It seems in this day and age most of the world has been explored. Trying to find a destination which isn’t crowded with tourists and cameras is an increasingly difficult job. Today’s interviewee however has found the perfect place to live where few people will bother him.
For most people the idea of a job for life would seem like perfect security. For Christian Bruttel life in the German education system as a teacher was enjoyable but he felt trapped, as if his life was already played out. When the opportunity to become a guide on the remote island of Svalbard came up he leapt at the chance to follow his dream.
Four years on he’s mastered everything from chasing off polar bears to building igloos and he has the photos and memories to prove it.
Christian joined us to discuss one of the most unique jobs in the world, why Svalbard is a place of such great beauty and how living in this unique location has changed his perspective on life.
You can check out Christians stunning photos and even purchase prints at his blog http://polarchris.blogspot.com/
What I learned from Christian’s interview:
One of the biggest and most emotional stages of preparing for an expat life is downsizing and leaving your current home. It’s a process fraught with emotion and the job of determining what passes the test of fitting in your suitcase or backpack for the travels ahead is daunting for most people.
Today we speak to personal organizer Donna Donaldson about the process of preparing for your big move abroad. Donna has years of experience on helping people to downsize and declutter their homes and gives us a few great pointers on how to go about it without it turning into arguments, the tricks she uses to determine what stays and why you should think twice about putting things into storage
What I learned from Donna’s interview:
Many of our interviewees have an ah-ha moment when the decision to travel becomes a reality. For Carmen Tseng it came while chopping mushrooms!
Her partner and her were discussing options for a holiday to Bali when the realization occurred to both of them that they could stay in a hotel there including breakfast each day for less than the cost of their suburban Perth apartment.
From there a plan was hatched. They had always loved travel and once they knew it cost them less than their old lifestyle they were in! They headed off from Australia in January of 2015 and have covered much of Asia before settling in their current location in Germany
Carmen joins us to discuss the moment she realized her new life was possible and how we all have skills that can be turned into a way of making money on the road.
What I learned from Carmen’s interview:
For most people just moving to a foreign country would be a big enough challenge. Starting a new business from scratch while raising 7 children (5 adopted locally with special needs) and supporting a wife who has moved mountains in terms of helping eradicate leprosy from large rural areas of China would be a huge ask but for Joshua Jagelman it’s just another day at the office.
The office for Joshua is not normal however. He and his home schooled family divide their time between Chiang Mai in Thailand where some of his children receive treatment, his original home in Sydney where he has investments built up over the last ten years from his Chinese base and their two homes in China where his wife Alex works hard to continue serving rural communities in the areas of heath and nutrition.
What I learned from Joshua’s interview:
Normally I come up with a list of the key learnings laid out step by step but too be honest I’m still coming to grips with the extent to which Joshua has built a life that I don’t think even he would have imagined 15 years ago. It would have been easy to have stayed teaching in Sydney and I guess he would still be there now if things hadn’t changed. Instead living an expat life has introduced him to a remarkable woman on an amazing crusade, raising 7 children and creating successful businesses that have allowed him to give his family a freedom of lifestyle that others can only envy.
Most people spend their lives avoiding heartache and difficulties. The idea of voluntarily raising children in need of special assistance is not something that many of us would consider doing. The idea of working to eliminate one of the most debilitating health scourges would certainly be a bridge too far. The world is a better place for people like Joshua and Alex and it was a privilege to meet with Joshua and share his story today. I hope you enjoyed it too.