There are five reasons I decided to go and move abroad. Sometimes the magnitude of my decision engulfs me. Not like the loving arms of a mother, but rather like a dark, careless smoke from a wild, careless fire. Every time I get that feeling I quickly will myself to think of other things, things that don’t scare me. This must be what facing a fear feels like.
Moving abroad has always seemed so carefree, fun and adventurous to me, but as I spend my last two weeks in the only place I’ve ever known, Florida, USA, I feel something quite different. I feel something tugging at my crazy while asking, “What are you DOING?” My crazy has always gotten me into situations that I wished I could have gotten out of quickly, but nothing like this. My crazy has served me pretty well so far, so I keep trusting it. Well, this is a fine mess my crazy has gotten me into.
“If at some point you don’t ask yourself, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ then you’re not doing it right.”
For those of you who have not yet watched my Youtube video about my move to Colombia, South America, then shame on you. Go over by clicking here and check it out to learn more about how the move came about and what I will be doing while there.
After sitting for a while and thinking about how I am feeling, several things started coming to the surface. I am not afraid to live alone, I rather like it. I am not afraid to travel, I absolutely LOVE it. Then what am I afraid of? The same thing as most other people, the unknown. The unknown is like a mysterious, dark-eyed woman with exotic features, designer clothes and a Mona Lisa smile, you are drawn to it but it frightens you to think of what may be revealed.
What keeps me going forward into the unknown? I had to ask myself that same question and came up with five reasons I decided that moving abroad was the right decision for me.
“Honestly, I wanna see you be brave…”
This ain’t a lesson in being brave honey. This is me mustering up enough guts to be brave for myself. I can only tell you that I have always wanted to be brave, strong and assertive. I have a bold personality and sometimes bold can toe the line of bravery, but not quite make it over. Don’t believe me? Well, according to Dictionary.com, bold is the ability to take risks, while brave is ready to face danger or pain. See that slight difference?
I have always been bold, not minding risk-taking at all. Brave? Not so much, because I have never been ready to face danger or pain. Still need convincing of the difference? I can speak with boldness to my boss, ask for a raise, tell her my honest thoughts, good or bad and not bat an eye. I have only one recollection of being brave, however, which was when I snorkeled in Jamaica a few years ago. Moving away from everything I have ever known is the level of bravery I have been searching for and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
- More Abundance
The Bible tells us that God literally wants us all to live a more abundant life. I don’t consider going to a 9-5 job every day, coming home tired and going to bed only to do it all over again in the morning, abundant! I look at this scripture and think to myself, well, maybe I am misinterpreting it to fit what I want out of life, which is more. Just more. More abundance. Then I looked again and realized, “hey… I didn’t say ‘more’, the Bible said ‘more’!” So, what’s really happening here is that God wants us to have life and if I am alive, then I fit the bill, right? Then It goes on to say “have it more abundantly”. God wants me to live a more abundant, plentiful and lavish life.
Well, I don’t want to go all professor on you again, so let’s all think about what abundantly really means on our own. I want that! More abundance. This may look differently for you. You may want to be a Life Coach like my sister, Dieidre, also known as @SoSoBlessed or to start your own business, like my sister, Debra, who started www.lalastitches.com or you may want to take several vacations a year like my other sister, Denice. Whatever your ‘more abundantly’ is, find it, move into it and live it!
- Exhaust The Possibilities
Growing up in little, country town, I didn’t realize that dreams come true. Don’t get me wrong, I had a good life growing up. I didn’t know we were poor. I didn’t know that my parents struggled while my siblings and I were living at home. Come to think of it, I didn’t know much! We had role models in our church and community, but they all gave the same practical advice, so we just didn’t grow up with the realization that we could aspire to have and be more.
Sure, lots of people from my community did great things, but I just figured, oh he was lucky to have been chosen or she was extraordinary and that’s why she got to do that. It wasn’t until I was well into my thirties and watching one of my favorite travel shows that I realized that this does not have to be a dream forever. I could travel and move abroad just like anyone else.
“When you’ve exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”
First I was too uninformed, then I was too scared, then too lazy to do the research and kept complaining about not being able to live my dream. One day I decided that I wanted to exhaust the possibilities in my life. No longer did I want to settle for collecting possibilities like precious antique cars and parking them in the garage. I started doing research and realized that, like that antique car, the possibility of something does me no good unless it’s getting me where I want to be. Take those possibilities out for a spin around the block. Exhaust your possibilities by going out and exploring them all, one by one.
Cliché, I know, but it’s true. Being the youngest of four girls and one boy can be a tough position for growth and maturity because when you’re the baby, you’re EVERYone’s baby. Everyone takes care of you because of that directive from mama, “y’all better take care of my baby”. It can be hard to break out of the mold of being the baby sometimes.
Sure, I want to move to Colombia and learn the beautiful language of Spanish, but I also want to learn the beautiful language of Daneka. I have a language all my own, but growing up having to be multi-lingual (speaking mama’s language, daddy’s language and so on) means I’ve never become fluent in it. During this journey, I am making a commitment to myself to become who I am meant to be, unapologetically.
- Global Citizenship
A term that has become popular in recent years and for good reason. Global citizens understand three things about the world. As a global citizen, I understand that differences can be celebrated without judgement. I know that people are inherently good. Global citizens know that the world is smaller than most people think. Just since deciding to move abroad, I have met some amazing people who are also travelling and moving abroad. It makes the world seem smaller when you find out that a person thousands of miles away from you will be in the same country at the same time. Get out of your hometown, if only to travel, and you will find more common ground with strangers than you ever thought possible.
“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”
The take away:
Be bold if you cannot yet be brave. Good is good, but strive for an amazing life – a more abundant life. Exhaust the possibilities. Try, but you’ll never do it because the possibilities are endless. Commit to learn your own language. Become a citizen of the world and watch the world shrink.