Living and working abroad is a dream for many people. However, the percentage of people who think about it but never do it is incredibly high. Moving away from your home without your familiars and comforts is a very daunting experience. Especially to do it alone.
Life abroad is something I thought about for many years before I plucked up the courage to actually do it. I have alway been interested in exploring different countries, experiencing different cultures and immersing myself in the world. Although this is not your typical travel blog where I am constantly in a new destination, I feel I can give a more realistic view of uprooting your life and crossing the oceans. With travellers, there is constantly a new destination, a new experience, a new culture and new people. To live and work in a specific place, you learn to make it your home. Although I have never been a traveller, it seems like there is always excitement but moving somewhere, it becomes home and lets be honest, home isn’t always exciting.
Even though I dreamt of life overseas, I never believed it would happen and if it did, I always thought it would be with a partner. To have always thought about it as an experience I would share with someone to doing it alone is pretty scary. One of my favourite quotes and one I agree with wholeheartedly is from YouTuber Shay Carl who said ‘The secrets to life are hidden behind the word cliche’. Cliches are that for a reason, because they have truth to them. Two cliches I think you should let rule you when thinking about moving abroad are you have nothing to lose but everything to gain and you only live once. I was terrified to move away from home and constantly debating taking that leap but life is short and if it fails or you don’t like it, you can always go back home. You may aswell take the risk and change your mind than always regret trying. Now I am here and for now this is my home, I have a great job, great friends and I settled in fairly quickly. It was surprisingly easier than I thought so I am going to share some tips and things to think about to help you take that leap.
#1 Think positive
When considering taking a big step, you always think the worst but the worst is very rarely going to actually happen. Look at the bright side of everything and be grateful that you are lucky enough to even be considering this opportunity. A lot of people are never in the position to even contemplate moving abroad or exploring the world. This could be the best thing that ever happened to you. There is nothing bad in discovering new things and having new experiences. This could be the making of you. At the end of the day, if it doesn’t pan out, there is no shame in going home, better to have tried and failed than never tried at all. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been.
#2 Only a phone call away
Yes, since being here I have felt lonely at times, I have felt upset at times and even though I have great friends here, sometimes you just need your mum or your best friend or someone you have known your whole life. We are lucky enough to live in an age with so much technology that makes communication easy. We have social media which gives us constant updates on peoples lives, we have live video chat so we can talk to and see our friends and family whenever we need to and if it ever gets too much, you’re only a plane ride away. I stay in contact in two ways. My phone contract from the UK is still active so I signed up for EuroTraveller and it costs £3 a day to use my UK minutes, texts and data. Once I week, I pay the £3 and can call anyone I want for as long as I want. There is also an International service you can opt in if you are going further afield than Europe. I also bought a local sim card to stay in touch with my friends here in this country and also for €14 per month, I get 2Gb of date so can stay in constant contact with people on social media. It is so easy to stay in contact these days.
#3 Home comforts
I didn’t take many home comforts away with me but the ones I did take helped me ease in a little better. Even stupid things like the Katy Perry calendar my parents bought me for Christmas, a little piece of my own room in my current home. My cousin gave me her teddy bear so I don’t forget her which was super sweet and I have enjoyed having Ted along for the ride even enjoying the little things like taking photos of me and the bear on our adventures. Anything that is important to you or may help you, bring it. I have friends who have brought their own duvet, have walls covered with friends and family or have brought decorations from bedrooms at home. Absolutely nothing is silly to bring with you if it is special to you.
#4 Be friendly and communicate
I am an incredibly socially awkward person. I can get very shy and uncomfortable around new people simply because I have no clue what to say. People who know me think I never shut up and I’m crazy but new people see me as very quiet. I had to try and overcome this to settle in. As I didn’t arrive with an companions, I had to talk to new people and there wasn’t a single person I new. It helped me come out of my shell a little bit and I made friends easier than I thought I would. Even if you’re shy, you can make it work. Just try, you’re already out of your comfort zone by moving abroad so why not push yourself a little further and open yourself up to people? A lot of peope you meet are in exactly the same position as you. They may need a friend as much as you do.
While you are on this journey, take time to appreciate your life. Never forget where you have come from and be grateful that your home life has got you to where you are now. Be grateful for all the experiences you have had, there are things that you would never have done if not for taking the leap. You are lucky enough to have this life, many people don’t have these experiences.
Home is where the heart is and every experience is what you make of it. The best could be just around the corner…