Expat Life : Finding Balance

You have this picture perfect idea of what life will be life when you leave home. But there is a lot more to it than that.

You think it is going to be full of adventures day in and day out. You’ll work and party and road trip and meet new people from all over the world. While this definitely does happen on occasion, there is a lot more to it than that.

I started thinking, “Am I doing this right?”.

But what is “right”?

Part of me thought that I had to get out and do something crazy every single day. I came to New Zealand and said that I was going to work part time at a coffee shop and go wherever the wind takes me.

Well, it took me back to the corporate world of recruiting. So I’m right back on that 9-5 grind that I so desperately wanted to leave. But I ended up with a rather amazing team who have made me feel at home and who are fully supportive of my adventure. And I actually feel incredibly fortunate.

When it comes to the place I call home, I don’t even have a real home. I thought I would come here, find a place right away and make it my own. And that I would spend some time nesting and love my flat here the way I loved my apartment I back home. But that didn’t happen.

I have ended up subletting throughout the city. One of the flatmates leaves to travel for a month, and needs someone to rent their room during that time. That person is me. I’ve haven’t ‘nested’ anywhere, but I get to meet new people and explore new parts of the city. And it’s the best decision I’ve made.

*I would also like to note that it is winter and the weather is shit. And I don’t have a car. So there is that.

There is an obscene amount of stuff here to see and do here. And I will get to it. I have a list and I’m making plans. But I’ve realized that living here means finding a way to balance wild adventures with the joys of everyday life.

Sometimes you need to just stay home and watch Netflix when it rains. You don’t have to hang out at the bar to have a good time. Because it’s not the end of the world to just want to go home after work so you can go for a run.

There is no “right” way to do this.

Sometimes you have to remind yourself to be grateful for the incredible things around you, regardless of how small or insignificant they may seem.

Because the only expectations we feel like we aren’t living up to, are ones we have set for ourselves.

I mean, isn’t just having the opportunity to live here enough?


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  1. There definitely isn’t any right way to do this, or anything for the matter. Just being open to new experiences and people is the best advice I can give anyone moving abroad.

  2. Knowing there is no right way to do something is, I think, the key to a happy life. What a brilliant experience to be having! And that includes the nights when you’re sitting in your latest home, and just being.

  3. I lived in Australia for a summer and it was terrifyingly wonderful. Live it up!

  4. This is giving me the courage to potentially go abroad from a couple years and experience the expat life. Sometimes we just have to go with the flow of life. I’m glad everything is working out for you. Honestly, I don’t consider a home a place, but a feeling of serenity and peace. As long as you have that, you are home.


    Aitza B | petitelypackaged.com

  5. Im the same way..I dont have a home anymore..and I love it! Everyone’s expat experience is different and there is no “right” way to do it! enjoy!

  6. I love this post! Especially with looking at Instagram and other social media I feel like I hold onto the idea of the “right way”, when all along my path is the one meant for me! Thanks for sharing:)

  7. I love this. I used to get SO caught up in if I was doing things the “right” away. It took me a long time (and still doesn’t quite go as smoothly as I’d like it to some days) but I’ve finally accepted than right is such a relative term. If I’m happy, who cares?

    1. I definitely encourage it! I took the time to prep, so I recommend making sure things are in order first. People will try and fill you head will all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it, but don’t listen!

  8. We are branching into full time traveling and have begun to find jobs online, I’m a dietitian by trade. It will be terrifyingly exciting! There is no right way, keep living your life fully!

  9. I think it is brave of you to go and have the experience and wonderful that you revealing yourself of the pressure of living up to your pre trip ideas. I grew up living all over the world and the biggest thing I learned from that experience was you have to let go of what you dreamed and take advantage of the opportunities that come once there, and sometimes that opportunity is just to relax and let things unfold how they may. Good luck with the rest of your journey 🙂

  10. I recently moved from the United States to Paris, France and I constantly ask myself the same question everyday. I was super frustrated yesterday not being able to find ingredients or things that I needed for my apartment, but at the end of the day, it’s important to let go, roll with the punches and enjoy the journey!

    1. Exactly! We do these things for a change of pace, so you have to expect the unexpected 🙂

  11. Interesting story. Funnily enough when I got the working holiday visa in Australia, my plan was to do the 9-5 grind, to see if it really was any better out there… but my story went the other way and I only did paid work 2weeks out of the 6 months I was out there. Sometimes I think balance is about listening to the individual lesson’s life throws at us

    1. Haha see – its never what you plan! Its been amazing to let it unfold though!