Some years ago I would have laughed at anyone telling me I was going to move from one country to another in just a matter of months. And that I would be living there with a job, which is the most amazing thing ever. And not because that wasn’t one of my biggest dreams as a child -to be able to experience life in another country- but because at that time it just felt like that, a dream..
But when I saw the opportunity I just jumped on the train and let myself go. The thing is, I now know better about living on my own, working for a company, and more than anything, sharing a flat with people that is not your family. I would say, though, out of everything, that is one of the hardest things.
Adjusting life to a place that doesn’t have the same traditions as you, or even that has a totally different weather as yours can be a bit frustrating at first. When I arrived in Belfast I remember being full of excitement just like a kid before Christmas. I then slowly started to realize that not everything was going to be as easy as expected. The weather was horribly cold, my roommate was a very painful pain in the arse and I just could not fit into life there. Luckily enough that was a lesson learnt, and now I can share with you a few tips about life abroad..
- Don’t stress yourself. It’s okay if you have doubts, if you don’t feel confident at first. We’ve all been there. Having everything organized will help you with your nerves and calm you down before your trip.
- Give it a little time. You can’t always control everything. When I arrived in Malta I didn’t have a place yet so I had to stay in a hostel for a night. I contacted a estate agency from Spain so half of the job was nearly done and I found a house in just one day. Stressing about it for one month? Not worthy at all.
- Just be yourself. You don’t have to be someone else to fit in. Sometimes you just don’t belong somewhere, and that doesn’t mean anything wrong, simply that place or people are not for you. To be honest, when I was in Belfast I felt the less myself I’ve ever been, and I was miserable for quite a time. When I stopped pretending, everything was so much better.
- A fresh start is not always easy. If it’s your first time abroad, you will probably think the whole thing was a bad idea. Being there, done that. You just need time, trust me. New things are always scary but there’s nothing you can’t go through. Also, you’ve already taken the chance and moved to another country, do you think a few changes can stop you now?
- Don’t be carried away by expectations. Oh, expectations vs reality. Don’t be carried away by imagination, it can be tricky. Just live the moment, and everything will come.
All in all, I can’t just recommend you enough to give life in another country a go! I feel it has been so rewarding so far, I don’t regret it at all, I even cherish the bad times. Also, I just wanted to point out that sometimes you might feel the pressure of someone holding you down. But keep in mind that is your life, so you decide how and where you want to live it.
Have you ever lived abroad? What’s your experience been like?