At 45 I was ready to take the big leap. I’d listened to all those entrepreneurs, life coaches, motivational speakers and gurus about following your dreams. Don’t let fear hold you back. Go for it. You only live once.
That messaging, popping up day after day in my feed, dragged me in. Convinced me that I could – I should! – be living a bigger life. In fact, I got the feeling that maybe I was a bit of an idiot to not pursue the entrepreneurial, goal-obsessed dream. It just takes hard work! Anyone can do it.
So why not me? I’d lived a very adventurous life up until, well, having kids. I climbed mountains in Nepal, rappelled off cliffs at midnight, hiked Peru self-guided, competed in Ironman triathlons around the world, skinny-dipped in the Mediterranean. I could do this! In fact, listening to these guys and girls, I could do anything!
My dream was to pack up my family and move to Europe. Learn the language. Embrace the culture. Continue my successful career in an international setting.
We moved to Europe, to the country of my husband’s birth. That would make it easy right? Well, no.
At first, it was a dream come true. We had planned carefully, worked our arses off and saved enough money to get us through the first year. We found a beautiful village to live in and rented a gorgeous apartment. We quickly met the locals and went to every village event. Our kids settled into the local school and picked up the language in six months. Happy days.
And then the holiday was over. Our bank account dwindled and we hadn’t found work. Despite my qualifications, being a foreigner put me at the bottom of the “suitable applicant” list, not to mention not knowing the language. I applied for more than 50 jobs in six months. Most of them never responded.
And thanks to the language gap, those friendly locals were still friendly, but they weren’t quite up to having a coffee with the Aussie who could only speak in present tense and mixed up the word for “eraser” with “condom”. I was only asking about what was on the list of school supplies!