When someone mentioned that they viewed moving abroad as leaving everything behind, it really did make me think twice. I hadn’t thought about it in this way at all and I guess it has opened my eyes to other people’s experiences.
Moving abroad has it’s ups and downs and I can imagine that for people who sort of end up in another country, whether it be for work or love, leaving everything behind can be the hardest part. It’s impossible to just stop thinking about your loved ones or what you might be doing if you were back home. I mean, I sometimes find it hard, and this is honestly all I ever wanted.
I’ve realised that the language barrier is quite a big hurdle that I was lucky enough to smoothly jump over. I think people move to Germany with the impression that English will suffice but when push comes to shove, just having the basic language skills can make every day life a lot easier.
Numerous amounts of admin, finding and settling into a new job and not being able to understand what half the people around you are saying can be frustrating, especially if moving abroad wasn’t really your plan in the first place.
If I’m ever missing home then I always try to work out what I actually want:
“Do I want to be with my friends from back home?” Yes.
“Ok, so do I want to go back to London for a quick weekend?” No.
“Do I want to go back to London permanently ?” No.
“Do I want to bring everyone from home here?” Yes! But actually no, because then what’s the point of moving abroad?
I have a friend who moved to London from abroad and after six years of being there, she still has these thoughts. Six years!? Don’t worry, she said it gets easier and a lot less frequent, but I guess it does makes sense. You don’t forget your family and friends, however with time you build your own life abroad; you make new friends, find your new favourite cafes and parks and become settled in your job. This doesn’t happen over night, but proactivity and patience mean it will come in due time.
Although I’ve never really focused on the ‘leaving everything behind’ side of moving abroad, I can really see why some people can’t get their minds of this once they arrive in a new country. There can be a lot of emotional labour even though there are good times too. Thing is, there are still plenty of doors to open that we don’t even know exist yet, so rather than looking back on what we may have left behind, how about focusing on what’s to come, where we want to be and how we are going to get there.
Great article. I’m thinking about this a lot as I prepare to move to Italy. Even though I’ve been in Germany such a short time, it’s been a lot of effort to get established here which is a bit sad to leave behind. I also agree that looking forward is the best way to handle these emotions but I also remind myself that these feeling just mean I did a good job adapting in the first place. It would be hard to feel sad leaving a place you never really felt comfortable in!
Thanks for reading! Exciting times ahead in Italy 😁
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“so rather than looking back on what we may have left behind, how about focusing on what’s to come, where we want to be and how we are going to get there. ” loved the whole article and specially this part! As someone who is going through the same experience, I felt every word I read. Amazing how flawlessly you expressed it!
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Omg thank you so much for reading! I’m glad you could relate to it 🙂 It gets easier, just one step at a time