The best things I've done have also been the scariest.
When I decided to move to Cape Town alone in January 2020, I had no idea what was to come. It's one thing to move to a new country (and continent!) alone, and it's another to do it right before COVID-19.
It's all fine to be part of the "catch flights, not feelings" crew until something like COVID-19 happens. I definitely didn't expect to not be allowed to visit home or see family (for 17 months). I didn't expect to be kicked out of my dorm and to be given three days to find somewhere new to live in a country that was still brand new to me, or to be invited to live with strangers I'd soon call family.
But God is faithful. He knew the plans He had for me.
From finding not only a place to stay but a South African family to belong to, to providing me with work that makes me feel alive, and an amazing husband to share it with.
Seven years ago I left for what was then the biggest adventure of my life, a 24,000 nautical mile voyage to 12 countries around the world. I'll never forget the anticipation, fear, and excitement I felt as I watched the lights of Honolulu disappear into the sea, knowing it'd be days til we crossed the Pacific to Japan, and four months until I returned home. That's how I first visited and fell in love with Cape Town.
Nonprofits Helped Through Writing
Do the brave thing.
I would have never imagined I'd move to a new country ALONE. I never would have thought I'd visit my 30th country before the age of 30. But at the beginning of 2020, I knew one thing - I didn't want fear to trick me into a boring life. I wanted to live in South Africa. And I wanted to be stronger than I was.
In just a couple of months, it'll be three-and-a-half years since I first left for South Africa, by far the longest I'd spent out of the country or away from home. I'm different. I've changed. Solo travel has taught me WHAT'S INSIDE IS SO STRONG. So if you're here and you're reading My Story (especially if you're a girl), remember, what's inside is stronger than what's outside.
If you take anything away from my story, I hope it's this: it's okay to be scared. When I quit my job in the U.S., had almost no savings, and willingly moved 7,800 miles away from all of my friends and family, I was terrified. I had a lot of "What did you just do" moments. But more than my fear, I wanted to be where I felt called.
Now I'm working with nonprofits I believe in, and getting paid to do what I love to most, travel writing and photography. I just finished my Master's in Creative Writing, and I'm writing my first book — something I wanted to do for years! Oh, and I met my husband.
I believe God longs to do good to us. So go ahead.
Be scared. Do it anyway.
Even though the journey might not always be easy, I promise you it will be worth it! ❤️
I am learning what it means to love the world and to love people, and what I learn, I'll teach you.