About Me

 Heather.
Twenty-something.
American nomad.

I was born and raised in Maryland. It’s a small state on the Chesapeake Bay located next to Washington, DC and three hours away from New York City. I lived in the same city in Maryland for the first twenty years of my life. At twenty-one years old, I found myself searching for something more meaningful. I was finishing a Criminal Justice degree and working as a nanny, when I realized that I wanted to explore the world. I started off small, staying with my comfortable zone of the USA.

I lived in five states in one year. Let’s see. I moved to Texas because I fell in love with the city of Austin. It was artsy and outdoorsy, but it felt like I was too far away from my family and friends (especially at a time when my mother was having unexpected health problems). So, I moved to Connecticut to work as a live-in nanny for the family I worked for previously. But a move to an area filled with senior citizens during the peak of winter wasn’t exactly appealing either. And soon, I was moving to New Jersey to work in a special education school. But that wasn’t part of the long term plan, so I moved back to Maryland to take a summer course while finishing my Paralegal Certificate. And at the end of my summer course, I rewarded myself by moving to Florida for two months to visit one of my childhood best friends.

And then, I found myself back in Maryland. I was “home” again. I had had my fun, but it was time to conform to the nine-to-five lifestyle. Or was it? After one year working as a paralegal, I found myself feeling unsatisfied again. Even with a month long road trip around the USA in 2011 and 2012, I was still craving more adventure, more spontaneity, and more travel. I had always wanted to live in a foreign country and teach abroad. And that’s how I ended up in teaching English in Nanjing, China. DSC01959

After spending nine months teaching English to university students, it was time to farewell China and all of it’s craziness! I headed through Asia as a backpacker. I visited Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea before heading home to visit my family and friends for the holiday season.

I spent five cold and snowy months re-living the life I had created for myself in my early twenties, but I knew that I wouldn’t stay home for long. I farewelled my family and friends (which contrary to popular belief, does not get easier each time) and headed to a new continent. It was off to Australia with my best friend for a year on a working holiday visa.

I never planned on staying in Australia for more than a year, but I fell in love. We applied for permanent residency and, well, we’re still here. I still plan to “settle down” in the USA one day and I also still plan to live on every continent for a y
ear each. But, for now, my life is in Australia.

So, follow my adventures, new and old, while I experience new cultures, eat new foods, and attempt to learn new languages.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

cwbush November 25, 2012 at 11:52 pm

neb;dr ;-)

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Heather November 26, 2012 at 12:03 am

NEB=not enough bikini. There will be bikini pictures soon enough. DR=didn’t read. You better have read!

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Macie May 22, 2013 at 10:10 am

I’m 25 and still haven’t conformed to the nine-five thing…there’s something in me that is fighting it with all my being. However, I also have yet to pursue my dream of teaching/living abroad. I continue to put teaching abroad on hold for fear that it is not ‘responsible’ of me to run away and teach…to live a bit like a gypsy, drifting from country to country and town to town. But it’s reassuring to read blogs like your own. It’s nice to know that there are other people who have been faced with similar dilemmas. Give in to societal norms of the nine-five grind or leave it behind to chase their dreams? I know which way my heart is leading me but now I’ve only got to convince my mind to follow. Thanks for sharing your story.

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Heather May 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Hey Macie,

I struggled with this same idea for a few years before finally deciding to accept a teaching position abroad. My friends all thought I was insane. “Why would you want to move to China? What about your job here?” My mom tried relentlessly to convince me that “no one just quits their job and moves to a foreign country”. My mom doesn’t realize that countless travel bloggers are doing the same thing I’m doing. It’s non-conventional for older generations, but it’s becoming more and more the norm for our generation.

I must admit: it’s really difficult to take that first step, but I highly recommend that you take it. When I tried reasoning with my family and friends (and even my own mind), I always told them (and myself) that the worst that can happen is that I hate it. In which case, I’m not obligated to stay. I honestly haven’t loved living in China, but I also haven’t disliked it enough to leave. If I hated it, I’d buy a plane ticket and check out one of the other amazing countries within a short flight of China.

People told me it was irresponsible and that I was running from something. The truth is, I was running to something! Don’t let other people discourage you from chasing your dreams. The whole nine-to-five thing will be there for the rest of your life, but traveling gets more difficult with age. (Ask a lot of older folks, they’ll tell they wish that they traveled more when they were younger.)

Best of luck in whichever path you choose!
Heather

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