There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’re stuck in a rut. As humans, we like to believe we’re moving, evolving and growing into our best selves. But what do you do when you feel like that isn’t happening and your life almost feels like it’s at a standstill?
Well for American-born Jasmine Turner, she decided to up sticks and move halfway across the world – a decision which has taken her from the streets of South Korea to life in Poland.
“I joke that I had a quarter-life crisis,” she says. “I was working in real estate and although my career was taking off, all I could picture was myself being stuck in South Carolina.
“I was single, had no kids, and never lived outside of the Carolinas. I figured the job would always be there, but my ability to do something major like move to another country wouldn’t always be an option. So I took a leap and I’m very thankful for that decision.”
Jasmine was born and raised in South Carolina. After college, she moved to North Carolina where she was building her profile as a rising real estate agent.
The idea of moving halfway across the world, and visiting various countries was something she never envisioned for her life – but she did seek inspiration from a close family member.
“When I was younger, I didn’t even think about travelling but it became a passion of mine much later in life,” she recalls.
“My younger brother actually began travelling a few years before I did and that was definitely motivation for me.”
It takes a lot to make the decision to forgo everything you know and make the move to another country with a different language, traditions and way of living. But at the age of 26, Jasmine made the leap, first settling in South Korea before moving to Poland.
“At the time I moved to South Korea, there were mixed feelings. I was very happy to be doing something new, however, I didn’t understand Korean culture or their work culture,” she says.
Jasmine was offered a job as an ESL teacher which meant leaving real estate behind and emigrating to South Korea – a move which taught her a “valuable lesson”.
“It made me realise the importance of taking your time and not rushing so that you leave one unpleasant situation just to end up in another.”
After a year in South Korea following the end of her work contract, Jasmine packed her bags and moved to Poland. This presented another fresh start as she experienced life in a new country, but this time, she was armed with the knowledge to make this experience far more pleasant than the last.
“I used my time in Korea to shape what I wanted life to look like in Poland so the first few months were very comfortable for me,” she says. The language is certainly a struggle, but as long as you try, people are willing to help.”
Living in Warsaw has been a positive experience for Jasmine, who heralds many aspects of the city.
“I love the cost of living, the quality of food, transportation, and access to healthcare,” she mentions. “I love to eat so I like places with good food, good drinks, & comfy chairs and there are plenty of those around the city.”
A week before moving to South Korea, Jasmine launched a YouTube channel to share her experience as an expat in the country. She has continued documenting in Poland where she shares everything from exploring Warsaw’s rooftop gardens and Cathedral Island tours to cooking Polish food and trying their liquor.
“At first, I thought it would just be fun to start a YouTube channel and then after a while, I saw how motivated people were to travel abroad,” she says.
“We all do that search of what life is like for Black people in different countries before going somewhere new. I definitely did that before going to South Korea and Poland and those videos were so helpful for me.
“Now, I’m motivated to give back in that way and give people a different perspective through my channel.”
With over 19,000 subscribers, many tune into Jasmine’s adventures as she explores the city and beyond – and she sees no signs of stopping yet.
“One of the things I love about myself is the fact that I never tell myself “No”. When it comes to making plans, I’m always going to try.
“If I set my mind to something, I’m going to see how it plays out. I don’t sell myself short or give up, or stop out of fear of rejection. Something might stop me eventually, but it won’t be a lack of trying.”
To find out more, follow Jasmine on Instagram: @jasminet_tv