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Member Spotlight – Jennifer

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am from Mexico. I have “hit refresh” several times in my life by changing my career and moving, as of today, to three different countries. I also found love along the way. This is my story:

female travel

In my heart, I guess, I have always had “it”, you know, this constant wish to travel and live abroad. I remember when I turned 15 years old, I did not want a “Quinceañera”, the traditional party that many girls in Mexico want when they reach this age. Instead, I wanted to go to a summer camp in Boston (unfortunately, did not happen, too expensive!).

I also think my parents encouraged this wish in my childhood. My father used to take me to the public library to discover new worlds by reading. Because of this, I consider reading as the first stage of traveling.  My parents also decided to quit their jobs and moved to another city so my father could follow his dream of studying his PHD, in spite of having a family of 9 (yes, we are 4 brothers and 3 sisters!).

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Mexico 2017. My parents, siblings, husband and me on my wedding day. Photo credit: Viva Photography

Being a good student, I was able to get a partial scholarship and a loan to study in one of the best universities in Mexico. I chose accounting. I graduated with honors and I found job shortly after it. I was living in Monterrey and I was content at that time.

When I received a Christmas bonus at work, I decided to spend it all on a trip to New York City instead of investing it on the down payment for the car I needed. I was criticized by one of my colleagues but I didn’t listen to him. I went to NYC with my best friend for New Year’s Eve. It opened my mind to discover this incredible city and its multiculturalism.  It was pretty different from my hometown. I was overjoyed and wanted to stay there, but I had to return home.

female travel

I had to finish paying off my student loan.  My life continued as before, but slowly I started to realize that I wasn’t happy being an accountant. I looked at my older colleagues and I wasn’t sure I wanted to follow their path. I decided to study a master degree in Europe. It was one of my dreams and I could buy myself some time to think about this career “concern” I was having. I applied for different scholarships and all of them said “NO”. I was sad. It was May 2005. At this point I had been working for the same company for five years and I didn’t want to continue like this.

So, I “hit refresh” for the first time.  I made the last payment of my student loan and quit my job.  I was determined to go to Europe. I had saved enough money for three months of traveling. It was shorter that I would have liked but I still decided to go. My goal was to visit various cities and study a summer program in Madrid and then take two weeks of French in Paris. It was a wonderful summer. I visited Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Florence, Prague, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, among other cities. I even went to Casablanca and Marrakesh. I studied and traveled for three months. I was 28 years old.

female travel
Morocco 2005

Again I returned to Mexico. I found a job (investment projects and accounting). It was good. I was actually experiencing new things at this job. ¿Love life? Well, I was not very lucky those years. I guess that it was not my time or my city. Most of my friends were married, having kids, paying a mortgage. We were starting our 30´s. And it happened again: I had that same feeling as before, that I didn’t fit in in Monterrey, in my accounting career, in the life I was living. I wanted something different. I had a well-paying job but I was not happy. I decided to “hit refresh” for the second time. Perseverance is my best virtue, so I tried again to get a scholarship to study in Europe.  And this time, I got it! I was awarded a scholarship to study a Master in International Relations in Madrid. It was July of 2009 when I received the good news. I quit my job, sold my car and moved to Spain. I was 33 years old.

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Madrid 2010. Graduation day at IE Business School.

Living in Madrid was wonderful. It was a fantastic year. I was studying a subject I like (nothing related to accounting!) and I was enjoying life again. When graduation day arrived, I thought happiness was going to end, but little did I know that it was going to get better. I found love that day. I met a Spaniard, Mariano.

But again, I had to go back to Mexico. My savings were almost finished and my student visa was about to expire. I found a job and we began a long distance relationship. The following year, in 2011, he moved to Turkey for work. He is a commercial airline pilot.  We wanted to be together, and yes, I “hit refresh” for the third time, this time because of love. I moved to Istanbul that same year.  I went back to school and attended a training program to teach Spanish. I spent the next 6 years in Turkey teaching Spanish as a foreign language.

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Iceland 2018

For many reasons, Mariano and I decided to leave Turkey and move somewhere new. I am really lucky because Mariano and I share the same point of view: the two of us enjoy traveling and we are both willing to “hit refresh” when it’s necessary, always together. We got married in December 2017 and moved to Iceland! Now I live in Reykjavik. I am 41 years old and ready to start a new chapter here.  I am happy and of course, always prepared to “hit refresh” as many times my life needs to, but now, together with my husband.

Member Spotlight highlights stories of inspiring women from our She Hit Refresh group. We hope that by sharing their stories of change and travel we can expose the unconventional paths that thousands of women 30 years and older have chosen.  There is no one way to live a life, just your way.

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2 thoughts on “Member Spotlight – Jennifer”

  1. Wow Jennifer, what a wonderful and inspiring story! Beautiful wedding photo and travel photos. I wish you a lifetime of happiness with you and your husband hitting refresh together and great adventures in Iceland! Thanks so much for your story! I am currently writing for several months in Baja, Ensenada and have lived in San Cristobal de las Casas and Calderitas north of Chetumal!

    Que Vaya Bien!
    Corrine Petteys

    1. Hola Corrine, thanks for your lovely comment, you are so nice. I am happy you are living in Ensenada 🙂 I´ll be glad to help if you have any question regarding Mexico, anything that helps to have a wonderful stay in my country.
      Que vaya bien!

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