Change of Plans

I was in my mid-twenties, living the bachelor life in Detroit, Michigan. I had my “dream job” in medical device sales and was living in an apartment with some of my best friends right above a bar.

I had everything I thought I ever wanted. But for some strange reason, I had a strong feeling of unfulfillment and wasn’t sure why.

I took to the internet, reading about people who used to feel the same way. Many of them dropped their whole lives in the United States and moved to a foreign country where they didn’t know anything, even the local language. This was fascinating to me because somehow they were able to adapt and completely submerse themselves in the culture.

I never traveled much, nonetheless lived in a foreign country. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that becoming an expat is exactly the crazy action I needed to do. It had to be done before I got too old, or it would be too late.

Flickr/Photo by Markus Spiske
Flickr/Photo by Markus Spiske

Why South America? I had taken some Spanish in highschool, the exchange rate was highly in my favor, and South American culture had always intrigued me. I read online that the easiest way for expats to make money was to teach English. I committed to taking an online TEFL certification course starting in June, and the first week of January I would book a one-way flight out there.

One day, my professor asked me what I was looking for in a foreign country. I told her that I wanted to be near the water in a huge exciting city, and it should have incredible food, especially seafood. She told me to forget about Buenos Aires and to go to Lima, Peru. Before then, I had never heard of Lima. I always pictured Peru filled with Incan temples and alpacas eating grass on an Andean mountain range. I took to the internet, and to my surprise Lima was exactly the place I was looking for. It was the perfect spot to start my traveling journey.

I booked a one-way flight, found a family to live with, and said my goodbyes to everyone I had ever known.

A few weeks before my flight was scheduled, a facebook post in a group called, Expat jobs in Peru caught my eye. They said they were looking for an experienced sales rep who was a native English speaker. Fitting both of those qualifications, I thought I might as well give it a shot.

I researched the company and their mission. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were a company who were trying to connect potential hotel guests to the local culture they were traveling to. After emailing him my resume, a phone interview was scheduled with Arrivedo’s Director of Sales, Miguel Aramburu.

When I spoke with Miguel, he asked me why I would leave my life in the United States and completely relocate to a different country. I told him that traveling to a new destination wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to completely submerse myself in the culture and try my best to obtain a life as if I were a local. He told me that was their mission at Arrivedo. Shortly after, I was offered the Sales Representative position. I immediately accepted, less than a week before stepping foot in Lima.

Lima, Peru/Paul Brucker
Lima, Peru/Paul Brucker

Maybe it was simply a lucky coincidence, or maybe it was destiny.

I think it is incredibly important for us all that we live life with a sense of adventure, a will to go out of your comfort zone, and a passion to see the world. Think about what you could learn, how you can grow, and the memories to be created which will be cherished forever.

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