Kim is an artist who has recently taken the leap into nomadic living, at the same time started her own business. In this article she talks about the importance of putting a positive spin on pretty much everything.
Here she is…
I’m slowly learning that somewhere in amongst a sh*tty situation there’s always a positive to be found under all the crap.
I am also coming to the conclusion that bigger f**k ups have better outcomes, you've just got a bit more crap to wade through.
Midway through 2016, my partner Jim and I received some bad news, (yep Jim and Kim #hilarious). After planning to buy a house in Perth and settle in Western Australia we were notified that our permanent visa application had been rejected. Living in Australia - no longer on the cards.
I spent the next 4 weeks in what I now refer to as “no-man’s land.” Lots of talking to immigration experts, lawyers and reviewing our paperwork - I hate admin, good job Jim led the way on this front. Don’t worry, I’m not a criminal and I won’t bore you with immigration blah, but yea, stressful time.
The big question was what the hell were we going to do now? I won’t go into details (this article is aimed to be motivational), but there were tears.
At this point there was no way a silver lining was in sight ~ screw you Australia!
I muddled my way through no-man’s land. Australia was no longer an option and we didn't fancy going back to our home country, England. The following phase was spent figuring out what to do. The possibility of turning my interests into a business and monetising my passions. Easy to say, but not easy to do, and once it was in my head, not easy to forget! These thoughts stuck with me and wouldn’t go away.
Battling the feelings of inadequacy and educating myself were two important factors at this time. I had decided to go for it. I was going to turn my creative urges and travel desires into a ball of a business and I was determined.
Changing my environment was critical. At this stage, moulding a learning environment conducive to thinking like an entrepreneur was where I tried to focus my attention. This was completely alien to me, the thought of having my own business, let alone starting one, was never on the agenda.
Thinking like a professional artist and thinking like a digital nomad also took a shift in mindset. You have to live it in your mind before you live it for real *yikes*! I didn't have a clue what to imagine at this point but as time went on, clarity followed.
Maybe I could design my own life? Could I decide what I wanted to do and where I wanted to live? Putting thought into these questions and intentionally thinking outside the box was something I had never considered before.
I had travelled a lot in the past - months backpacking, living abroad, working on cruise ships, but there was always an end date. Thoughts of nomadic living and entrepreneurship were way off my current lifestyle. However, it was exciting to think about it, when I let myself.
Pinpointing my strengths, recognising my desires and knowing what made me happy were also thoughts I considered. Small steps figuring out what the right direction was and asking myself questions were essential. It sounds easy to do but it wasn’t.
I was determined to take advantage of the visa set back, make travel a priority and adjust my mindset to make it happen.
Where is the Silver?
We got booted out of Australia.
OK that’s a bit dramatic. BUT the opportunity to make travel a priority whilst working on my art wasn’t anywhere near my thoughts before this disruption. Now I can’t see it any other way.
A lifestyle that, yes, I could have negotiated whilst living in Perth, left Australia on my own accord and got to work. In hindsight a big rejection from the Australian government was just what I needed to push myself to think outside the box.
As with all rejections licking our wounds is the first step, we then regain strength, take a new perspective and make something out of the situation.
Now, I have learn’t to see the positives that come out of negatives and always look for the silver lining.
Nearing the time I left Australia people asked me if I was disappointed, upset or mad at the decision about our visa application. I mentioned earlier the feeling of no-man’s land, and yes it was rubbish when we first found out but as with all defeats we picked ourselves up.
Once we had a plan and wheels were in motion I was so excited about the reality of travel and working full time as an artist that I forgot all about no-man’s land. I now realise that buying a house in Perth wasn’t for me and in hindsight I’m grateful for the visa rejection.
I love to travel, I love to create, and now this is my every day. I just need to grab every opportunity by the short and curlies and make it work.
I’m a short way into nomadic living, and it’s not a walk in the park by any means. Challenges are a plenty but so are the rewards!
Take a leaf out of a magpies book and look for the shiny stuff, silver linings occur with every disappointment we just need to adjust and look for them.
Slate Sunset series
Mixed Media Photography Art from Kim's most recent series inspired by her visit to Japan this past March.
Some of Kim's first works using her Mixed Media approach of acrylic on photograph.
Check out www.kimyoudan.com to see more of her pieces!
- Kim just booked flights to Malta for July - her 50th country! Do you have any tips on where Kim should go? Send her a message :)
- She is a huge rugby union fan, heading to New Zealand in June to watch the British and Irish Lions take on the All Blacks. She played the sport for over 10 years and also tried her hand at Australian Rules Footy when she lived in Perth for 3 years.
- She is also a daredevil and loves an adrenalin rush from time to time - bungee jumping, sky diving and cage diving with great white sharks have been ticked off her bucket list!
Check out Kim’s travel blog and photography at VagaBeyond.co and her artwork at kimyoudan.com
Instagram @kim.you.dan or @vagabeyond