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Why I Decided to Move Abroad to Sydney, Australia.

Okay, it's really happened... I moved to Australia! When I told people that I was heading across the world to live abroad, I always got the same question: "WHY?!" That is a complicated question to put into a quick elevator-pitch-style answer. My short answer is, "WHY NOT?!" Keep reading to find out why I think you should move abroad too!




west emerald blonde abroad move to sydney

Exploring my new digs.

"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, & the decisions we waited too long to make."

Lewis Carroll


Yep, that's right - I just dropped a quote. The Fear Of Missing Out (or F.O.M.O) is the perfect motivator to get out of your comfort zone. I strongly believe in living without regrets, and the only way to do so is to take risks and go after what you want without hesitation. Sometimes these chances we take don't work out the way we wanted them to, but that is all part of the adventure.

When it comes down to it, I would definitely regret not moving to Australia - who wants to look back on their life and talk about all the experiences they almost had? If you are thinking of moving abroad, ask yourself "what do you have to lose?" You can just come back home if you don't enjoy your experience - but at least you can say you did it.



west emerald blonde abroad move to sydney

Waking up to a sunrise right before landing in Sydney. New day, new life, new adventure.

"Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what's even scarier? Regret."

Zig Ziglar


Without a doubt, I am guilty of settling into a routine. Don't get me wrong, a little routine never hurt anyone, but don't forget to live a little! I remember the exact moment, sitting in my tiny one bedroom apartment, when I had my "Aha!" moment. I was online shopping for a new couch (and obviously a new rug to match). While I'm at it... I might as well buy new kitchen supplies too, you know - to get the free shipping, right? I caught myself doing this and thought, "WHAT AM I DOING! I am 25, my couch is perfectly fine, my kitchen is too small for those utensils, and I am currently stealing my internet because I can't afford wifi." This was my sign from the universe to change things up because I have far too much still to experience before I stress out over what couch colour works best with my decor.

I have always found that getting out of my comfort zone leads to my biggest and most fulfilling life adventures, and I always welcome a change of pace. Sometimes, you just need that wake-up call to see that you have settled into a routine that may be wonderful, but does it challenge you?



west emerald blonde abroad move to sydney

Overlooking Fingal Bay, a 2-hour road trip from Sydney.

"New Home. New Adventures. New Memories."

The Wilders


Being in a new area comes with the perk of discovering new experiences and adventures within a fresh locale. Perhaps your new home base is close to other countries of interest that are now more attainable to check out. While I am in the Southern Hemisphere, I have plans to explore (and re-explore) tons of awesome Australian destinations, in addition to touring Asia and the South Pacific. Why not? It is all so close to me now that I don't have to take a million-hour-flight to get to these undiscovered regions.



west emerald blonde abroad move to sydney

The view from one of my design contract placement. Hey Sydney!

"It is never too late to be who you might have been."

George Eliot


If there is one thing I know for sure, it's that international experience NEVER hurts on your resume. Being employed in your career field in varied locations not only means increased experience, but also new networking opportunities! I have had a blast working for a variety of different companies and it doesn't hurt that the salaries are WAY higher here than back in Canada! During my first week in Sydney, I headed into the CBD and introduced myself to as many design agencies as possible - like 15 a day sort of thing.

During my first week in Sydney, I headed into the CBD and introduced myself to as many design agencies as possible - like 15-companies-a-day sort of thing. I wasn't finding much luck scoring full-time design work through job applications... I was constantly getting rejected when I mentioned that I am visiting Australia on a working holiday visa. People with these visas have a bad reputation for being flakey and unreliable so I was immediately written off. Although this was frustrating, it led me to work in agencies and be contracted out to companies that need designers. More often then not, businesses will want to keep you after you have worked for them - Voila! you now have a full-time job!

Career vs. Travel: 3 Tips so you can do both

After I graduated University the plan was to go traveling for a year - obviously - to get the travel bug out of my system before coming home and settling into a career. Just one problem... I was offered my dream job. At the age of 20, passing up on the opportunity with my level of experience (or lack thereof) would be a huge mistake. Enter my internal dilemma: Do I stick with my travel plans or take the job?

I decided to take the job... but I also went on 3 backpacking trips around the world that year.


Travel vs. Career: 3 tips to have it all.


TIP #1.

Weekend Getaways.

Changing my routine by going away for the weekend and exploring a new place, even if it is just for the day, keeps me sane! Going on short trips is not only cost effective so you can save up for something more substantial, but it doesn’t interfere with your job if are a weekday worker. There is nothing comparable to going surfing in Tofino over a long weekend, or hiking to a new peak on the North Shore to keep my travel urges satisfied until I can afford something bigger.


TIP #2.

Ask your employer about bonus options.

In my experience, if you don't ask, you don't know. Most commonly, compensation for hard work comes in the form of a pay raise. I always ask my employers during a review what types of bonuses they can offer. Some great questions to ask are: Do they offer flex-time? How many weeks is paid vacation time? Do they offer additional paid time-off as a bonus?

I have often been asked by my employers what kind of incentives I would like as a reward and I always insist that additional paid vacation time is preferred. Having extra vacation time allows you to go on more small get-aways, or can be combined with other vacation time for a longer trip.


TIP #3.

Kill some birds.

Metaphorically speaking, “kill two birds with one stone.” Please don’t actually kill some birds. In other words, maximize your travel experience by adding in nearby countries or stopovers into the itinerary. For example, on my way back from Croatia, I chose a flight with a 2-day stopover in Munich. I had never been to Germany and flights were cheaper if I included a stopover, so I went for it! Let me just say; the beer, schnitzel, and shopping were well worth it!


Exploring Cassis, France

There are so many stunning places to visit in the South of France that you can’t really go wrong anywhere along the Coté d’Azure. I only had a week to explore the coastline before traveling to Spain so I spent quite a few weeks planning out a solid itinerary…

Rock Climbing in Red Rock, Nevada

The voyage to Red Rock
When I was offered a spot on a rock climbing trip to Nevada, I jumped on the opportunity. Fresh out of a break-up, I had come to realize the importance of getting out of my comfort zone, building new friendships and saying “yes” more often….