a start

Rand McNally's Market Street Bookstore was my lunchtime locale

 Welcome to my blog. Almost ten years ago I left San Francisco to move to Italy.  I gave up my job, my apartment, my car, and proximity to family and friends for an adventure. The decision didn’t feel like a choice at the time, it came with a kind of certainty that doesn’t come around too often. So instead of continuing to spend countless hours escaping to the travel section of my local Rand McNally bookstore, I decided to finally go. I gave notice to my landlord and boss. I sold my stuff. I slept on friends’ couches to save money. I read up on living and working abroad and took Italian lessons. I made connections and set up interviews. And then I bought an airline ticket and left. I was two months shy of turning 30.

It’s ten years later, I’m approaching 40, and I guess I’m what you would call an ex-expat. There are a gazillion of blogs written by Americans living in other countries. I’m writing this blog from the flip side – after you return. I’ll discuss ideas and share advice from my experiences such as as finding work, studying a language and having a child in another country. I’ll share favorite places we traveled to and those we want to go next. I’ll chronicle my observations and interests including how I try to incorporate what  living abroad has taught me into everyday life. And hopefully provide some entertainment along the way!

They say once you’ve lived an expat life, it becomes part of your identity and who you are, and you lose a part of who you were.

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4 responses to “a start

  1. I am the “boss” Monique came to all those years ago to say “I’m leaving.” It was right before a new business meeting, I recall, where she was being pitched as the project lead. So, we tap danced, but got through fine. I always admired Monique’s decision to follow her dreams, despite the timing that day, but a decade later know how it changed her life for the better. She made me think about my life, too, and it wasn’t a few short years after she made her monumental move around the world that I, too, decided to make a monumental move in my life and excuse myself from the world of national PR agency life. Big decisions often result in the opening of big doors. I will look forward, Monique, to reading your blog, and to chronicling with you, your journey then and now. Your friend, Alicia. 🙂

    • bringingtravelhome

      thanks alicia. you’re the best. looking back, what the heck was I thinking telling you something like that seconds before a new biz meeting?

  2. Found your blog while reading your great Freshly Pressed guest post. It’s a pipedream of mine to do the same one day — trade the job, apartment, car for a life abroad. I also love the fact that you were just shy of 30 before moving. I’m 26 and I feel like I’m slowly getting too “old” to move!

    If you don’t mind, I hope one day you’ll share how you prepared your finances for your life abroad. My own blog primarily discusses how I plan on getting my finances in order, and as such, it’d be great to know if you left with American debt, or had no debt at all and/or amassed a huge amount of savings prior to leaving. You can also email me at condimint at gmail dot com if you’d prefer to not divulge those kind of things on your blog. Mahalo! : )

    • hi Lane, I did have some debt when I left but it was very small as I paid the majority before I left. I also saved up by sleeping on friends’ couches for much of the last 6 months prior to leaving (to save on rent money) which really helped build my savings. I wasn’t sure how long I would be gone, but I did a lot of research on job opportunities as I knew my savings wouldn’t last me more than 6 months. Keep your eye out on a post Ill be writing soon about working abroad. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

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