GRRRL TRAVELER’s Travel Challenge #2: Becoming an Expat

6 12 2009

by Christine Ka’aloa


The gamble we take in following dreams is that we are never certain of the outcome; yet, a staid and sensible path can be just as uncertain.

Finding the GRRR to embark upon bold new adventures, which remove us from trusted and worn paths, can feel both terrifying and exhilarating. Terrifying, because we must call upon our self-belief to guide us through “the unpredictable and unknown”. Exhilarating, as we are released from our own self-created prisons and given freedom to grow towards our passions, experience new challenges or changes within ourselves and to create a lifestyle that is potentially more meaningful and extraordinary.

When our country’s recession created a drag in my career as Shooter-Producer of reality TV shows, I started reflecting upon the type of self-survival tools I learned over the years. The job world was squeezing out only a few hopeful opportunities; and my career had become both, my life and love. Why didn’t I equip myself with alternate dreams of a life outside of it? And after 8 years of living in Manhattan, I was tired of  championing a “ hardened city warrior survival mentality”. I wasn’t satisfied with my closet collection of daily armor, the stopwatch race of running through daily checklists nor a lifestyle, where I needed to leave the city in order to experience brevity. My life was in need of more than just a few “tweaks” but an entire makeover.

When life closes one door, another open for you to realize your dreams.
I had read how the changing economy had forced an awakening for many, to cut loose from their 9-5 corporate suits for sexy flashpacker lifestyles, globe-trotting from country to country tethered to their laptops or volunteering aid to impoverished countries abroad. This all resonated in me– it had been a longtime dream of mine to live and experience the lifestyle of another country as a local. If others were daring enough to brilliantly achieve a new and extraordinary life, then why couldn’t I do it too?

How could I have a life as an expatriate?
My personal deadline was to hatch this goal A.S.A.P. or by early 2010.  Gluing myself to the internet– I researched and brain-ticked schemes, while assessing my personal skills and scouring resources.  Enlisting and going butch with the U.S. Army or the Peace Corps? Industry jumping as video journalist or travel photographer?  Become a flight attendant or courier? Volunteer at an orphanage in a Nepal?...

Am I courageous or crazy? The truth is– I have less “brave” bones in my body and more ridiculously stubborn ones when it comes to surviving my passion for travel.

GRRRL TRAVELER CHALLENGE #2:  “Living and Moving Abroad.”
While I continue traveling and blogging my adventures and discoveries as a beginner solo traveler, there’s one  twist–

March 2010, my new home base will be South Korea.

*Blog cliff-hanger: my exact coordinates are still the works and the job solution I arrived at will be revealed in a later blog. So stay tuned…

Until,

Christine

PS. The GRRRL TRAVELER Challenge #2 Contest is now out! (click on the GRRR) See how you can enter and win.


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4 responses

16 01 2010
gringation

South Korea? Wow!! I live in Mexico and went through ridiculous culture shock. I can’t imagine what South Korea would be like. Very brave of you, and good luck! Hope to hear more about your adventures.

18 01 2010
GRRRL TRAVELER

Congrats that you’ve plugged through your culture shock to make your dream a reality! Dealing with Mexico’s culture shock must have been an ordeal. Good for you!

7 12 2009
Loke

it could either be a brave move or ….
anyway, everybody should live their dreams, right?!
CHEERS!!!

11 12 2009
GRRRL TRAVELER

or?… ;-)

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