Hi. I’m Lauren.
There is one question that has always made me cringe:
“So, what do you do? Back home, I mean.”
Officially…I’m a marketing officer. But that’s what I do, not who I am. I graduated from Indiana University in 2003, and I’ve been a working, writing traveler ever since.
But you can’t tell people that. It confuses them.
So I usually say, “Well, at the moment I’m [insert current job here], but I’ve got a master’s in travel writing.”
After that, people usually assume I want to write for Lonely Planet (I don’t) and tell me how lucky I am to travel so much. Also they look at me suspiciously, like they don’t believe travel writing can be a real course of study (it is).
Here’s the thing, though: luck has very little to do with it. What they don’t know is that my post-university life has been a series of lateral movements, both professionally and geographically.
I’ve had more than 30 jobs in 6 countries, including:
- Carny in Australia
- Barista in Ireland
- Movie extra in Florida
- Drug trial participant recruiter in New Zealand
- Selling gym memberships in London
- Teaching English in South Korea
After I finished my master’s in 2008, I had a mini-panic attack. I had stood at the bottom of countless career ladders without ever getting past the first rung. Jack of all trades, master of none. That was me. I started doing frantic internet research, trying to decide where I wanted to live and what I wanted to be.
Then I thought, wait a minute.
Usually, the story goes like this: graduate college, get a job you don’t really like, slog away for years, have an epiphany and quit said job, embark on life-changing travels.
I went straight from graduate college to life-changing travels. Why backpedal now?
My life is exactly what I want it to be. I don’t need to keep up with you, Joneses.
So I kept doing what I was doing – applying for working holiday visas and spending a few months (years, whatever) in different locations around the world. A series of events brought me to Newcastle, Australia, where I’m using my experience in the communications industry to create an unconventional – and exciting – sort of life.
And you know what? You can do it, too.
That’s what Lateral Movements is about: having a life that’s defined by the way you live, not just your job title.
The Evolution of Lateral Movements
Lateral Movements originally started in 2008 as Blogabout Europe. While studying travel writing at London’s Kingston University, I got a summer internship with Busabout Europe. Many of the posts from the Traveling UK & Europe category are from that experience.
As a result of Blogabout, I met Jared, an irresistible Australian, in Bruges (as you do) and eventually moved to Australia. In 2010, we moved to South Korea to work for EPIK (English Program In Korea) as English teachers. At this point, the title ‘Blogabout Europe’ became redundant and was changed to ‘EPIK Journey’.
That name didn’t seem right, either – the scope was too narrow, and was outdated as of August 2012. Also, it was cheesy. So I bought the domain name ‘Lateral Movements’ and started my own self-hosted WordPress blog.
And here it is.
Currently, I’m in Newcastle, Australia, with my Aussie husband, setting up shop and maybe – just maybe – putting down some new roots.
And GUESS WHAT? You can follow me all over the web: