This is part eleven in my Expat Interview Series, where I interview interesting expats around the world. I’m hoping this series of posts will provide some insight into what it is like to live overseas, and might even encourage a few people to pack their bags and make the move!
Meet Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem, the faces behind the popular adventure travel blog Nomadasaurus. Be it kayaking through icebergs in Antarctica or riding a motorbike around Vietnam, this incredible duo always seem to find the most incredible adventures. Jarryd is a professional travel writer and full-time wanderer who has been on the road since 2007. After meeting Alesha (who is now his wife!) in a hostel bar in Vancouver in 2008, they have kept up a semi-nomadic existence and been travelling more or less ever since, searching for adventure and culture in off-the-beaten-path destinations around the world.
What made you move abroad in the first place?
I went on a family vacation to the US when I was 16, and instantly fell in love with making friends with people from different countries. For some reason I had met a lot of Canadian kids during that trip, and kept in touch with them over the years. When my family returned to Australia I made a promise to myself that I would go to Canada one day to check it out and catch up with everybody. When I was 20 I realised I could get a job at a ski resort there, so I booked a one-way ticket and left Australia.
How long have you been living abroad?
Since 2007, with about 2 years total spent in Australia during that time, and the longest time being in any one place was 10 months in Revelstoke, Canada.
What is the most difficult thing about living so far from home?
Losing contact with so many friends, and missing important events like weddings.
How did you make friends when you first arrived?
My first night abroad I stayed in a hostel. I had no idea what to do or how to meet anyone. Finally I thought, “f*** it”, and walked downstairs to the bar to buy a beer on my own. I was petrified. Within 2 minutes I had made friends with a group of backpackers who were doing the same thing. I realised how easy it was to meet people if you just put yourself out there, and I have never been shy since with just saying hello to people.
What do you love the most about being an expat?
I’m actually nomadic rather than being an expat, so the thing I love the most is experiencing different cultures and environments on a regular basis.
Has anything funny happened to you due to cultural differences?
Countless situations that I can’t even think of any particular one that stands out, as it has just become the norm. Backpacking for 4 months through China probably had the highest number of incidences though.
How do you cope when things are going badly?
Usually slow down with the travels and find somewhere to make a base for a week or two.
Do you think you travel a lot more now because you live overseas?
The road is my home!
What are your future plans? Travel plans?
If you could give one piece of advice about moving abroad, what would it be?
Don’t think too much about it. Just book a plane ticket and go.