Exactly two months from now I’ll be somewhere on my way to a new life. I’ll be moving from a little town in the hearth of Europe to a city which is bustling with 2 million people and happens to be on the other side of the world. I’ll be leaving almost everything I have and know to meet the unknown and start again. Start from scratch.
It’s not that new for me. I already did something like this. Yet it feels totally different, I would even say scary.
I always wanted to travel. But I also promised my mum that I will study first. But as soon as I gained my Bachelor degree in hospitality I applied for a one year Work and Travel visa in Canada (find more about this visa here) and bought my plane ticket. At the age of 22 I moved to a totally different country, all on my own. Yet I don’t remember being worried like I am now. The biggest issue before leaving was to pack my bag which eventually my sister-in-law had to finish for me because she couldn’t watch me any longer and didn’t want me to miss my flight (thank you Hanka).
And before I knew it I was there, girl from small Czech Republic about to explore the beauty of the big wintry land. And it was one of the best things in my life.
I was lucky at least because I met tons of amazing people along the way, who helped me to find my first hostel, establish a bank account, get to my assigned job in the mountains or even to share a small bed with me for the sake of few bucks saved (thank you for everything Petra, I will never forget this).
So I started a job as a cook in the breathtaking Banff National Park. I can’t even depict how wonderful this experience was. Although I was leaving the mountain resort pretty exhausted after a seven month long season, I wouldn’t change a thing. Despite the fact that I never cooked in a professional kitchen before (I actually worked in restaurants since I was 14 years old, but never really cooked, I started with washing dishes and after a couple of years I happily moved to waiting) or undergone chef training I was promoted just after one month in the mountains and became a first cook in a staff cafeteria. That meant that I was a responsible person now, stocking all the goods and coming up with menus which I had to prepare in a limited time for the pickiest of eaters – for the people who lived on the mountain and had to come to the cafeteria if they preferred to consume something else than cardboard-ready-in-a-minute Mac and Cheese (or anything else that could be made in a rice cooker). And even if there were few errors during my time in the kitchen I actually never poisoned anyone. People would even come back. And that is where I found my true love for food (thank you for this opportunity Paula).
As the time in the mountains went by I met some wonderful people. But there was this Aussie guy, which I would tend to casually bump into more and more. He was like a unicorn to me. I never met anyone so kind and cute and funny at the same time. And he seemed to totally ignore the huge gap in my vocabulary and still spent time with me and actually talked with me even if my answers were shorter than one breath (ha ha, what a surprise now when he realized that I can’t shut up). And then, all at once, we found ourselves sharing one room. And going for holidays to Cuba to escape the cold for a brief moment. And finishing the season in the ski resort together. And even working together in a couple more beautiful places in Canada before my visa was about to finish. I can’t remember who was the first one to say it out loud, but as my visa was coming to its end, my boyfriend agreed to follow me to Czech Republic (with a short stop in LA and Vegas on the way).
What was planned as a short stop (we thought one year) in my home before we figured out where to go next (and save some money for that) became 3 and a half years here in the Czech Republic, enriched with few trips and holidays around Europe and one entirely fantastic moment when we committed to each other and this cute Aussie became my husband. Although this happened more than one year ago I still have a giggle when saying that word.
And why did we stay that long after all? I don’t know. But I would say it was mostly because I became insecure. Almost five years ago my biggest problem was to pack my bag and I knew that everything else will be just fine. Then we started living here and these thoughts changed. Almost straight away I found a good job and I was so excited about it that I put all my energy and time into it. Not realizing that it’s changing me. Don’t get me wrong here. I love what I do for living. I just can’t compete with the everything or nothing. Only after sometime I sensed that to be successful I had sacrificed a lot. Along with my health. I would eat crappy instant noodles because I didn’t have time to cook or more possibly I was way too tired for any performance in the kitchen. I wouldn’t even try to exercise nor go outside for fresh air. I would skip almost all the fun with my friends and now husband because I had to work. After almost two years of struggling with this lifestyle I finally came to the conclusion that it’s not worth it and quit the job and filled my time with something much more important – planning our wedding. Because even if I was one cranky tired ball of mess, my amazing man still wanted to marry me. And our wedding was like a fairytale.
And just two weeks after that I fell into the same puddle. I went for the career. I got a great opportunity and became a F&B manager in a successful small company with nice hotels and even more beautiful restaurants. This time I did not repeat my missteps on such a large scale but I feel like I gave it more than got back after one year and that certainly the time to change things came up.
So that is why we decided to move to my husband’s home country Australia. Because it’s time for change. Time to get rid of these bad habits and start fresh. And I know I shouldn’t be scared because this time I’m not alone and going somewhere where we will have the support. But it’s overwhelming. It is a big change and the more we settled here the more “What ifs” popped up. What if I won’t get my visa for some reason? What if we won’t have enough money for all of this? What if I won’t like Australia? And what if I will just get back to those bad habits? Well, I don’t know where this path is heading but I know what I should be worrying about now – What am I going to pack?
Because let’s face it, everything else will be just fine.