I’m going International!

It’s hard to believe that the first time I travelled internationally, I was moving away from home! I joined an Au-pair program when I was 24, and left South Africa to spend a year in the United States of America shortly after.




I told my family and friends I was going to live in America only three months before I left, and that was still not enough time, since they brought the waterworks to the airport the day I left – Indian style (almost everyone cried!). My nerves of steel got me through the airport security check before I shed a tear, I would only be seeing these characters after a year. I would miss the get-togethers, family functions, weddings and parties; but I had something to prove.


I was told that I could never make it, living on my own, since I was the youngest and never lived away from my family before. My sister spent a year as an au-pair in Amsterdam and it inspired me to follow in her footsteps.

So I left South Africa. I would spend a week in New York City before traveling to Chapel Hill, North Carolina – my home for the next year, or two years as it eventually was. My research on Chapel Hill and surrounding cities, things to do, places to see, festivals and shows and restaurants was done!




I was exhilarated! It was high that I did not want to come down from and I still feel it every time I travel. I was doing it, I was going out into the world, my luggage in hand and a smile on my face. I wanted everything to be in slow motion, with my playlist (I have a weird taste in music) in the background, and a slice of pizza in my hand. Yet, everything seem to happen at supersonic speed.

During my first year of living in Chapel Hill, I was in awe of almost everything – the locals and foreigners, the city, the universities (Chapel Hill is a college/university town), the food, and the lifestyle! I did not accomplish as much travel as I wanted to within the first year, it made me feel somewhat unfinished in my experience, so when the option came for me to stay another year, it was all to easy for me to seize the opportunity.



There was no home sickness, until it was actually time for me to go home. I made many good friends, friends who became my family and support system while living abroad. Friends who I will gladly open my doors for if ever they needed and whose doors I know stay open for me.

This experience for me was one of those once-in-a-lifetime/ life changing experiences. I willed myself to do things out of my comfort zone, and which I would have never done living at home, like going to the movies by myself, eating at a restaurant by myself, taking a vacation by myself and taking a train by myself, among other things. I have no qualms doing these things by myself now that I am back home.

Top of the Hill, Franklin Street – official website

There are much more tales to tell about my travels and experiences while living in the United States of America. I hope these stories will encourage and excite you as much as it inspired me.


Happy reading!


Hello Yeshi

0 thoughts on “I’m going International!

  1. I live about a half hour from NYC, there’s so much to do there ! How did you like it and Chapel Hill ? 3 months is definitely not enough time haha If you need any tips on where to go next time you’re in America I am happy to help !

    1. Kim, I visited NYC thrice and there’s still so much more I want to see! Chapel Hill was amazing – I thing the college culture there helped me fit in and make friends. I lived there for 2 years! I’ll definitely find you when I visit again!

  2. I’m Indian too. A lot people say that I can’t do stuff. It makes me even more determined to prove them wrong. Remember that you are your own person and only you can determine whether you succeed or not.

    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement. Being a girl, and the youngest definitely has it’s challenges, however, I’ve never let an opportunity pass me by!

  3. Gees! Sign me up. you wrote this from your heart it is so real and inspiring, I can so relate to everything you said. I will be following you

    1. Awh Lisa! There’s too much fake in the world to be anything but yourself and real! Thanks for the inspiring words <3

  4. This is amazing and inspiring. I moved away from home at 22 and went from Dubai to Edinburgh. It was the best choice I made. The world has alot to teach us and the experiences. I loved this post.

    1. I find myself often encouraging youngsters – especially girls, to take a gap year or experience some of the world before getting tied down to a job or family!

  5. I loved my trips to America, founds some awesome things to do and see. Chapel Hill sounds fab will deffo try and vision my next trip to USA. I love going out of my comfort zone and trying new things, what a wonderful experience.

  6. Very inspiring! You took the plunge and moved to another city with a new job and making new friends – great experience. An unforgettable experience! Live your life to the max!

  7. Wow I’m so touched with your story, I know how it feels. I went throught those tiny holes too, I’m glad that you have launched yourself and I’m sure your happy where you are right now. 🙂

    1. I think sharing my stories helps me connect with others that have experienced similar! Encouraging and empowering others!

  8. Very inspiring! Reminds me when I left my home town Jammu to work in a metro city Delhi. The difficulties to cope up with a lifestyle so fast and the joy of learning new things, making new friends who become your family. I was 23 at that time. The post is very encouraging! 🙂

  9. Aww, love North Carolina. Good on you to be brave and do something so different. How does it feel being back home? Find yourself craving BBQ or coleslaw?? 😉

    1. It was a complete reverse-culture shock! In South Africa, we have a braai, which is the same as a BBQ, just with more alcohol, music and fun! 😛

  10. I like the way you captured your personality traits through a single post! There’s a bit nostalgia, a bit of awe and a lot of determination! God bless you may achieve more than you set out for!

    1. Thank you for inspiring words Ambuj. I’m trying my best to write from the heart and the words just seems to flow.

  11. Living away from home is the best experience!! Sounds like you really embraced it. Not heard of chapel hill before so going to go have a look on google. Looking forward to reading more if your time in the states.

    1. It’s a college-town in North Carolina, very upbeat and lively! Always some party to attend. It’s home to the University of North Carolina and close by is Duke University.

  12. Love this post! I have always loved the quote that ‘life begins at the end of your comfort zone’ which is so very true – you learn so much about yourself and experience so much more when you put yourself in new situations 🙂

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