For most of her adult life, my archaeologist sister Nancy lived in Athens and Rome while I spent many of those years being secretly jealous of her. It wasn’t just because she was living her dreams in glamorous locales, however.
You see, Nancy is two years younger than me and seemed to know from early on that she wanted to uncover ancient mysteries. As I floundered from job to job, I dealt with a mystery closer to home.
How, I puzzled, could Nancy have such clarity when I couldn’t begin to figure out how I wanted to spend my life? Compared to her, my life seemed dull and was growing duller. Yes, I had loved teaching high school English, but only for the first three years. Once it became predictable, I became terrified that I was destined to repeat this same year over and over again like the folks in the movie Groundhog Day.
Meanwhile Nancy was going on archaeological digs, doing research in places like the British Museum’s private vaults, and making important discoveries. While she was connecting with folks from around the world, I was still living in the small Minnesota town where we grew up.
I left teaching and spent a year advising folks at the State Employment Service…even though I didn’t know how to find my own right livelihood. I thought I was doomed as doomed could be. And I was still jealous of my globetrotting, multi-lingual sibling.
Fast forward a few years and Nancy was asking me for career advice.
So how did things change so dramatically?
Well, it started when I read a newspaper article about two women in New York who had started their own business. From that moment, I knew I wanted to be self-employed.
Could I really work for myself? The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make it happen. My motivation grew even stronger when it occurred to me that I could create a business that paid me to travel as much as I wanted, to places I wanted to go.
I had started my career as a teacher…and an advisor with the employment service…so I knew that imparting knowledge was something I wanted to do. But until I discovered self-employment, I didn’t know how I could do it on my own terms…and become a roving gypsy at the same time. But I discovered that I can do just that…share the knowledge I want, with the people I want, wherever I want.
And I’ve made a career out of it…giving seminars…publishing books…and writing articles. I’m following my passion and my instinct and it’s working.
It was on a trip overseas that I met up with Nancy who had reached a crossroads in her own career and wanted my advice. I had become an expert in making changes. I was able to help her to sharpen her focus on what she wanted and create an actionable plan to reach her goals.
This is what Incomes Abroad is all about…helping you create a plan and an income so that you have the freedom to move overseas.
Right now, I’m in France and next I’m heading to London where I’ll spend a day teaching an English crowd about making a living without a job.
While I’ll be smiling, as I always do, when I think about needing my passport to get to my classroom, I will never forget that self-employment has been my real passport to creating the life of my dreams.
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