“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” – Rumi

My life has been a series of events of beginnings and endings. It’s funny that whenever I experienced a major life change, it coincided with a physical move. I didn’t mean it to happen that way, it just did.

So here’s my story:

Part One: South Korea

I sat in my bedroom crying my eyes out on the phone. My dear friend finally told me, “Sarah, I think you are suffering from a broken heart.”

I was in a serious relationship with someone I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. All of a sudden, this person told me they needed a break. I guess I should have known. I would constantly try to show affection and tell him I loved him, but he would pull away. I’d be upset over a family problem and there was no attempt to comfort me.

You want to hear the worst part? He was halfway across the world when he broke the news to me. No phone call. Rather, he sent me a message on MSN Messenger while I was away from my computer.

I felt so angry and disgusted that all I wanted to do was to run away. I moved back to Canada for this person and quit a great job in Australia to do so! I knew I didn’t want to be back in Canada. I still wanted to go out and explore the world.

I took this as a sign that I should go overseas again. I contacted a friend who was living in South Korea at the time and had her help me get a teaching job. A month later, with only two suitcases to my name, I boarded the plane to South Korea. A month later, I called the person who broke my heart that I officially wanted to end things.

Part Two: China

A year later, I was ready to move on from South Korea. I wanted a change because I was ready to grow up so to speak. I took the time in South Korea to do things I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do them. One day I look up at the sky and said out loud “Whoever is up there, I am ready. I am ready for a serious relationship. I am ready to get married and spend the rest of my life with someone who deserves all I have to offer.”

The next day, I received a job offer from an international school in China. A month later, I started dating the man of my dreams, whom I would marry two years later.

Part Three: USA/Asia

Four years later, my contract ended at the school I was at. My husband and I decided that it was time to take the next step and look at moving to the US (where he’s from) to settle down. We planned where we wanted to move to, what kind of house we wanted, to when we were going to have kids.

Events didn’t turn out as planned after we moved back. Both of us had difficulties looking for jobs. When we were both finally employed, we ended up leaving our respective companies because both places were involved in shady practices. We didn’t even want to consider children until we both had stable incomes and a home to call our own.

Months went by and we were both fed up. We both wondered if this kind of life was for us, and whether or not we were meant for something more. My frustration levels went over the top when two months and three interviews later with the same company, my husband got turned down for a job. I questioned if this was the life for us. Both being world travelers for so long, it didn’t make us happy that we felt we needed to stay in one place for the rest of our lives. I realized that we were trying to define our happiness and our lives based on what others thought were best for us.

Now we’re in the process of moving again, back to Asia. Our plan is to start a business and go from there.

Looking for Change?

In retrospect, I think that by literally being in a new environment, I was able to clear my head and embrace the changes that I went through more easily. Of course I’m not advocating everybody do that, it’s just not possible. If you want to embrace change in your own life without moving across the world, here is what I recommend to you:

  • Find a space you can go to – I moved across the world, but you can easily find your own space such as a yoga studio, a coffee shop across town, or even consider redecorating your room for a change. Changing your scenery can help you cope with life’s changes.
  • Voice your changes out loud – You don’t have to speak to the universe like I did. There are numerous ways to voice the changes you are going through such as through your blog, emailing your friends, or tweeting it.
  • Go on a short trip – If you can afford it, try to get away for a few days. You’d be surprised at how that can help you cope with change. It’s ok to want a break every once in a while.

My hope is for you to be able to create change within yourself even if you don’t physically change your environment. Do whatever it takes for you to embark on your journey.

Photo by lemuelinchrist

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah Li Cain is an international educator and freelance writer. She blogs to document on how she is reclaiming her fearlessness in life and wants to help others do the same. You can also follow her on twitter @slicain.

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