Like most travel enthusiasts, I spent the better part of my 20’s agonizing over what I wanted to do (travel) versus what I should do (put my degrees to good use). I knew that deep down, I wanted to live nomadically — moving from country to country whenever I felt like it.
The first time I traveled internationally was at the age of 5; but my addiction for living abroad solidified during my first study abroad experience in college. Once I returned home, I knew that a life back home wasn’t something I wanted quite yet.
And so began my struggle to live abroad and travel as much as possible for as long as possible.
The struggle was real.
After graduation I got hired at a Fortune 100 company in Chicago with a paycheck that far exceeded my wildest dreams (any salary is an upgrade from living on a student’s budget, right?). Not too long after I began working in what I thought was my dream job, the urge to move abroad hit me.
But I was stuck.
I knew deep down that my adventures abroad were far from over, but I didn’t actually understand how I could continue traveling and living abroad.
If I quit, how could I justify postponing ‘real life’ for a few more months or years of seeing the world? I knew I couldn’t get hired as an expat (I had tried) so I was worried about how I could afford to pay my bills and still live comfortably abroad.
Even though I had this burning desire to be anywhere but Chicago, I knew that one day, after ‘seeing the world’ I’d eventually end up back in the US. It was home after all. But what would happen then? Would seeing the world hurt my career more than help it? Would I be able to get hired? Would recruiters really care that I was flexible and adaptable or would they only notice that I had a huge gap in my work history (or that there was no real work history at all!)?
Trial and Error Showed Me the Way.
Now in my 30’s, I have proven that a nomadic life of travel doesn’t have to prevent career advancement or vice versa. By strategically choosing opportunities abroad, I have over a decade of experience in one field and I am, year by year, advancing my career.
Longing to Travel is the place where I show you how to design a global life that allows for travel without sacrificing your potential for a fulfilling career in the future.
Don’t believe the naysayers when they tell you you can’t have both. You can. And I’m here to help you design your unique path towards professional growth and development through global experiences.
About the Author
Pouneh Eftekhari is an American expert on professional growth and development through global experiences. Over the past decade, Pouneh has designed a global life which includes travel to 29 countries, residency in 5 European countries and professional experience in 6 countries in North America, Europe and Asia. Learn more about the intersection of professional development and travel at www.longingtotravel.com. #globalcareer
Fun Facts About Pouneh
- I’m US-born to Iranian refugees.
- I got my first passport at the age of 5.
- I had visited 8 countries before the age of 18…and have since visited 21 more!
- I studied abroad as an undergraduate in France and Spain.
- I earned two master’s degrees from universities in Denmark and Spain.
- I’ve worked in Spain, Denmark, Turkey, Sweden & China.
- I’ve celebrated 7 birthdays overseas (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015).
- I’ve officially studied English, Spanish, Farsi, French, Danish, Turkish…and recently Swedish.
- I worked as a researcher for a European Union-funded project, while still a student!
- I taught English to adults in Turkey.
- I’ve attended professional development conferences in the USA, Italy, Belgium and Austria.
- I love eating (but not cooking)
- Travel is my drug of choice
- My two favorite things are admiring architecture and taking pictures of architecture
- So far in 2015, I’ve visited 12 countries and lived in 3!
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