Quarter Life Epiphany : Melissa

Today’s Quarter Life Epiphany brought to you by: Melissa

Life in the Rockies


Hi –insert your name here-,

Yes I am talking to you dear reader.  It’s nice to meet you.  I am Melissa Giroux and originally, from Quebec, Canada.  I am a backpacker full time since June 2014 and a travel blogger at abrokenbackpack.com. I am old.  Okay, maybe not.  I am 26 years old. I am currently enjoying Australia on a long term trip.  In June 2014, I left everything behind to travel for two months.  So far… I never came back.  I quit my day to day job as a social worker and a travel agent to live the dream.Crappy job

What advice would you giveyourself at 20? And at 25?

I wish I could have known all of this when I was 20:

  • You are too young to be unhappy. If you have a dream, stop dreaming about it and go out there;
  • Even if you are “sure” about some stuff, it will change;
  • Don’t get crazy with credit cards, it’s not your money;
  • You don’t need to settle down just yet.

I wish I could have known this when I was 25:

  • Don’t compare your lifestyle with others: your life; your choices;
  • You are still young, so don’t freak out!


What does a quarter life epiphany mean to you?

I think it’s a big turn in your life.  When I turned 25, I was completely devastated (and excited at the meantime cause I booked a flight to Hawaii on that day!). I mean, it’s a good timing to ask yourself some questions about what you really want. I am so happy that I spent that year away from my typical categorized life daring adventures. So, I guess it probably means happiness.


What was your quarter life epiphany?

Here is the story, I turned 25 years old, with my flights booked to go to Vancouver and then to Hawaii for a few days.  The plan was to go to Western Canada to improve my English for two months.  I was supposed to come back home after two months.  My plans were falling apart for this “coming back”. I am one of those who think that if life doesn’t go right, turn left. I saw an opportunity to fly to Australia as it was cheaper from there and here I am.  Bonus: I fell in love with another backpacker on the road.


What do you think inspired your quarter life epiphany?

Two years ago, I quit my job and sold everything to go on a long term trip in Europe. While I was in Turkey, only 6 weeks later, something happened (you can find more about this long story on my blog) and I had to go back to Canada.  My dream was destroyed and I was totally desperate.  When I left for this two months trip, I had commitment back home and I had no idea that, this time, it would be the one.


How are you different now than before your quarter life epiphany?

I am different according to my friend or family from home.  But, truly, I know I am not different.  I am only the person I was meant to be.  It’s just too easy to get in a routine with all other’s expectations. Traveling make me rediscover myself and let me be the one I want to be.

What advice would you give to others who want to make a major change in their life?

Don’t let the fear decide for you.


What challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

I have a big money challenge as I still pay some debts from home (I had a lot of fun with my student loan and I made some mistakes when I was younger). Working abroad is a really good way to live the dream while being responsible.

Working abroad is also a huge challenge as you end up with “crappy” jobs most of the time. I have a diploma back home and I am not using it while I am travelling.  But, I accepted it.


What do you wish more people realized?

Life is too short to be unhappy…

What advice would you give to someone having a quarter life crisis?

It’s normal!  You have two options now:

  1. Decide to postpone this crisis;
  2. Make sure you will not get another one by making some massive changes.

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Life in Australia

I ALWAYS travel solo so I don’t have to let my travel buddies behind again.

But I AM NOT travelling solo ANYMORE, because I fell in love with another traveler.


I get through long flights by…

cutting my sleep in half for a few days before so I can sleep on the plane.


The cause that really gets me riled up is….

that everybody is settling down and I am so not ready for that kind of life.


When traveling, I always miss…

the poutine (a super good Quebecker meal!).


I REALLY want to visit…

too many places that I can’t even write a bucket list.


Best travel tip?

Avoid the crowd and find a secret local spot!


Best packing tip?

Panty liners for these gorgeous female travelers; it will save some laundry later!

Worst travel experience? What did you learn?

My Turkey story; How to be safer as a solo female traveler and how Facebook can be dangerous.

Current city versus home city? What’s different between the two?

Millaa Milaa, Australia VS Gatineau, Canada means: Cows, big fields, rainforests VS City, family and friends.

Favorite place to live?

Sydney, Australia

(A cheeky one: Canmore, Western Canada).

Favorite place to visit?

The non-touristic Greek Islands!

Life in Australia 2


Melissa Giroux Bio

Melissa Giroux is originally from Quebec, Canada.  She is a full time backpacker and a travel blogger at abrokenbackpack.com. Travelling since June 2014, she is currently in Australia on a long term trip.  Follow her broken stories as a traveler with debts and massives doses of craziness.

Visit her and show her some love!

Mel’s Blog – A Broken Backpack







A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. Nearly a decade later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, and Puerto Vallarta, Steph is on to her next adventure and living back in beautiful, cosmopolitan Mexico City. She is living, traveling, and working (both as an expat therapist and an international health insurance representative) around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook

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