when I tell people about my life and moving abroad the most time I get to hear: “You are so lucky!“. But to be honest if I would hear the story without background I would think so too. Yes, I lived in cities like Vancouver, Vienna, Los Angeles and New York in the past 7 years, indeed, I was incredible lucky.
However, most people don´t seem to realize that this wasn´t always for pleasure or me just traveling around. I did work in those cities and had a 9 to 5 job that comes also with the usual responsibilities and the short time off only.
But most people don´t look behind the glamorous social media accounts and see the truth behind them.
Before I boarded my first plane to Vancouver I wasn´t even thinking about my future and if I will move abroad again or not. After leaving Canada I got addicted to the feeling of traveling around and exploring new things. By now I know what I want in and for my future but another question I get ask a lot too is: “Where is your home or where will you settle down?”, to be honest I myself have no clue. For now I keep traveling around and enjoying life, I never regretted it once and I´m not sure if I will ever settle down at all.
Winning and losing comes along with moving abroad!
When I moved abroad I learned a lot about myself and what I can achieve and what I´m capable off to do. During conversations with so many different people over the time I learned to get to know the good life as well as the not so good life. The encounters with the different strangers I had the chance to talk to opened my mind and made me more accepting of other views, ideas and lifestyles. They also allowed me to build a network of contact around the globe.
The first thing I found out when moving abroad was that I don´t feel homesick at all and that I enjoy being away. But with being away from family and friends it makes it harder to keep up the close relationships we have.
For me personally it was way easier to leave my family than my friends because my family and I are used to being apart from each other. Of course they missed me when we didn´t see each other for 6 months or longer but we knew we always can count on each other and we stay in contact via email.
Relationships with friends changed a lot more, some even vanished.
I´m happy that I have chosen to follow my dreams and also being a bit selfish with it because the experience I made can not be taken from me.
It is fun until something serious happens!
Living in places some people only dream about their whole life has its good sides like attending some fancy parties, fashion shows, festivals or exciting art exhibitions. Sometimes this is worth nothing when you can´t attend or be their for something that is important to your heart. Last year when my grandpa had a heart attack and I couldn´t be their for him this summer I will miss a wedding from a really close friend this makes me a little sad.
Of course I have vacation days but only 10 a year and that makes it hard to go home and with an au pairs wage paying for a flight to Europe is not affordable. I always had to make decisions like that and I mostly went for the relaxing beach vacation or city tours. Working with kids can be really stressful and this keeps me down to earth.
For me, it´s all about trying to find a balance and for every time I can´t be with my family/friends I try to call them or send them little special presents which come from my heart. And at the end it is a two way road, they also could come and should come to visit.
If you do it, you do it!
At first moving abroad can be really scary because you don´t know anyone and you feel lonely occasionally. This is normal in the beginning and nothing will be mad at and it is totally OK. But when you ditch your shyness and get out there to connect with other people you will feel more independent.
You will get to meet co-workers, neighbors or complete strangers but you know what they all have in common? If you ask them nicely to help you they mostly will do it. Before I knew all those people every thing I had to do and weren´t able to explain because I speak a different language felt like I will suck. It overwhelmed me first but mastering them either alone or with the help from kind people made me see the person I can be if I just try.
Asking someone for help did never hurt anyone and I´m sure people will understand you as well as they did me and were even glad that they could help me.
Break old habits!
Moving to another country isn´t as easy as most of my family and friends think. It takes effort. My first questions for myself are always, will I adapt to the culture quick? Where will I be living? Do I share the house with people I know and I can trust? Will I miss something from home? How do I make new friends?
Getting accustomed to a new environment and a new country doesn´t come easy it takes its time. When you move somewhere abroad it takes even longer because the first couple of weeks you will be in a honeymoon phase and everything is new and exciting. After a couple of weeks the culture shock will hit and you will second guess if you made the right decision.
This is the moment where you start to grow, try to get used to new things, make friends who explain it to you more and if you still can´t get over it and feel like you don´t belong their you can always move on.