Roadblock ahead

August 24 2021 - Living the expat life, Serious Business

Follow the Adventure is actually a great metaphor for life. When you follow an adventure you are in for surprises. For unexpected vistas that suddenly appear around a corner. Or a cute little village with great refreshments in a place where you had not expected it. Sometimes the route is longer and harder than expected, when going uphill endlessly. Sometimes you go downhill with the speed of light. Sometimes you suddenly find your road is blocked.

My past year fits quite well in this metaphor. The road to get to China was harder than expected, with some unexpected bumps in the shape of delays and quarantine. Then, upon arrival there suddenly was this unexpected but welcome job opportunity at CIT campus for me. I was not expecting it, I was not looking for it, but it was very welcome nonetheless. The road to get to where I am today was winding and long. Sometimes it felt like going steep uphill, like at the time I was working hard to get my coaching certificate. Sometimes I felt it was never getting me closer to the next milestone, at those times I could feel lost and overwhelmed. But lately I was going downhill with the speed of light. The next milestone was around the corner. All the signs were positive; I managed to get back into the country, my website almost ready to launch, my work visa application submitted and I signed up for a very motivating coaching and business development program that would give me a kick-start. I could almost see the milestone that would mark the start of my business. And then, out of nowhere, I find my road is blocked.
My work visa application is rejected.
System says NO.

I must honestly say that after all that I have done to get here, I feel more than just disappointment. I feel lost. I don’t know where to find the energy and courage to find a way around this block. I feel a strong urge to offload my backpack and just sit down and surrender. To just give up.
But then I think: this is not why we went on an adventure. We did not seek the adventure to experience a smooth ride. We did not make the choice to leave the comfortable and luxurious bubble of Dubai only to give in when there is push back. To sit down and wheep when the road seems blocked.

Both Hendrik and I are equipped with a strong will. At times a quite forceful (some might say abnoxious) mindset with at the core a strong sense of independence. A few years ago a former employer tried to push some levers to make me move somewhere against my will. My inner response was: no one tells me where to sh*t. And this is exactly the feeling that I have now. No one tells me what I can or cannot do. If my road is blocked because the system says no, I will have to find another road. A way around it. There are always other ways. Maybe it will not the easiest or fastest way. And maybe finding that way is hard, and at times almost impossible. But there always is another way.

So we will continue to follow our adventure. And I will find a way to follow mine. And maybe, just maybe, this new road I am seeking, brings me unexpected vistas and cute little places that I had otherwise missed. So I’ll pack up my backpack again, take a deep breath and onwards I go. One step at the time, not looking too far ahead. I can’t see the new road yet and looking ahead might discourage me. So small steps, one by one. To new opportunities.

Stay tuned y’all.

Some roadblocks on our way were creatively solved!