From Canada to Australia, Carolyne Huber and Project Y U DO
Name: Carolyne Huber
Business/Company name: Project Y U DO
Country/countries of origin: Canada
Expat country/countries: Australia
Current country: Australia
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Carolyne’s story in a nutshell:
I am a globe-trotter and have lived, travelled, and worked in North America, Europe, and now more recently in Australia, for the past 3 years. I embrace the opportunities to work abroad and strive to understand and embrace the local culture. In 2013, I started Project Y U DO Australia, where I search to determine why people decide to pack up their lives and move to Australia.
Biggest start up / expat challenge:
I believe that the biggest expat challenge is the creation of a professional and like-minded network.
When arriving in Australia, I did not know anyone. Taking the steps to connect with people who could help me progress and further develop my professional goals, took a lot of perseverance when I first arrived.
I relied a lot of the Internet to search for local business networking events as well as LinkedIn in order to reach out to people with whom I thought would be able to help me out. Although getting out there, introducing myself to complete strangers and explaining to them objectives at first took a lot of determination and courage; I now look back and am so thankful to have taking those crucial first steps. The whole process has thought me that it is important to give people the chance to be trusted however it is also of outmost importance to learn to trust my instinct.
Who are your cheerleaders?:
I came to Australia with my partner and therefore as a couple attempting to start a new life, we are each other’s cheerleaders. We personally see our ups and downs and so we try to keep each other motivated and positive.
My parents are also my cheerleaders. I can talk to them about my life in Australia and they are always there to listen. Although I am 14 hours ahead of them, I know that they are only a Skype call away!
What are your words of Wisdom?:
Always be curious.
Be aware and accept your own values, your own goals, and your own limitations.
Make the mental decision to ground yourself with this belief system.
Be open to change and be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Ask, research, ask again, and take action.
Life is too short not too.
Being a Canadian and having lived for almost half my life in North America, I must say that the biggest cultural difference, although said by many other expats, is the way in which the Aussies are laid back.
I’ve read about it, and people have told about the catch phrase “No worries mate” however this philosophy is quite literally felt through all realms of society.
I thought, as Australia is an industrialized country and a country that has a similar lifestyle to Canada, that it would be same, however it simply is not. Business transactions and decisions take time. You just have to go with the flow. And while I wait for things to happen, I pinch myself and open my eyes, look around and take the tram to beach!
The best way to face fears is to not call them fears but rather opportunities. The mind is a powerful tool and can be your best friend but also your worst enemy. I do not see myself as someone who fears things. I find it exciting to push the envelope and always try to reinvent myself. Everything is possible.
Where you find inspiration from:
Coming from Canada, I have always found inspiration and tranquility in the outdoors. At the moment, as I am living in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, I have the opportunity to live 10 minutes by tram from the beach.
When I need inspiration, when I need to clear my mind, regain focused, and write, I go to the beach. I have found a spot away from the tourists and the big crowds. When I arrive, I lie out my towel on the sand, sit, and watch the magic of the ocean unfold in front of my eyes. I listen to the crashing of waves and the interaction of the seagulls with the water and the wind. I let my mind wonder off and I let the inspiration flow into my soul; into my mind.
How you stay motivated:
Motivation is a powerful mental effort. Every morning when I wake up, I look at my visualization cards and remind myself that everything is possible. I force my mind into thinking this way. It takes a lot of practice and strength however I feel that it is the best way to move forward.
In addition, I try to exercise outside everyday for at least an hour. For that hour I focus only on pushing my body to its maximum. In doing so, I feel good and full of energy for the rest of the day.
Useful tools for expats in business:
Establish a social and professional network with the local community. I believe that as an expat, the power of the group is so important. It will permit you to develop your circle of confidants and the local community will also be able to point you in the right direction should you require the services of professionals such as lawyers, accountants, etc. And not to mention, people that you in professional networking events can also become your circle of friends. And trust me, finding that balance between the personal and the professional life is so important is succeeding as an expat in business.
Plans for the future:
At the moment, I am on a working holiday visa until the end of 2014. I will be focusing on continuing to interview participants for Project Y U DO while traveling in Australia. Once I reach 100 participants, I will be concentrating my time and effort into creating the electronic book and the next phase in the research project.
In parallel to Project Y U DO, I am focusing my energy into applying for jobs that would permit me to stay in Australia through the means of a sponsorship. I have come to love Australia and embrace the balance that people have been able to find between work and life. I can visualize my partner and I staying in Australia for the next 10 years or so…time will only tell…
As the motto of my research project states – Travel, Explore, Grow.
I would invite everyone to put this into practice in all aspects of their lives. You do not need to have traveled across the world and started over your life in order to embody this motto.
Simply open your mind to what could be and you will be surprised by what you will learn about yourself! As the Australian travel writer James Knight once told me “always be curious.” So go out there; travel explore, grow, and grow some more!
Travel, explore and grow