So remember that if you are thinking of moving or making a big life change, I want to gently remind you, it doesn't always mean that what you think you want to change. Like if there's something internal that's going on, it doesn't always mean that you can change that circumstance
Hello, radical massage therapists. Welcome to another episode of the radical RMT podcast. I am Krista dicks. I am a registered massage therapist in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. And I'm the host of the podcast. I am also a massage therapist in Ottawa. I said that, so, welcome to this episode, I'm really excited to bring this episode to you. And there really is no amount of preparation I could do for this episode. And I really wanted to speak off the cuff as much as I could. But there are some tangibles as well that I feel are really important for you to take away. I also don't want to get too personal because there is another person involved in this story. And I do not want to, you know, alert them to anything that they might be uncomfortable with. But I think that the information in this episode is really, really, really helpful. What is this episode all about? Anyway, Krista, working abroad. So if you are a massage therapist, and perhaps you got into massage therapy, because of the freedom and flexibility of your schedule, and you can work anywhere in the world, and maybe you have dreams of working in a different country than where you are now then this is the episode that I want to share with you to give you some ideas as to how you can start taking action to work abroad. And let me be clear that working abroad, although I did say another country, this does not have to be a big, big, big change. If you lived in the same town your entire life, and you're about to embark on your new massage career, or maybe you've been working in the one location for a while and the energy just needs to shift and even just moving to a different city can really make a big difference. Not only that, let's go even smaller, even moving to a different clinic space, where you're seeing new patients with new colleagues around you, I have spoken about this before that in my on my Instagram, that it is really important to surround yourself with a positive environment in order for you to have a happy mentally well existence, right. So let's get in to this episode about working abroad. And this is going to be part one. And I want to share with you the story of how it all started. And the micro steps that we took in order to begin that process of living and working abroad. Now massage therapy is super flexible and wonderful. So this is an advantage. To to my story, obviously you're a massage therapist as well, if you're listening to this, then it can you know you too can work anywhere that you want. And I really hope that you take some of this information and and you if you are somebody who's looking to make a change in your scenery, then I am also available to guide you through that process. If you ever need any help I get really excited when I hear massage therapists or other other people who cares, the their massage therapist and I are really excited when you hear other people making changes that scare other people. And this is very common in our society, that if you start to go against the norm, and then people start to question your actions and they are worried for you. And they just can't imagine it for themselves. So they put a lot of negativity, and what if scenarios on you. And I want you to know that I was there and they are normal. And those people still love you and care about you, which is why they're being so hard on you about these questions, but it's also a self reflection. It is they are projecting onto you that they can't see themselves moving abroad or doing such a big change like you're doing which even like moving to a new city might be a big change for some people. So do not worry about those people. I am one of those persons out there who would love to hear your story. We'd love to hear what you're thinking, planning, even if it never happens. If you're excited right now about potential change, I want to hear from you, I want to hear about it, I get so excited for you. Because it's very, not common, honestly rare, but it's not common that people actually take action on these types of dreams. So let's get into it. I have notes, I have books. got it got it all. So the first thing, how did it all start? So it was about 2013. And I'm live in Ottawa, Canada, it was April 2013. And my partner at the time was working in a nine to five. And at that point of his, his career, he was feeling a little bit, like numb to the job. And he was having a really, really rough, rough time. And he just was not enjoying life. You know, on the personal side, our relationship was not, we're not in a good place, either. But he was just in a really down state. And I was a supportive partner, though. I don't, I don't want to see this individual upset. I want to help them succeed in life. And so my question to that individual was that my partner was, okay, so, like, things are really down. What's one thing that needs to change in order for you to just feel a little bit better, right? And it might not be very simple. And it might not always work the same way for you, you know, but what is one thing that can change like that, that can make this better. And he responded that he just wanted to be somewhere warm. Now, I could understand that, because it was April in Ottawa, but it had just snowed. So when he was already in a down downward, like mental state, and just like, just really, you know, not in a good place with work.
Then it snows in April, just when you think spring is about to come. I completely understood where he was coming from. I am a warm weather person as well. I love summer. I love I love, you know, just, I love that. I love the warmer weather compared to winter. And so I understood and I said, Okay, I will you know what, I'll work on it, you'll work on it. We'll have we'll have a little, little jam session, a little, a little research session. Okay, well, we'll book something together. And we'll, we'll work on this together. So that was that was how, you know, that was just kind of like, the how things got rolling, right? I had a partner who needed to change and I felt like, together, we were going to come up with a solution. And as a massage therapist, I was very fortunate because I have flexibility to, you know, change locations, or he says somewhere warm well, okay, like, I guess I can find a place to work that somewhere warm side story is that in February of 2013, I was at a networking event with my friend Bianca. And, you know, it's just something that I do in the in the city. And then we went for, I think, some dessert afterwards or a coffee and it was February in Ottawa. And if you've lived anywhere in Canada, and it's very cold, and just just kind of miserable in February, you're done with it, but it's not done with you. And we're sitting there having coffee and just conversation and I don't exactly know what happened. But uh, you know, if we're just looking out the window at the at the weather and not wanting to go back outside. You know, I probably I know. I said, I know I said this to her. I don't know how it all started. But I said, like, why don't we just move somewhere warm and sell coconuts on the beach. You know, this is February 2013, when my partner in April 2013, had said that he wants to move somewhere where I'm with and I'm in February, my my friend and I we just kind of laughed it off. We were like, Oh yeah, like, wouldn't that be great. And then she paused. And she was Hold on a minute. She scrolled through her Facebook, and she had a contact on one of her Facebook friends lives in the Caribbean, and was looking to hire she's a health care provider and lives in the Caribbean was looking to hire a massage therapist, a registered massage therapist, specifically to work with in her office. And she showed this to me, you know, based on our conversation and she, you know, like thank God that she did. But you know it at the time, to be honest. I looked at the ad that was on I was on Facebook, but she was showing me while we were still in the a coffee shop. And I kinda just want power like, Wouldn't that be awesome? Like, I mean, I'm saying it that like, I want to move somewhere and sell coconuts, but like God, like the person that gets that job is going to be so lucky, like how, how lucky is that person could for them, and I left it right, I didn't even look up that person or the ad after that conversation. Fast forward to April 2013, when my partner says that he wants to move somewhere warm, and it will, you know, hopefully make a big difference. You know, and probably another side story is that remember that moving locations, changing jobs or even changing partners. Having a big, you know, life change doesn't always mean that you change and that your circumstances change. So a lot of people travel, and think that they're like, they're gonna find what they want, or they need or what they're searching for out there. And then they come back home, and they might feel reset for a little bit, but then things just kind of go back to the way that they are. As a couple, right? Maybe you think that you're going to change, change location move to this beautiful paradise. But that does not mean that the relationship will get any better. If it was already not in a good place, there are a lot of elements that need to come together, in order for the relationship to improve physical location is a big thing. I can speak from experience after now living in a warmer climate, that it can make a big difference on your mood 100%. And on your outlook of the day, I never thought that it could make that big of a difference. But I for me personally it does. So remember that, if you are thinking of moving or making a big life change, I want to gently remind you, it doesn't always mean that what you think you want to change, like, if there's something internal that's going on, it doesn't always mean that you can change that circumstance. Okay. I did have a couple of notes about that. Yeah, like relationships don't change, it can help to set the tone for a new beginning. And I also want to stress that even in paradise, you know, where people are living and, and working and you can get to the beach, six steps away, and you can see the ocean from any window on the island. You still have bad days, okay? You don't, you don't always have super awesome days, people who live there, including myself, you're still gonna have a bad day, you're still gonna have fights, you're still gonna have good cries, you're still gonna feel frustrated, you're not going to know like how circumstances where you're not going to know what to do next. So also don't think that moving somewhere is gonna make life like peach King.
So back to how it all started. Now we know and we were going to book our, our little research session, these are some of my favourite things to do. So we were we got very good at this as a couple I really like whiteboarding. I really like kind of just blank canvas, seeing a situation and just writing down all of the scenarios that it can how it can play out. So what we did was in general, like we took a whiteboard maybe was a Saturday morning, we took a whiteboard and we wrote down all of the ideas that we could think that would move us to a warmer climate. So where could we move some of the locations that we like could could locate to knowing that we'd have to probably get work permits and everything and also knowing like would we be working or would we have to find like find work or would we be volunteering etc. So we threw everything at this whiteboard and the whiteboard was key to getting out of Ottawa and onto the island as well because you know it made played a major role in just getting things checked off the boxes as we moved along. So we put everything on the board, everything that we would you know, kind of ideas like even like we put like Greenpeace on there, we put one thing on there which is volunteering to farm in in different countries. And I through the you know the potential of of working with this healthcare professional. I looked at other have, you know resorts around the world as well cruise ships. So he was willing to leave his, like his government job, and nine to five. So that was a big thing as well. So he was willing to do the research to see what he needed to do in order to leave that job. Or, you know, you also have opt opportunities, maybe even in any corporate job, you know, you can leave for a year with an out pay and come back to your job a year later, if you decided that, you know, living in the Caribbean wasn't right for you. So this was really fun, you threw all the ideas, and then we then you start to research them. So we threw everything on the board first. And then we went through everything on the list and kind of looked at the scenarios and made, you know, made the context. Well, Greenpeace, you know, right off the top, we did the research, you have to be, I think a US citizen, right? Well, okay, that's a no big, you know, big X on that one. So now you're going to start to narrow down your options, but maybe you already have an idea of where you want to go, or you have a job setup or a contact. So that's a huge advantage. I had like this, you know, I had reached out to this particular health care provider to see if they were still hiring, because I had learned about the job in February and it was now April. So she easily could have really, you know, already found somebody for that, for that role. After the research, you know, it doesn't have to be a whiteboard, right, you can use post it notes, you can just use a blank sheet of paper, you can make a note in your phone, it's basically just get it just Brain Dump it just get it all out there and not in your head anymore. So after after that, you know, you feel start to feel you're taking a little bit of action. Maybe even after that point, we had decided, You know what life is pretty good here in Ottawa, these are the changes that we need to make in Ottawa in order to feel better about where where we are right now. But we, you know, we kept doing the research to, to, you know, to move forward. So, we did find out that the healthcare provider was still looking for a massage therapist to hire. So we decided to focus on that opportunity. You know, going back to volunteer opportunities, they usually provide room and board, but I at the time has some debt. So I did need to earn some money in order to to move and not be not be, you know, have like, have that debt hanging over my head to be able to pay on it, you don't pay on the debt. So that was a no volunteer was a no, I needed to be earning some income. And I could do almost anything, I was willing to work on anything. But the fact that I could do a massage, work as a massage therapist in another country was going to be a really big opportunity for me.
So the next step after your research, is that you want to do an activity that Tim Ferriss calls fear setting. So if you're starting to narrow in on what it is that you want to do, you're gonna have some doubts, things are gonna get a little bit scary, because your body, your body and your brain are gonna go, what we're moving, what's happening, even though you haven't, haven't done anything, really, you're just doing the research process, but your body, and your mind might start to freak out a little bit, and you might be getting excited. And now you might be sharing your ideas with some of your friends and family. And they're gonna have some doubts and concerns because they again, they love you, they don't want you to move away, they don't see themselves in your shoes. So they want to protect you, right? So they might not encourage these new ideas and excitement. So if you are really feeling stuck, and you've made a decision on what's going to happen, so let's say for for us, it was pretty much a done deal pending, you know, work permit, there was a lot of things that still had to happen that we were going to move to this particular location and work, I was going to be a massage therapist, and my partner had discovered that he could take the year off from his job. And after the year, he could decide whether he wanted to go back and he could still have his position. Or he could, he could he could leave. Okay. And so we started to narrow in on this one, this one opportunity. And you need more. You're excited about where you're going, but it's very hard to untie from where you are. So what you want to do is an exercise that Tim Ferriss calls it It's fear setting. And it's in his book, The Four Hour Workweek. And I think he also has a TED talk that I will get my beautiful, warm coffee of, not only in, in the four hour workweek. So he also has a TED talk about it, I think. So we'll put that in a link as well. That basically you want to give yourself the gist of it is you want to give yourself the worst case scenario. So once we decided that this is the, the option that we wanted to go with, there's a lot of what ifs, it can be a little bit scary. Okay, so what if we move there? And it doesn't work out? Is your biggest thing. Like, what if we move there and we don't make any money? What if we move there and everything we have gets stolen? And what if we move there and there's a hurricane? What if we move there? And, you know, we yeah, we just we run out of money. Like, you know, there's just not a not enough for us to keep living there. Though you think of the worst case scenarios, and it's okay, at this point, like, go go dark? And then think about okay, so how would how would you get out of it? And it's usually not that complicated. For us the basics were, what if it doesn't work out? Okay, well, I did not burn or I won't burn any bridges here in Ottawa. And I will be able to come right back to the job that I have, maybe won't be with the same clinic, but I'm gonna come back and not to Ottawa and be a massage therapist, I can come back anywhere Ontario and be a massage therapist. Okay, no problem. So that was a comfort. What if we spent all of our money just trying to make it work in the Caribbean? We came back, we have nowhere to live, we have no money. You know, worst case scenario, what if, like, you know, so like I said, like a hurricane, you have to leave the island, you lose all of your possessions, your work, you know, everything's destroyed, you come back, you have to start over? Well, for us, the worst case scenario was living with our parents. And so if we could come back and tolerate living with our parents, because we'd lost everything, and we needed to rebuild, is that something that we can do? 100%, we are very fortunate that both of us have, both of our parents are still alive. And together, they are both, they both have space at that time for us to live and to rebuild our lives. And we would work hard to make sure that we rebuilt our lives as fast as we could, so that we would not be a burden to them, we'd be back up on our feet. And I believed that we were both we're both people that would would hold ourselves to that accountability. And we would we would make it no matter what even if we had to come back and start over with nothing with the clothes on our back. I knew we could do it. So when you're looking at the worst case scenario, like I said, go dark. And then think about okay, so then what, what do you have to do? And it's usually not as bad as you think it's going to be, okay. So research, and then do your fear setting. And then finally, I suggest that you at minimum, speak to several people who already live and work there, particularly in your field, if you can, or other Canadians or other expats. Let's say it doesn't have to be Canadian, other expats. Maybe from your country, it would help if they were from your country to talk about how they did it, what their life looks like now? And do they have any regrets? Would they do anything differently? Like what does their day to day look like? In their, in this new location? What was different from moving to where they were to where they are now? Bare minimum and speak to people who live there, and it's very easy to track down people these days. And usually, there's like a sixth degree of separation of like, look at me, like when my friend Bianca, right?
So you could probably find somebody that you know, knows a friend, as a friend as a friend who's like living where you want to move to right now. So do that research and see. Also, for me, personally, I thought it was important and I think this is an important step actually, no matter where you're going to work, forget living abroad, working abroad, if you're even moving to a new clinic, in the same city. Talk to other massage therapists who have worked at that clinic are working at that clinic but especially the ones if you can track down some that used to work there and they are not working there anymore. find out the reason why. So I was able to track down.
One massage therapist who had worked with this individual before because this healthcare provider is Canadian was Canadian. And so they had worked them with them before. So I was able to have a discussion with them about what this individual was like, and how how that relationship would look. And I also had somebody, a friend of mine, who was also connected to that individual in the same profession. So it really helped everything come together gave me some perspective as to what who I was going to be working with. And that may, you know, may give you some more confidence, or lack of confidence, depending on on the feedback that you get, but only you know, yourself, if you're going to be able to manage this situation. And remember, it's only their opinion. But if you're starting to get the same opinion from different people, like chances are this is this is the, this is the way that person presents themselves. It's not one bad scenario where this person, wronged somebody, and they they don't, they're taking it very personally. So that that was a sidestep, but you very least want to talk to somebody in this country where you're going to be where you're going to be living or this location, the city, get the feel for it, right, you want to live your life, you know, to the best of your ability. And for me, I just decided to look at replacing some of the activities that I did here in Ottawa, what I was living at the time to, to the new location. So I go to the gym, I was doing, like some pool fitness at the time. I like to network, I love small community, I go to church. And so all of these things, I wanted to make sure that maybe that those types of activities, were still there, and then what else was there. Because you don't want to just move to a place, especially if you know that you're like a party person, and you need to like have a nightlife in order to survive, you got to really make sure that the place where you're going to like has a nightlife. And if you're somebody who likes to read books on a Saturday night, no shame there. But you definitely don't want to move to a place that's like a party, a party city all the time, either. So you know, you got to do your research, each of the people that are living there, what I would highly recommend, though, is to actually go visit, if you have an opportunity to go visit before he moved there, then then go and check out the location. And we did this, this was really helpful. And it got us even more excited about the opportunity. So but it was a vacation, but it was also like a hit the ground running. And we did all the research that we could on where we could live, right, there's lots of options, but looking at what types of places parts of the like, of the island that we could live on meeting different people, like I said, connecting to some of these activities that I already did, to see what they were like, where they were located, what their rates were all of that stuff. So we were we were really busy during that trip. And it's really fun. So part of the push to record this episode, because some of the memories are coming up on Facebook from that exact trip. And you know, when you're staying at the hotel, you're gonna have people ask, Well, how did you come here, like this kind of place, it's just not, it's not on everybody's radar. Like, you know what brought you here and you know, we'd kind of be shy about it at first that we were looking to move there. Um, but then eventually we started opening up to people and their response was so positive and so heartwarming that how could we not get more excited about the potential of moving moving there. So that was really great. We met some awesome people and that were, you know, both tourists and then people who lived there. So it also gave me an opportunity to to see the location or I might be working. It gave me an opportunity to meet the individual who I would be working with and see like the receptionist see what her client clients were like patients I should say sorry, and go and go from there. So how easy was it to get around right transportation might be a huge thing and it can be a huge problem. If you are living on on one side and you need to get to the other and there is no public bus service all that like what not What are you going to do? So basically, that's, that's the gist of me, coming at you for part one of if you're thinking of moving abroad as, especially as a massage therapist, just in general, if you're listening to this, you're not a massage therapist, you're like, What do I need to do to move abroad, this is part one, these are just like the little, the little baby steps, but they make things huge, like they take they mean, bigger, bigger than that baby steps. Because most people don't really get past like the dream, you know, the idea. So me just in a coffee shop going live on, they just sell coconuts on a beach, right? Most people don't get past that point. And next February, they'll say the same, the same thing, right. And I was probably guilty of that as well. But, you know, I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to live and work abroad. So recapping, I told you how it started. And then remember that moving does not mean that your life is going to drastically change for the better, right? If you're running away from something doesn't always work, that you're gonna, you're gonna leave that problem behind that problem comes with you. If you work in on some personal stuff, you know that that's personal stuff comes with you, you know, negative relationships, unhealthy relationships, if you're thinking that a change in scenery is going to improve, that doesn't doesn't mean anything. And then what you're going to do is you're going to research the location, or you think you're going to work like the country, or the city, or the clinic, um, you know, going big to small, it's all, it's all wonderful. You know, change is scary and awesome at the same time. And I would love to hear some of your stories. If you are currently thinking of big change. Or if you have made a big change, please reach out to me because I love these stories. You're going to research and you're going to do your fear setting exercise, what's the worst that can happen? And for the full details of it, you can check out the Tim Ferriss book, The Four Hour Workweek on his TED Talk, which I will link. But this basically just think of the worst scenario. Can you live with that? Like, what did money? What would happen? And can you deal with it? Yeah, probably you can, because we overcomplicate things so much when change is involved, and it can be scary. Lastly, I encourage you to speak to people who already live and work there, especially in your profession, if you can, and especially if they've moved from your your location, if it's comes down to a country and you can speak to an expat who lives there from your country. And if you can visit even better, because just do a little like research vacation, and see if it's for you. Even after all of that, please don't think it's a waste of time that you're like, you know what, this isn't for me, I think I'm okay where I am or you need to work on on a new location. Totally fair. But I encourage you to go through these steps to, you know, to really find out if, if this is something that you want to go with. And in closing, like, I while I was living and working abroad, I did receive some, you know, can't like some massage therapist contacted me from all over the world, they were obviously doing some research and the might have been having just a daydream moment and like how we're gonna work in paradise, when you know, sometimes my name would pop up as a massage therapist working on an island. And they would reach out to me as How did you do it? Well, here's some of the secret sauce part one of how I did it. But my common the common response to this because I would lay all this out in an email as well. And this would probably be very overwhelming for some people. I understand that now when I look back, but their response was, Wow, that sounds like a lot of work. And yeah, like making a big change going after your dream can be a lot of work, but I promise you it is so worth it. That one experience has impacted my life. So pick,
I'm gonna get a lot about it. But it really has and I hope that I can share more in different parts of this of this series. Hope you enjoyed this episode aside from me tearing up there at the end. I hope it was helpful. Thank you so much for listening. And if you have questions, please let me know. I'm happy I'm an open book about this stuff. Love it. And I really just want you to go after your own dreams no matter even if you think they're smaller. It's a big deal to often them because nobody nobody's going after their dreams anymore. and it's very sad. I think there's, there's a lot that we think is is going to happen and if we make a big change and it never does it always gonna, it's always going to turn out for the better. I promise. My story is quite complex and I promise you that everything came out, everything came out better than I could have imagined. Okay, so that is all for me. I hope you have an awesome day and I'll be back soon with another episode of the radical RMT podcast.