Hey y’all! I’m Julie. Welcome to A Life Exotic!
Sorry for the awkward head tilt.
I started this blog back in 2010 (under the name My Life as a Kiwi) as a way to stay in touch with friends and family back home while I spent five months living and studying in Christchurch, New Zealand.
After an incredible, life-changing semester in NZ, I returned home to New York. I graduated from college in May of 2011 and, less than two weeks later, moved down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where I’d spent every summer since 2009. For the next couple of years, this blog existed as There and Back Again (a supremely dorky reference to The Lord of the Rings – books that I love, that movies that were filmed in good ol’ NZed!). It followed my life as a recent college grad and the daily shenanigans of living in a tourist destination that was, in some ways, as foreign a culture to a native New Yorker as New Zealand was.
Pretty soon, I got itchy feet again. I don’t tend to stay put for long; in fact, this was the longest I’d lived in one place since I’d graduated from high school. I’d always had the goal of getting my master’s degree, so after applying to grad programs literally all over the world, I ended up packing my bags and moving to London in the fall of 2013.
My year in London was one of the best of my life, and the time when I feel like I really came into my own with this blog. My next adventure is in southern California, though I’m taking my time getting there and roadtripping through the American west on the way.
A Life Exotic is a phrase that reminds me to appreciate the unique and happy things about my life at any given moment. One of my favorite things is hearing other peoples’ stories – and often, I think, your story seems exotic to everyone but you. Far-off destinations always seem exotic before you get there, but as soon as you arrive they quickly become familiar. This blog helps me preserve the sense of wonder I had the first time I set eyes on New Zealand, London, and wherever’s next. Though my daily routines in those places seemed anything but glamorous, I now look back on those times as some of the most exotic of my life.
The reason I started this blog was to keep in touch with family and friends while I’m far away, and that’s still my primary goal. However, it’s also expanded to chronicle my love of travel, culture, and history, and to connect with people who love those things, too! Honestly, I just hope it’s a happy little piece of the internet to look back on someday and reminisce about the adventures I had… but while we’re still in the thick of it, come along for the ride!