I was born and raised in Huntsville, Utah in a middle class family of the LDS faith. I had friends, I had church group gatherings and I went to the closest public schools in town. I would say that life was pretty good to me growing up. As I got older, my life changed a little drastically because of 3 big events in my life. My parents divorce when I was 17, my study abroad program when I was 20, and my break up when I was 24.
Love is love, marriage should be love, but it is not always love. Sometimes people fall out of love, sometimes people don’t appreciate what they have and make choices that lead to a painful ending later in life, and sometimes you find out that everything you thought you knew about someone was a lie. I don’t need to spare the details, but when I was 17 and I found out my parents were getting divorced, it changed my outlook on life. I stopped going to church and began working Sundays at the Ski Resort, I got a boyfriend and ended up in a serious relationship, and I moved out of my parents house and into my grandparents house before starting University.
“They say the number one cause of divorce is marriage.” – unknown
MY STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM:
When I was 17 years old and shortly after my parents divorce, I met a guy who was from Australia. This led to me realizing that I wanted to go outside of the country, I wanted to move abroad and see what was out there. I wanted to explore and meet people from other countries, I wanted to be “the outsider.” At this point in my life I felt like the best option for me, and the only option I felt was a realistic one to get me abroad was to do a study abroad program.
As I looked up different study programs, I was leaning towards Australia and I’ll admit it was because I met that aussie guy once upon a time and he was “oh so dreamy,” but then I looked up photos of New Zealand and I changed my mind. I found a study program and I was set to study in New Zealand. As I was getting my financial stuff together 2 months before, I realized I was about $4,000 short of what I needed for tuition/housing. I refused to go into debt and so I looked for cheaper study abroad options that were semester programs and I found one in Fiji. So, two months before I was going to leave for NZ, plans changed and I was now en route to study abroad in Fiji. I always wanted to be an island girl and so here was my chance, plus Fiji was pretty close to New Zealand so maybe I could still visit.
Doing this study program and moving out of the country was the first time I moved overseas, in fact, it was the first time I had ever left the country. This was huge for me! I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I had no idea how much my life was going to change in the next 6 months. I learned lots of different things during this time period, but the three that stood out most to me are as follows:
1. I learned what it was like to be one of few white people
2. I found some of the happiest people on the planet
3. I found a passion for traveling, exploring and prioritizing my life.
“Seqa na Leqa.” à No worries
THE BREAK UP:
I got in a serious relationship when I was 18, it ended when I was 24. Two weeks after the break up, I bought a plane ticket to New Zealand and two months after the break up it was my birthday and I was on a plane headed to New Zealand on a work holiday visa. I am now currently living in New Zealand for a while, my visa expires in December so I'll see what happens after that.
“I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.” –Norah Jones
Now I am en route to happiness. I know what I love to do. I love to travel, I love to do pole and aerial fitness, I love to snowboard, I love to hike, I love to scuba dive, I love to read, I love to teach, I love to take photos and make videos, I love to make people laugh and I’m en route to find myself again and keep on doing what makes me happy. I’m a big believer in not letting my dreams be dreams, keeping my word, trying things that scare me, and challenging myself and I have been doing that ever since I left Utah. This next year is panning out to be a difficult one, a rewarding one and a challenging one, but I’m trying to keep my head up and I know good will come of this. I see myself on the road for the next couple years and that is my plan. I miss my friends, I miss my family and I miss my “old life” I use to have, but I have accepted that this is my new life, this is what I want to do and this was my decision. I’m young, I can travel and know I have a message to share, a dream to share, and a passion to explore.