Founding of Matd Travel Blog

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In early October 2013, I received the email that every college senior hopes for. It was an offer letter from my first choice company. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. The offer opened a whole new world. It wasn’t just an offer, it was an offer for an international mobile position. I was asked to expatriate in West Africa. Two roads stood before me: the well-worn safe route of taking a job in the US or the uncharted territory of being an expat. Sorry I could not travel both,

Picture of house
The log cabin in rural Tennessee where I grew up.

Two weeks. Two weeks to give them a decision. Two short weeks to choose. Two weeks to decide if I wanted to move to a country I had never heard of. Two weeks to research Equatorial Guinea. Two weeks to decide if wanted to work on an oil rig. Two weeks to decide if I was leaving my family, my friends and moving six thousand miles across the Atlantic. And be one traveler, long I stood.

This wasn’t my first experience making a life changing move. I had already made one when I choose to attend college in Florida; five hundred miles away from my hometown in Tennessee. This was taking leaving home to a whole new level. My parents’ home would no longer be an eight-hour drive or three-hour flight. It would become a 24-hour voyage across three continents.

Map of my flight to get home
The journey to get home.

And looked down one as far as I could. Was I willing to make the sacrifices? Was the opportunity enough to justify the move? Was I willing to live and work in Africa? A good friend asked me a question. In ten years, do you think you are going to regret not taking the job and making the move?

Picture of my college friends
The best group of college friends

And having perhaps the better claim. It was a resounding yes. I was a fresh college graduate in the perfect position. Because it was grassy and wanted wear; No husband or kids to worry about, no house to sell, no apartment lease to break, and no furniture to deal with. It is never going to be easier.

At the end of those two weeks, I accepted the offer. Oh, I kept the first for another day! I knew that if Africa didn’t work out. I could easily come back to the States and take a different road.

I have spent the last six months working in Africa and attend training in Europe and Asia. It has become clear that I selected the right road. Yet knowing how way leads on to way. Some of my friends ask me when I am coming back. To those who are close, it means to visit. To those who aren’t, it means permanently. I doubted if I should ever come back.

Me at Work

I shall be telling this with a sigh. So here I am sitting on an oil rig, just north of the equator and 12 miles (20 km) from mainland Africa writing the first post of my travel blog.  I hope to share with you my past, present, and future travels and adventures.   I took the one less traveled by. When I took the road away from Tennessee, I never imagined that it would lead to Africa. Yet here I am with no regrets and an amazing adventure has just begun.

And that has made all the difference.

22 thoughts on “Founding of Matd Travel Blog”

  1. Amazing. I did a bit of adventuring. Nothing at this scale. You have an amazing life!

    1. I plan on writing several posts about it. The only issue will be the lack of photos since most of the rigs are off limits for photos.

  2. It’s great to read your story! Moving to another continent is a big change, but I think if you have the chance, just go for it, and you did!

    1. It was a huge chance and something I have enjoyed. Taking a chance is worth the risk.

  3. Wonderful story! Life is constantly full of choices. It’s amazing how the choices we make while not always comfortable end up enriching our live so beautifully. Best of luck to you!

  4. Great post. I think you should take chances in life, because if things don’t work out.. Especially in cases like this, you can always go back home and find another job. You only regret the things you didn’t do..

  5. Best decision ever! I can’t imagine anything better than working abroad for a while. Sadly, I didn’t get the opportunity yet but I am working hard on becoming location independent and thus doing the same one time. Cheers! Anna

    1. Working abroad has been an amazing experiance. I think it should be something everyone should try.

  6. Congratulations on making the decision to embrace adventure and change. I’m sure you will have a fantastic time. Best of luck.

  7. WOW! That was a tough decision but in the end i guess you made the right choice. Africa is on my bucket list but to be honest I think I over think it all the time. Hats of to you for making such a bold move.

    1. Thanks, sometimes I wonder if I did. But then again when I am getting on a plane to fly to a new location, I remember why I took this path.

  8. I’ve always loved that poem–it’s so haunting, and I think that so many people overlook that aspect of it. If you look at the earlier stanzas, the narrator admits that both paths are equally worn, and it’s only later that he chooses to remember one of them as less traveled. This makes it SO much more interesting than the carpe diem meaning that the poem usually has attached to it! 🙂 But, in your case, having to make a decision between two equally good choices (a life in the U.S. or a life abroad) has ended with you doing something brave and wonderful. Best of luck on your new job, travels, and blog! (And sorry for going full college lit prof on you–I was one for several years!) 🙂

    1. Oh no, a lit prof! Yea, I know that when one actually looks at the poem the meaning is different than how it is usually interpreted. I still love the poem and the last stanza is my favorite part.

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