It’s a series about people like you and me, who decided to do something different.
They decided to change their life, or the lives of others around them.
They are inspiring.
They are making an impact right where they are.
They are passionate.
They are full of life.
And they are willing to share their stories.
I am excited to introduce you to today’s LifeChangers. Evan Forester and his wife Morgan recently moved to New Zealand. After living in the same town for 26 years, he decided it was time to try something different. Evan is passionate about living a full and satisfying life, and even more passionate about helping others live the same way. He blogs regularly at #livefully. You can also connect with him on Twitter.
Tammy: What was the breaking point for you? What made you say “enough of ordinary”?
Evan: My wife and I had discussed moving overseas since before we married. In the beginning, I thought it was just a pipe dream. One night, however, she spoke about it with such vivid hope that something dawned on me. “Maybe this isn’t a ridiculous idea, maybe God has laid this on our hearts for a reason.” We prayed about it every night for two years, and the more we prayed about it, they more we wanted to do it.
There were two major breaking points for us. First, I never wanted to just talk about dreams and then never go after them.
I believe if you have a dream, you need to go after it. (Tweet that!)
You might fail, but I think failure is much better than never trying. Secondly, we were tired of being so busy all the time. Both of us were working full time and in night school. We wanted to actually experience our newlywed years together, and we wanted to go on an adventure together. So we moved to the other side of the world!
Tammy: How has living differently changed you?
Evan: It taught us so much about trusting God. In the States I always said and believed, “we need to trust in God.” But trusting Him is much easier when you have everything you need. It was a whole new ball game when we got off a plane with no family, no car, no jobs, and no permanent home. We had no choice, the only thing we could do was trust Him, and it was amazing to watch Him provide.
Tammy: What would you say to someone who is scared to take a step outside of their comfort zone?
Evan: We came here to find adventure, and in the beginning it didn’t feel very adventurous. They have couches in New Zealand, just like America. The biggest threat to my life of adventure is my sofa. It is comfortable and convenient, and I found myself sitting on it too much here just like in the USA. But if you really want to live, you have to step outside your front door. Often, making the decision to get up and go is the hardest part. But from experience, I am always thrilled that I stepped out and did something out of the ordinary.
So whether going out of your comfort zone means speaking to a stranger or hiking through the mountains, I think you just have to go out and do it. It probably won’t go as planned, but don’t get upset. If everything went according to plan, then it wouldn’t be an adventure.
Tammy: Why did you move to New Zealand?
Evan: We spent a little bit of time here before we married. My wife studied abroad and I backpacked around with a friend. We loved the culture and the nature. The country’s beauty is stunning. What really makes it remarkable is how much diversity there is in such a small place. In just a few hours, I could be on the beach, in the mountains, swimming in natural hot springs, hiking on a glacier, walking through a rainforest, or snow skiing. We love it here.
Tammy: Were there moments when you wondered “what have we done?”
Evan: YES! The first big moment came before we left, when I sold my car. At that point, we knew it was a done deal. When we arrived, countless people here told us how difficult it would be to find jobs, and we even experienced a few (smaller) earthquakes. The most traumatic, however, was learning to drive on the left side of the road. I had no guide, someone just threw me a set of keys and said, “good luck!” We were terrified the entire way home, but somehow made it alive.
Tammy: What has been the biggest life lesson that you’ve learned throughout this process?
Evan: We have been amazed at the power of hospitality in our church. Two different families fed us and let us stay with them for a total of 6 weeks while we found our own home. Another family gave us their car for a few weeks until we bought one. Both of us learned about jobs from friends we made here. After leaving our families on the other side of the world, it was so encouraging to have people (who we had never met before) love us so well. It made a huge impact on us, and when we share the stories of what the church family did for us, they’re amazed as well.
I think we attempt to make things more complicated then they are. People want to feel like they belong, and when you love them well they’re going to appreciate it. It will probably even change their lives. It certainly changed ours, and we hope in the future we can show people the same type of kindness and hospitality.
Thank you, Evan. I am so inspired by your story. I can’t wait to see what adventures you have in store.
How are you living fully? What steps do you need to take today?