Good morning! Or maybe good evening? Perhaps you’re even on your lunch break or waking up at 3 a.m. to pee and eat one or two or, OK, maybe seven Oreos like I do. As for me, I’m currently sitting at my desk waiting for Happy Hour to start. Wherever you are in the world, welcome to Joey Jetsets!
I’m Joey – or J.C. for short – and this is the story of how I dropped everything in my American life to take a chance at living and working abroad in Melbourne, Australia. I realise how insane this sounds, and trust me – it is insane. Sometimes I still wake up, look in my bathroom mirror and shout to myself “J.C., what are you doing with your life? Go back to the States! This is insane and your life is unstable!” I had it all before I left my hometown of Middletown, New Jersey – a middle-class town full of nosy neighbours and juicy gossip right next to the Jersey Shore, just a short train ride away from the incredible metropolis that is New York City.
I had recently graduated Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s degree, scored a huge promotion at work, was in a long-term relationship with somebody that genuinely loved me, and lived with my beautiful, Italian-American family who were in every definition of the word my “world”. What would possess me to give all of that up?
The answer is simple: I was unhappy. I had a promotion coming that would have set me up for a lucrative career in human resource management, but would also come with a lifetime of headaches. I was in a long-term relationship with somebody that everybody loved but me. (If you’re reading this – this is my ‘Back to December’. Hanging you out to dry still keeps me up at night. You didn’t deserve that – but that is a story for another day.) I was constantly taking care of my tight-knit family, only I was the glue holding my family together and they held me up to an impossibly high Gorilla Glue standard when I was only capable of being an Elmer’s glue stick. I knew that I needed to make some changes in my life and I learned throughout my 20s that when The Universe presents a window of opportunity to you, you leap out of it, you slam it shut and you don’t ever look back through it, even if your beautiful six-year old sister is crying on the other side of it.
When a temporary job in Melbourne presented itself to me, I knew that I had to accept the offer and board that long flight to the land Down Under. Something was always drawing me to Australia ever since I was a bookish little boy fascinated by marsupials. Two decades later, I finally needed to find out why.
Starting a blog has easily been the most nerve-wracking goal I have set for myself yet. I am more nervous to start this project than I was boarding my initial flight to Melbourne. Why? Because in order for this project to be successful I have to be vulnerable. I have never been good at letting myself be vulnerable to other people because I always thought that being vulnerable meant allowing myself to be hurt. I’ve discovered lately that my thoughts couldn’t be any further from the reality of it. Being vulnerable is the only way I will ever be able to tell my stories and that there is power and beauty to be found in vulnerability if you allow yourself to let go. Hurt will come regardless. Happiness comes only if you are open to it. Take it from me that this is certainly the case.
In the past two years, I have learned that life is all about taking risks. Life is a game and the only way you are going to win is if you take chances. Sometimes (heck, most of the time…) they aren’t going to work out – and that’s OK! You learn from the mistakes that you make and eventually the chances you take will pay off tenfold. Have I made mistakes? Sure have. Have I made bad decisions? Oh, definitely. Have I put my mental health and my wallet through the wringer? You bet! Do I regret any of it? Not a chance. Regretting my choices leading up to this point is the only chance I’m not willing to take.
I am hoping that at this point of this blog post you feel like you know me enough to trust this solid advice: take a breath, close your eyes – and jump. Book that plane ticket. Take that cross-country road trip. Quit that job that’s killing your soul 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Introduce yourself to that beautiful stranger on the subway you are currently undressing with your eyes in between reading this blog post. Roll the dice! You never know where they are going to land. Mine landed on Melbourne, Australia. I made my moves. It’s your turn. Are you ready to make yours?
Follow my blog and my social media accounts on the bottom of this page to read my stories of travel and love, to take my advice on social media, human resource management and the joys of dating in your 20s, and to see where I might currently be in this beautiful world that we live in, amongst other things.
Be mindful that this blog is still a baby, as are most of the social media pages attached to it, but I am looking forward to growing all of them with the support of all of you reading this.
Joey Jetsets x