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Exploring the Freelance Lifestyle

A new direction

Turbulence in life is normal. Especially when you’re figuring out your next steps. But sometimes this turbulence, the things that shake you up a bit, can be a tool that helps you make a decision about who you want to be and where you want to go.

It did for me.

It kind of feels like a messy study/work/travel mess that has just kind of been sitting there in your room, similar to the chair; the one with all the clothes on it. But I eventually cleaned it up. It took a while, and wasn’t always easy. The decisions on my path required a lot of bravery, and that wasn’t always something I felt. Yet the more I moved forward with life, by focusing on what was happening in the here and now, I somehow managed to find the most wonderful and perfect-feeling path for myself.

Just a little recap of the messy chair in the room that is my head:

May/June 2021: I was going to be moving to New Zealand in February 2022, to start a master’s degree. Then by end of July, early August it became clear that New Zealand wouldn’t be opening its borders to strangers outside of the Tasmanian bubble any time soon. That meant there was no way I could obtain a student visa, meaning the plan was off the table. I either had to do online school (which I wasn’t going to do – that is not the experience I wanted, nor want to pay for), cancel, or defer for a year. For now, I’ve decided to defer. I still like the idea and as I have no idea where my life will go in the next year, I think it’s a nice possibility to have in the future. If I don’t end up going next year, I’ll cancel my spot.

August 2021: I started thinking about other options. I love the island of St. Barths, but I’m ready for my next adventure. By the end of the year, I’ll have freelance-worked here for two and a half years, and now I’d like to travel and live and experience a different country. I started to do some research and explored the idea of a master’s degree in a different location, which made me settle on Milan. A city I adore and would love to experience living in for a while.
I applied to a few universities and got accepted too. It seemed that I’d be going to do a master’s degree in Milan.

September 2021: I was almost 100% certain of my choice. That is, whenever I didn’t have the feeling of having question marks hanging around in my head. There were days that I was a little uncertain if this was the right choice – if I actually wanted to study, or was simply using it as an excuse to live somewhere else and explore what that’s like for a while.
One day, in early September, we were having lunch and home, the way we usually do, and somehow we got onto the topic of me going to Milan. I shared how I was looking for apartments and basically ready to pay the tuition fee, when suddenly Rowena asked me a question she’d already asked many times before: “are you sure you really want to study?” And I’m not sure why now was different than the past few times she brought it up, maybe now her energy was different, but I decided to answer honestly: no, I wasn’t sure.

I shared how I often thought about how going to university felt like a justification. A way that would “allow” me to move to a new place and explore what that would be like. This way, if I move somewhere, I have a reason for it, rather than simply doing it “just because”.

After a bit more in depth talking, I quickly came to the realisation that doing something “just because”, was good enough a reason. I was embarking on something wonderful for my own life. I’m going to be moving somewhere new, while continuing to do the work I love. Pretty much feels like the best of both worlds. I will no longer be pursuing a masters degree. I will, instead, embark on an adventure for myself.

I’ve decided to just go!

Come January 2022, I’ll be traveling to the Netherlands to see my family and get myself organised (considering half of my belongings have been sitting in storage for the past year and a half) and from there? I will be moving to Lisbon, Portugal! For the next eight months, from February to September, I’ll be there, living, working, creating, and exploring myself and the world I live in, and doing so with Lisbon as a home base!

I’m feeling super excited, nervous, and most of all eager to see what this new adventure will hold.

See you soon Europe!

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