If you really want to – you’ll find a way. If you don’t – you’ll find an excuse.
I was born in a small town an hour outside of Sydney, Australia. Honestly, as a child it was a great place to grow up: I had a great backyard, I could play games and ride my bike in the street, I knew all my neighbours… in some ways it was idyllic. But it is also a small place. This obviously isn’t a negative for some people. But for me it always was.
It’s the kind of place people don’t leave. They finish school – or they don’t. Get married – or they don’t. They have children. Again, that’s great if that’s what you want. But I didn’t. I knew from the age of seven that’s not what I wanted. I knew I wanted more. I had my eyes on bigger things.
I was fifteen when I started looking into scholarships for university. I had my list, none of which included anything within two hours of home. I studied and had success: early entrance to a great university that was far enough away to be ‘away’ from home, but close enough that I could come home at weekends. I was eighteen and left home, was studying full time and finally felt like I had a life of my own. It was exhilarating.
That was the beginning.
I was 21 when I moved to New York. Now that, that was absolutely frightening. The same small-town girl who had never left the country, who had been on a plane a total of six times in her life, was moving to the other side of the world on her own. It was exciting. But holy hell if it wasn’t completely terrifying. I spent a year working as an au pair. It is an experience that I am forever thankful for, but it was hard. You’re earning very little money and working very long hours for it. The family I lived with were very welcoming and I’m eternally grateful for that, but it was very difficult at times.
But I made it work.
I made a vow to go on a trip every two months. Vegas, LA, Boston, Chicago… all leading up to my month long trip of the west coast: San Diego, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Sedona, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and remaining east coast: Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington DC. It took effort, I spent a lot of Friday nights babysitting and quite a few weekends I was in rather than out, but I regret nothing.
I had been home (yes, in that same small, Western Sydney town) for three months when an opportunity was offered to me. A chance to move to London, travel for work and discover Europe… working, yet again, as a nanny. I was now 22, and delving back into the world of private chid care was not in my plan. But, after much contemplation (and guilt from my loved ones about leaving them… again) I was back at Sydney International Terminal departing on a 2.55pm flight bound for London.
My life in London has been so much more than I could have ever dreamed. I’ve travelled to 17 countries in 19 months. I have formed incredible friendships, eaten phenomenal food, witnessed so many sunrises and sunsets, and seen more of the world than my seven year old self could have ever dreamed. But it has had its trials.
I’ve worked as a live in nanny far longer than I’m sometimes comfortable with. This obviously has, for me, proved to be advantageous, but sacrifices are made. I said goodbye to leaving my work at work… hard to do when you live there. I am immersed in a family, a big one, something I had zero experience with before this. It is not always ideal, but it is what I chose. To me, at this moment in time, it’s worth it.
My point is that you can find a way if you work hard enough and have the vision. It may not look how you imagined, but that’s half the fun. I never imagined that this would be my life, in fact 16 year old Bec would’ve laughed you off for spouting insanity (after an exaggerated eye roll and hair flip of course.) But this is my life. And if you want it bad enough, if you really want it – you will find a way.
There are so, so many roadblocks trying to trip you up in life, don’t make yourself one.