Recently my husband and I moved to Ningbo, China. It is one of those adventures I thought I would skip. I do like travelling, but there was something about China that I just couldn’t understand; the pollution, the politics and the way they treat lives here. When Jairo asked me how I felt about him applying for a job at a University, I was not completely the enthusiastic, supportive spouse, every vein in my body screamed No, No, No, No. A few minutes all different thoughts went through my head. Then I finally gave my answer. My argumentation was based on the following:

The no in unkNOwn is powerful…

“I am going to write a book”, said every random writer once. “are you sure, you have no experience, how will you survive without a stable job?” if people like Eckhart Tolle, Shakespeare and Danielle Steel had listened to doubters, we would have missed out on some wonderful stuff. For a lot of people out there the unknown is a big no no. This feeling is quite understandable, while the unknown is scary as hell; you don’t know what you will find on the other side, and no one will ever be able to prepare you for it. Your scared mind will refuse to let you go to the unknown.

But not as powerful as good in GOODbye…

You want to quit your job? Good for you, but what’s next? How will you keep your car, your house, your safety net? Sometimes you need to give up your comfortable life to find happiness back. If I would say no to Jairo, would he miss out on a great opportunity to find happiness?  Maybe China deserves some more credit than I’m giving the country. I don’t know that much about the country to make such a drastic decision. My mind just made this image of China to be too crowded and too weird for me. But I decided to go for the Good in Goodbye. I said goodbye to fear. I didn’t feed my fears but gave attention to love. The love I feel for Jairo, and I feel for happiness. I didn’t feel happy in my current job, so maybe it was time for me as well to start fresh somewhere else.

‘Missed opportunities’ do not exist in my vocabulary!

In September Jairo had his interview. We both went to China to see if Ningbo was a place for us to live. Ningbo is a rich city and by my surprise, not that busy at all. Sometimes it would feel like my small town in the Netherlands. I felt good the moment we set the first steps in China. We went to musea, parks, salsa events and shopping centres. It was such an amazing experience that we both were in love with the country.

A week after we got back home, he got an email that he got the job, so even we both were scared, 28 November we stepped into the plane and went to Ningbo. I always wanted to do more with my event planning skills, and after 1 week of being here, I got a job at the same university. I would never have started looking for jobs as an event planner in the Netherlands, while I still had a job.

From now on I will never just settle for less. If I want to go for something, I have to go for it. It’s kind of funny I figured that out after travelling to the other side of the world, but it was necessary for me to understand what really makes me happy. I could have missed this amazing job, this adventure If I said no to Jairo.

My challenge for you

Every journey to self-made happiness is personal. But these challenges might be helpful to make some small steps.

So here the first challenge: