.
During this time, I started this blog to help me stay positive and remember my goals.
When I wasn’t writing, I went on job interviews. But after my fifth one, it became clear to me that going back to a nine-to-five job was not for me. I could not justify going to work every day at the same place knowing there was a whole world out there for me to see. And I did not want to wait until I was grey and old.
So instead, I started looking into ways to work online. I thought if I can do that, then I can travel and work at the same time. But I had no idea how.
I read everything I could find about working online, only to realize the answer was staring right back at me: writing! I was already blogging and writing almost every day, so why not turn it up a notch?
But as it turns out, blogging for business was very different from blogging for fun. There was tremendous pressure to exceed in social media and gain followers, which I understood was important but it also took all the joy out of blogging for me.
So I decided to focus on freelance writing for other people instead and let my blog grow organically. It wasn’t any easier but I enjoyed it much more.
Then sometime in February, I visited Spain for the first time. This trip reignited the travel bug in me and reminded me of how much I loved to travel.
When I got home, I applied to teach English there right away. Three months later, I found out I was accepted but I was afraid to take it.
I was afraid I was getting too old, I was afraid I shouldn’t be pursuing such frivolous dreams anymore, I was afraid of telling my parents, and I was afraid of failing again.
What if I go and end up back at home a year later with nothing to show, again?
Fears and doubts ran rampant through my head, but before I knew it, I was at the Spanish Consulate getting my visa.
Telling My Parents
I know it sounds crazy that I’m 29 and still need my parents’ permission to do what I want but in Chinese culture, it’s considered a sign of respect.
When I told my parents I was going to Spain, however, they were not happy. My mom gave me an entire speech about marriage and my dad didn’t even want to hear it.
I was hurt by their disapproval but I also knew I couldn’t live my life for them.
Fortunately, after a few more conversations, my mom came around and told me it was okay for me to go, and my dad and I agreed to disagree.
I don’t know what the future holds and I still worry a lot about failing, but I’ve come to realize it’s normal. What’s important is that we keep trying even when we’re uncertain.
I said in an earlier post this year that my goal in 2018 is to become location independent and although I’m not quite there yet, I believe I will. It might take me a little longer but that’s okay. I’m proud of who I am and everything I’ve accomplished so far.
I was worried at first that coming home would make me lose sight of my goals, but actually, it has made me realize I want them even more.
And now, I’m ready to get back on the road, stronger than ever.
I hope to see you in Spain.