Happy New Year’s to all you beautiful people! What does 2014 have in store for you?
It was almost one year ago today that Kenny and I decided we wanted to make a big change in our lives and take a leap of faith! We decided to move to Korea. Our lives were pretty awesome before moving here. Kenny and I had great jobs, were surrounded by incredible people and loved everything about the Pacific Northwest (ok, we could do without just a few of those grey days). So, why did we leave it all to move here? A very legitimate question, I must say. Well, living abroad was always something that I wanted, no, needed, to do at some point in my life. I was lucky enough to find Kenny, who has similar passions as I do. And now we’re here!
Taking a leap of faith is never easy. In one way or another, you are taking a risk. Sometimes it involves leaving behind something that is comfortable and usually quite wonderful. We might wonder, “Will I regret this one day?”
Well, since Kenny and I aren’t the only ones we know who have made a big jump in our lives, I decided to consult with a few friends who were willing to share their stories. Thank you to my buds Laura Cannon, Lisa Massey and Aisha Chappell for your inspiration.
Tell us about your leap.
Laura: My leap of faith was making the decision to move to London right after college without a job, a place to live or anyone that I knew there.
Lisa: My leap of faith was packing up my life in the states and moving to Guatemala to work on the ground with Long Way Home.
Aisha: I “leaped” to La Playa, Colombia. I was a volunteer English teacher with World Teach for 11 months. I was 27 and was going into my 6th year of teaching math at a school in Washington Heights. I had never taught English or been abroad for more than 6 weeks. I did study Spanish in college, but I had not used my Spanish for real in over 5 years. But I knew it was exactly what I needed.
So, I wanted to know. Why did you take this leap?
Laura: “I wanted something challenging that pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone and I wanted something fabulous and different – I had spent my entire life in Seattle and felt the need to get out and spread my wings. I had such an amazing and supportive network of friends and family, but I felt I had something to prove to myself – that I could make it on my own somewhere else in the world where things weren’t as set up for me.”
Lisa: After several years of working for LWH remotely I really wanted to be able to see the evolution of the project/work first hand. The job I had wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing so I figured, “No time like the present!” and just went for it.
Aisha: Since college I wanted to live abroad. I had toyed with the idea of Peace Corps, but wasn’t ready to commit to two years abroad. I wanted to experience another culture, language, and life. I wanted to do something for myself and by myself to help me grow and shape my ever-changing perspective.
How do you feel about your leap today?
Laura: I would do it over again in a heartbeat – some of the best 4 years I have ever had professionally and personally. I left the country with amazing friends and met my husband Simon.
Lisa: It was a little scary at first…mostly just the uncertainty of what to expect. I’m a planner and in the states I had gotten into such a routine that there was not a whole lot of room for random experiences. Moving here and leaning into the reality of uncertainty, I have been able to let go of expectation and just take the experiences as they come.
Aisha: I am so grateful to have had the experience I did in Colombia. It taught me so many things about myself and other people, about teaching and education, and about the country of Colombia. I gained life long friends. It was one of the more challenging things I’ve done in my life. But, one of the best things I’ve ever done.
All these three lovely ladies took very big leaps. But maybe you’re considering taking one that is on a much smaller scale. Thinking about going back to grad school? Changing careers? Beginning a new hobby that seems a little scary at first? I’d love to hear either a leap you have taken or want to take in the comment section!