Why I Am Living Abroad Next Year
By Laura Gallaher, PhD, LHEP™
- Experiencing new cultures will advance my own self-awareness and amplify the value I can bring to you
- My business will absolutely continue, in ways I’m so excited to share
- I’m not sure what will follow this year abroad, and even though I live in abundance, there is now a scarcity of my presence in Central Florida – so find a way to connect with me, and soon!
read time: 7-8 minutes
In this episode, I talk with Kayla, my executive assistant, my marketing coordinator, and a good friend about our decision to travel around the world in 2018. We talk about where we are going, why we are going, and what we think will follow as a result when things are uncertain, then anything is possible.
I am leaving Orlando. But I’m not going away.
Perhaps I have told you this already, or maybe this is the first you’re hearing about it. If I haven’t connected with you personally to tell you yet, please forgive me.
What I am doing and where I am going
I have joined a program called Remote Year that provides the infrastructure and support for working professionals who have the ability to work remotely to continue to work for whoever they work for already (in my case, me) – and do so while traveling around the world in a cohort of 50-60 people. So, this fabulous community (I’m quite certain the community will be fabulous) will experience the whole year together, traveling to various parts of the world (see my specific itinerary here), and continuing to work…remotely.
Huge thanks and shout out to Isabella Johnston of Pivot Business Consulting and Intern Pursuit for recommending this to me. When I told her about my interest in living abroad she told me about this program, and once I looked into it, I became really excited. And if you’re curious about it, consider reaching out to Mag Boron and Pangian as they help individuals find remote work opportunities.
Why this will be good for me
I have been here for over 13 years, and it has served me well. I have connected with some incredible people while I have been here, and I’m so grateful to all of them who have played a role in my life. You have all helped me grow in your own ways.
I don’t believe in a singular, ultimate truth, but rather a relative truth – what is true for me right now? So, the more I learn about other cultures, the more I can pick and choose the beliefs, habits, customs, etc. that I like, that resonate with me, that enable me to be effective – and help me be the person I am and the person that I choose to become, every day.
New cultures, new people and new situations constantly create more opportunities for me to grow my self-awareness. In the work of self-awareness, we often say that “nothing can go wrong” because whatever happens, I can choose to look inward and identify what reactions I am having, what stories I am telling myself, and then make conscious choices about how I experience the world, and subsequently, show up in the world.
I am excited to get into new spaces and expand my mind in a meaningful way, while feeling totally aligned with my core values of freedom and adventure.
Why this could be good for you
I have been told that in the work of self-awareness, I cannot take anybody further than I myself have gone. I have always been quite dedicated to my own journey of self-awareness, and this experience will only enable me to bring more value to you.
My goal in creating content is that you can see pieces of yourself in me and identify with elements of my journey. As I move and travel around the world, I will continue to learn so much more about myself, and I plan to share it all with you….more and more real time. Brene Brown is one of my personal heroes, and she talks about floodlighting – which can include sharing personal, vulnerable information that one has not fully processed through emotionally. I want to manage that line carefully. I believe there is an element to being raw that is very compelling on a self-awareness journey…and I want my emotions to be from a place of critical awareness – so that I am aware not only of the emotions themselves, but where they are coming from and why they are with me.
What does this mean for the business?
I will still have feet on the ground in the United States, including Central Florida and California, and we are (obviously) a team that is willing to travel :). And they are a fabulous team. I am so excited to have the talent that I do working with me.
Being remote means I will have less face-to-face work (but I will still have some – so reach out if you want it!) – and I will be creating even more content for you to consume on your own time and in your own way. The beauty of technology will allow me to stay connected in lots of ways, including my podcast, Expand Your Edge, my blog (including posts like these), my vlog (UPDATE: vlog can be found by following me on Facebook at and on Instagram: ) – with amazing shifts in background scenery as I go about the world!), webinars, and more.
UPDATE: We built an incredible membership platform this year called Insider Edge – you can apply to join here and be a part of our growing community.
I am in the process of re-branding and re-naming the company, so the move ties in nicely with the shift towards more content available over the interwebs and an enhanced focus on my favorite thing to do – help teams become more cohesive through becoming more aware, more aligned and more accountable.
Am I coming back?
My short answer to this is, “I don’t know.” I’ve never in my life been so excited for my present and my future as I am right now in this moment, and I have at least a dozen places in the world I’m going to experience now in brand new ways. When I finish the year, will I come back to Central Florida? I really don’t know where I will want to be. I may feel the desire to continue traveling, or I may feel the desire to live in one of the countries I visit, I may feel the desire to return to the States but live in a new city here, in our wonderful country. Or maybe, I’ll want to come back to Central Florida.
I love Orlando. I love my place in Thornton Park. I love the weather. Most importantly though, I love the people. I have connected with some truly incredible people. I am so grateful for the opportunities people have given me to impact their teams, their businesses, and their lives. I am very confident that if we want to stay connected we will. And speaking of that…
Do you want to connect?
One of the main services I will continue to offer as I travel is executive coaching – so even when I go, I will be available (and excited!) to continue coaching engagements where I deliver self-awareness value and impact on an individual level. If you’re curious about that, reach out to me, and we will connect.
Thank you to those of you who support my decision to travel, and thank you especially to those of you who will continue to support me while I’m traveling. I am excited, a little nervous (fear is fun sometimes), and so, so eager to see more of this world.
I really enjoy life on this planet, and I want to see it from all sides.
Also published on Medium.