The Times They Are a-Changin’: My Biggest Announcement in Years!

In September 2013, after two years of teaching English in Spain and with the future wide open, I made the massive decision to move to Sydney. It was originally intended to be a three to six month working holiday, during which I would pad up my resume with a contract role, see Australia, travel nearby regions, and then head home to the U.S. to start the rest of my life.

Koala, Brisbane, Australia

Embracing Australia

But things didn’t go exactly according to plan. I found myself gradually settling into Sydney life and loving my job, and soon my company was asking me to stay long term and sponsoring me for a visa. Next thing I knew, “three months” in Australia had turned into over two years, with no plan to leave.

And it’s been a good ride. I’ve found immense fulfillment in my first full-time job, I’ve made incredible friends, I’ve fallen in love with the world’s sweetest guy, I’ve traveled the country (or at least the east coast of this massive place), and Sydney has truly become home. I wouldn’t trade these years for anything.

Sydney skyline

Sydney, you’re a lovely place to have called home for 2+ years.

But the fact remains that I’ve never really loved it here. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the place or my current life. On paper, Sydney is a wonderland. But there’s always been a part of me that has known Australia would never be a forever home. There’s too much in the world left to do and see.

So, after years of struggling with questions about where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do, I’ve finally made the decision: I’m leaving Australia.

Australia, scratch map

Hasta luego, ‘Straya! I’ve got the rest of the world to see.

At the end of February, I’ll start off on an 8-10 month adventure around the world. New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Central and South America are all on the itinerary, and I can hardly handle my excitement. I’ve been saving up for and dreaming of long-term travel since I arrived in Sydney, and the time has finally come to pursue it.

After that? I really don’t know. I’m 99.9% sure I’ll end up somewhere in the U.S. (I’ll leave that 0.1% because you never know what life will throw at you), working in digital marketing in some capacity, and I’d like to end up in my home state of California one day.

Kirstie, Sahara Desert, Morocco

Watching the sunrise atop a dune in the Sahara Desert, Morocco. Further adventures are calling my name!

But the best part? I’m not going to worry about any of that until I finish traveling. I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve acquired enough savings and career experience to not be worried about my post-travel life, but I also am still young and unattached enough to take a break from the real world for a significant amount of time. If not now, when?

It’s safe to say that this was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I’m leaving behind a wonderful life, so, naturally, I’ve gone back and forth about six million times about what I want to do. But, with 38 days until I take off (first destination: Christchurch, New Zealand!), I know I’ve made the right decision, and I could not be more excited.

Here I come, world!

34 Responses

  1. This is such exciting news from you, Kirstie! Really looking forward to following your travels around the world closely over the coming months.

    And there is no shame in sincerely wanting to move back to America! I’m still trying to get adjusted and “settled down” here myself, but I don’t regret moving home at all…even if I miss walkable cities and speaking Spanish from living in Spain.
    Trevor Huxham recently posted Prehistoric Cave Art Along Spain’s Northern CoastMy Profile

  2. Super exciting! I don’t think long-term travel is for me, but I admire people who can do it. Can’t wait to read more!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted Tapa Thursday: 10 Winter Fruits and Vegetables You Should Be Eating in SpainMy Profile

  3. Ashley says:

    Exciting! Enjoy the travels and don’t worry about the next bit until they’re over. Looking forward to reading about your travels.
    Ashley recently posted Snapshots of Mérida’s Teatro RomanoMy Profile

  4. Emily Ray says:

    Massively exciting news – congrats on taking the plunge! Sounds like you’ve got an amazing few months ahead of you 🙂
    Emily Ray recently posted Don’t Miss Out On London’s Lumiere Festival This Weekend!My Profile

  5. Cari says:

    Super excited for you and super proud of you! Can’t wait to meet you in some corner of the globe!

  6. Laura says:

    Love this! I’m about to embark on an adventure myself in 42 days! I’m heading home to the states for 2 weeks then backpacking SE Asia for a few months before finding my way to New Zealand. Best of luck on your travels and possibly our paths will cross along the way!
    Laura recently posted Photo Series: Feet Follow Heart (Part 1)My Profile

  7. There must be something in the water with all these changes going on 😉 All the best for your onward adventure Kirstie. I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time.
    Jen Seligmann recently posted 7 Places to Visit in France That Aren’t ParisMy Profile

  8. Sally says:

    Whoa, what an exciting change! Excited to see what your future travels bring!

  9. Rey says:

    Best of luck to you. Nothing like long term travel to help you keep your eyes open to possibility.

  10. Kara Urbanek says:

    What exciting news! When the world calls, you must answer. Good for you for following that call. Enjoy your last month in Australia and enjoy your travels!!
    Kara Urbanek recently posted Los Reyes Magos Come to ColumbusMy Profile

  11. Bayyinah says:

    Can’t wait to read about your upcoming trips!!

  12. Nana says:

    Yes, Sweetie. If not now, then when? So excited for you. Would like to think that our paths might cross before your travels are over. Much love and safe travels, my vagabond!

  13. Lauren says:

    How exciting! Can’t wait to follow your travels 🙂

  14. …This sounds SO legit–I can’t wait to see pictures!!…

    Btw, not to be nosy or anything, but have you considered maybe taking a “break from reality” year in Spain???…I know it’s your fave place!…
    Betty J. Ogburn recently posted Still Breathing, 2.0: A Mid-Year Recap…My Profile

  1. January 25, 2016

    […] Perhaps it’s melodramatic and clickbaity to say that the Balkans ruined my life, and I wouldn’t trade that “ruined” life for anything. But this trip changed me forever by reminding me how much I desire to see more and more (and more) of this world and by making it abundantly clear that I won’t be fulfilled until I do. I need to keep going. I need to see the world! And it’s largely because of my Balkans trip that I’ve determined it’s now time to leave Australia. […]

  2. February 8, 2016

    […] world is massive, and the more I see, the more I want to see. Fortunately, I’ll be taking off on a huge trip in just over a month, which will allow me to tour many of the destinations I’ve been […]

  3. February 25, 2016

    […] Sydney, Australia to Christchurch, New Zealand, and I’ll be taking the rest of the year to travel the world. Who wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a career break and hop around the globe, […]

  4. March 3, 2016

    […] Zealand’s third (and the South Island’s first) largest city the kickoff point for my massive trip around the world that I set off on a week […]

  5. July 11, 2016

    […] to setting off on my big trip, my dad gave me one warning: avoid motorcycles. This was wise advice, so, before I continue, to […]

  6. October 17, 2016

    […] Uruguay in 2011 and Cuba at the beginning of this year, but that wasn’t enough! When I first left Australia to travel, Central and South America were in the travel plan, but, with time, I began to get burned out on […]

Leave a Reply to Lauren Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge