Meet Jess – a beautiful Texan lady with golden hair and a heart to match. Australia was lucky enough to have her visit for a while and we were lucky enough to find her as one of our good friends. With a passion to encourage women to embrace their inner power, Jess hosted crafternoons of fun for all her lady friends and established the ‘Who run the world? GIRLS!’ Facebook group. These projects, along with many others, brought intelligent like-minded women together to laugh, share, socialise and grow. Perhaps Jess does not realise the impact she has had on the women involved in these activities.
Jess’ outlook on life is one many of us could learn from and she shares her thoughts and words of wisdom in her blog over here. We asked Jess if she would tell us the story of her Australian adventure and she kindly agreed…
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After living in Austin for 9 years, working hard, going to college, obtaining my Masters in Social Work, volunteering, working three jobs at once and having a decent social life I needed a change. I felt like there was something more and I wasn’t finding it in Austin.
I met this guy in Italy during my Euro adventure after graduation in 2007. This handsome, kind, funny, talkative, smart, sweet and sensual man and I kept in touch with for five years. He happened to be Australian. After conversing for some time we were both single in 2010- I met him in Sydney and then he came to Austin.
Sometimes you reach a certain point in your life that you just have to take that jump. The first leap I ever took was with my brother when we jumped out of an airplane at 17,000 feet on his 25th birthday. The second leap that I took was by myself to Australia.
I ran through the motions. I figured out the visa, I submitted my qualifications, I had my license notarized, I did my research, I saved for a year, I networked with anyone that would listen, I found a place to live when I got to Australia, I made sure all my friends had Skype downloaded, I visited my most favorite places in Austin, I changed addresses, I quit my job, I sold most of what I owned, I moved out of my house, I had a going away party at 219 West because it was figured that if you walked and canoed from Texas to Australia it would take you 219 days (an alternative plan to flying), I tidied up my activities, I said goodbye to my friends and family, I took a deep breath and I jumped.
I arrived in Australia the day before my 27th birthday to meet the Australian who sweetly had arranged transportation and accommodation at the Sunshine Coast to welcome me and celebrate with me. It was perfect.
Within the span of a month I had a working cell phone, a great job, a room in a beautiful house in a gorgeous neighborhood with great flat mates which I would later call friends, a make shift plastic bag dresser organizational system and a pretty good idea of how to use the public transportation system.
As time passed I found myself in love, traveling with the Australian, organizing visits with friends and family, working contract jobs that were allowing me to network and take time off for travel, deepening my yoga practice, figuring out my calling, meeting inspirational people and having the time of my life!
As the time approached that I knew I would be attending my best friend’s wedding back in the states I tried to plan whether or not I was going to be returning to Australia, the country that I had fallen in love with that housed my love, my new friends and my new life. There were two things that would keep me in Australia: 1. Sponsorship with an organization where I could work and grow professionally, 2. The Australian. Neither of these worked in my allotted time frame.
As Nelly Furtado says “All good things come to an end” but unlike the very talented and beautiful Ms. Furtado I do not think this is the end to my story, and instead just a part of it.
Sometimes your visions do not materialize into the reality you imagined but that doesn’t mean you stop dreaming.
All in all, I learned how to appreciate and have gratitude for my experiences even if they don’t work out the way I had expected and wished.
If my gratitude was a hug and the total of my experiences (preparations, courage, new career path, love, new friendships and an unexpected ending) was a porcupine, then I do say I learned how to hug a porcupine.
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Love Alana xx