I’m what you’d call a jetsetter. For the past three years, I’ve been based in Seattle with a musician boyfriend in Montreal. The reasons are complicated and frustrating, but from an outside perspective, it all looks very glamorous. Especially because, as a self-employed writer, I’m able to spend the bulk of my time with him, both in Montreal and touring the world (so far: Austria, Spain, Barbados, Hawaii, Toronto, Vancouver, at least a dozen cities across the U.S., and soon―New Zealand).
Suffice it to say that I’m no stranger to the phrase, “I want your life.” Because, just as social media tempts us to compare our lives to the news feed, the assumption is that if you’re a jetsetter, your days are filled with champagne in first class, productive workdays in exotic cafes, and layovers spent sipping free cocktails in airport lounges.
But nothing is Instagram-perfect, so most assumptions about this lifestyle are false. And truth be told, I never wanted to be a jetsetter. I’m a nester and a homebody who spent eight years building a business so I could work from home―not from all over the world. Then again, I also spent eight years in disastrous relationships, wondering when someone good would come along. Eventually I found him and felt I’d been offered an incredible gift, though the packaging wasn’t what I expected. But my choice was this or nothing―board the plane or disembark the relationship.
So I got on board. And I grew stronger and braver. Eventually, I replaced grousing with gratitude. I learned to appreciate the opportunity to see the world with someone I love. I learned to want the life I have. And I learned that it’s not about the packaging―it’s what’s inside and what you do with it that makes it a gift.
Nicole Christie is a writer and storyteller who splits her time between Seattle and Montreal. She is also the principal and creative director of NICO, Inc.―a one-woman firm specializing in fresh, honest, engaging employee and marketing communications for Fortune 500 corporations, leading-edge creative firms, and rapidly growing new technology companies. You can soak up her solopreneur wisdom at http://nicolechristie.com/.