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Giving Up the Dream for Another

Amanda in Cornwall. Amanda Belcourt

I daydreamed of working in swanky London. Now I live seaside with cows for company.

Boredom is probably my greatest fear and worst enemy. Anytime I find myself staring into the void, I begin to dream about travel. It really consumes me and always has; this need to see everything and do it all. This becomes frustrating when you have a million reasons to not actualize these fantasies: Your family, friends, relationships, jobs, bills and responsibilities. I had them all.

But one day, while I was sitting at my desk in Edmonton, Alberta, I finally decided to take the leap and move abroad.

I picked the UK since I only speak English, and the two-year youth mobility visa is fairly easy for Canadians to get. (Plus, who isn't a sucker for an accent? I'm coming for you Henry Cavill!) And as an events professional, I had visions of furthering my career in London, England. I imagined all the grand functions and parties taking place in the hub of culture and business, which was was what kept me going through the onerous application process.

The application wasn't the only thing to sort out. I was newly brokenhearted, had a car and the payments, and I didn’t really know anyone in London. Those obstacles were probably harder than the actual visa process. But it has been said, the dream is free and the hustle is sold separately.

I started applying for jobs over the Internet. A friend of mine that had lived in the UK mentioned that most people use recruiting agencies, which was the most helpful method for accessing job listings and securing interviews. However, in the end my resume was lost on the web somewhere, and the promising interactions I did have ended because I didn't have any prior experience in the UK. (Translation: We ain't gonna sponsor you, honey.)

But I couldn’t let the fact that I had no job, home or money stop me from getting on that plane to my dream come true.

I couldn’t let the fact that I had no job, home or money stop me from getting on that plane to my dream. 

I got my ticket and prayed for the best. Thankfully, I had a friend that had made the move to the UK six months prior. She was a chef and had already lived in two parts of England in her short time there. I appreciated all her wisdom during the application and as the days drew closer to my departure.

Ultimately, my last resort became my first option when she secured me a job and accommodation in Cornwall, England. I can’t say I had ever heard of the place, but I guess I was going to live there.

It’s now been a month since I moved from big city living to a cottage in a cow field by the ocean. I work at a boutique hotel in a small fishing village. The funniest part is that I quite like it. Days now consist of walking along the sea, stealing WiFi (and a pint) from the awesome local pubs, and even taking surfing lessons. (Yes, in England. . .and in October!)

Is it the fabulous London lifestyle I envisioned? Not at all, but it's a place I needed to visit that I didn’t even know existed. (Also, this poor girl couldn’t even afford to live in a shoebox in London so I’m grateful I’m in an affordable paradise.)

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Published in Work Abroad Blogs
Amanda Belcourt

Amanda Belcourt is a Canadian with big hair and big dreams of living abroad. Now situated in the UK, she plans on documenting her experience to hopefully inspire others to travel as well.

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