I returned home and sold my store and planned to move to Australia for a year. This was one of the biggest decisions of my life so far. But even though I felt nervous, I felt very alive.
Since I was very young, I have always worked really hard. By 21 I was running my own company and of course this takes a lot of work.
Many young people worked for me, often just to earn money to go travelling. I sometimes thought that maybe I should travel too? These people were in my age group, had fun and travelled. I was just working. Basically all the time. Maybe time for a change?
Said and done, I went to Asia for 3 months. First stop Bangkok. On arrival in the airport I remember asking myself “what have I done?” I felt VERY lost and lonely.
After I calmed down I found a hotel and the rest of the trip was a success. Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. I was hooked.
I returned home and sold my store and planned a trip to Australia for a year. The whole process of planning a year away and selling the company to go out into the unknown without any idea of what might happen was exciting but also scary. I was quite stressed out in the end before I left. This was one of the biggest decisions of my life so far. But even though I felt nervous, I felt very alive.
As soon as I sat down for takeoff I just felt joy and excitement. This was the right decision! The only plan I had was to go to Brisbane and meet up with Jon, an English friend I met in Cambodia when I was travelling through Asia. We had also spent some time diving in Thailand after that.
He was going to take me to the Gold Coast to meet his half-brother who had lived there for 20 years.. He was turning 50 and a lot of family from England was supposed to come over to celebrate. Laurie went to Australia by boat when he was 19. Jon had only really met him a few times.
That family changed my life. Laurie, his wife Liz and daughter Jemma were amazing. I loved them from the start. And there, in a big family reunion with family members not seeing each other for many years, there I was! A girl from Sweden. And I felt at home!
I stayed for 3 months. My friend Jon left to travel more, but I stayed. I was a part of the family and Jemma felt like a little sister. I was also extremely tired. Probably from working so hard in the end before I left and the stress of making so many big decisions. So it was nice to have a home.
There was also Laurie’s older sister Ginni and her husband Michael there. One of the loveliest couples I know. Even if it’s now about 14 years ago, we are still in contact and have met up several times. Ginni, Michael, Laurie, Liz and Jem are my chosen family and I love them.
Finally I started travelling around Australia and I’ve now been almost everywhere. I kept in contact with the family and I returned a couple of times before my year was over.
I love Australia and I could write a whole book about all the fun and crazy stuff that happened to me under that year. I learnt so much about myself. That year changed my life and I met some of my favorite people. Friends that I will have for life.
Thank god for that decision to travel!
Author - Marie Zamora
Marie Zamora lives in Sweden with her husband and two children. She is soon to embark on her next adventure - travelling with the family to South America. You can reach her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org