Sunday, June 14, 2015
There's only six weeks left until I move to Australia. It seems crazy to write those words, but this move has been a long time coming. (In fact, it's been roughly two years in the making, if we're going to include the first time I floated the idea aloud.)
Every day, someone asks me if I'm "excited" to go. And while I am, unfortunately any excitement at this point is being overshadowed by the stress and the sadness associated with moving. I've lived in Toronto for 11 years. Every single year I've threatened to move, but now that I'm finally doing it, the reality that I'm leaving behind my friends, my dog and my community is finally sinking in.
That, and there's the administrative burden associated with moving. Everyone knows that moving is a pain in the ass—but moving to another country, for an indefinite period of time, as a self-employed individual? Yeah, it's just a little overwhelming.
To give you an idea of the process, here are just some of the departure tasks necessary before you move to Australia:
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
“I will come to Australia if you can promise me that I won’t see any huntsman spiders,” said Craig, his voice edging on earnest.
“I don’t know if we can promise that, but they’re harmless,” insisted Jules.
Craig’s wife, Monique, laughed. “Really, Craig? You’re that afraid of spiders?”
“Monique, have you seen a huntsman?" asked Craig, shaking his head. "They’re the size of dinnerplates!”
And thus, without much fanfare, began the Come Visit Us in Australia Diplomacy Tour of 2015.
Monday, April 20, 2015
At just past 8 a.m., the harsh morning sun is beating down on our group. Like obedient schoolchildren, we form a semi-circle around our tour guide, Wilo, rapt and hanging on his every word. Nothing can distract us—not even the calls of frigate birds mating in the surrounding incense trees, their wings outstretched and their trademark red gular sacks inflated. Already the novelty of wildlife within our grasp has faded.
It’s a sharp contrast to the day before, when we had first touched down on this five-million-year-old archipelago.
“I don’t know if this is what I was expecting,” said my seatmate, Jill, as the plane taxied down Baltra Island. The airstrip blended seamlessly into the volcanic landscape, which was empty save for low-lying shrubs. “There’s really nothing here.”
Read more on Verge Magazine »
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Last fall, as a speaker on a panel discussion, I unexpectedly found myself to be the subject of intense scrutiny. There I was, sharing advice for gaining international work experience, when I confessed to what the audience decided was a heinous crime. My offense? Volunteering abroad on a short-term construction project nearly 10 years ago.
Read more on Verge Magazine »
Saturday, February 21, 2015
In the past, I’ve written about how I travel for cheap or for free, but I’ve never written about how I actually save money for travel.
Here’s a full (but not entirely shocking) disclosure; as a freelance journalist, I don’t exactly make a lot of money. And yet I always seem to have enough money to travel. So how do I do it?
I know a lot of digital nomads advocate for selling your stuff and giving up a home base in order to explore the globe. But I kind of like my bed and my dog and my apartment, so I’ve figured out that there’s another way.
While I'm far from a financial guru, here are my six foolproof steps for saving enough money to make travel—or any other financial goal, really—a reality: