I’m a South Dakota girl who stayed close to home in Montana for college. I got a degree in Chemical Engineering but I learned a whole lot more about what I wanted out of life when I studied abroad for a summer in Salamanca, Spain. I didn’t want to come back to finish my senior year, but settled for hosting international students for a year while I finished my degree.
Then, after excruciating months of rejection emails, I secured a software consultant job that would let me travel and work at various sites! I took the summer off and went to visit the families of my foreign friends.
This took me on trips to Germany, Spain, and Egypt! It was amazing and it left me wanting more, so I canceled my flight back home and continued backpacking through Europe without a plan for another month and a half. Along with some other really great friends, I picked up a travel buddy, an Australian girl living in England. I got to see Greece, a big part of Italy, Hungary, and ended up in Croatia.
This radically changed my decision of where I wanted to move in the fall. While I had originally asked to go somewhere in Oregon, Washington, or Colorado (all very similar culturally to where I grew up), I took another look at the possibilities. While they told us international sites were restricted to brand new employees, I wondered if they considered Puerto Rico an exception (being that it’s a US territory). That skyrocketed to my top choice and since last September I’ve been living “abroad”.
Excusing some minor bumps in the road, such as; political unrest, tropical storms, reverse culture shock, flooding, water/power outages, earthquakes, and now a quarantine more strict than any US state - I’d still call it one of the best decisions of my life.
I’m still figuring out my next move, possibly to become a digital nomad, but for now I’m so happy here and I can’t wait to get back out and explore what the world has to offer.