Sure, we’ve all seen those happy Instagram pictures of friends abroad. While some show you a glamorous apartment, others paint you a picture of the beautiful bright blue sky. Moving to a new country can definitely be exciting but here’s a list of things no one ever tells you about:
- It’s all going to be a mess.
There will be days you will cook a full-fledged meal and then there will be days the fridge will break down rotting all of your groceries. There will be days of clean laundry and then there will be heaps of dishes to do. However you gauge, nothing ever prepares you for emotional distress and sudden electronic breakdowns.
2. You’ll have to fend for yourself.
When you’re home, most chores are equally divided and assigned to certain persons. Or even better, you have your mom or a help looking after you. Also, most times, if you’re moving alone, your emotional support in the form of parents and siblings will not be there. Get ready to food prep, do your laundry, pay your bills and even turn off lights on your own.
3. Bound to lose some friends
Keeping in touch with friends and family seems almost natural, but after a certain period of time relationships becomes a bit loose and conversations somehow flat. Time differences start getting in the way and life takes over. You and your loved ones are now on very different life trajectories. Your hope is that only the realest friendships prevail and that is what ultimately matters. You can vouch on the fact that you are going to meet a lot of new interesting people in your new country and you will form a social circle after all.
4. New life, new me
Along with the physical environment (obvious), there are a lot of other things that will undergo change too. Intentionally and explicitly as well as unknowingly and internally. We often define ourselves through our habits, work, social circle, rituals. And then you’re suddenly in a new world all together? Boom, your self-worth now comes crashing to the floor. But wait; only when you think it’s the bottom, you’re now forming new and even better definitions about so many things.
5. Never-ending administrative work
Moving to a new country can be challenging in many ways. But the most trying is the never ending paper work. There are zillions of formalities that need to be done before and after you move and be prepared to dedicate enough of time and money to it. No matter how much you’re prepared, there will always be a document missing. Stay put and take a deep breath, this will be over soon.
6. Some nights are lonelier than the rest
Now we’re talking real. After hours at the municipality office and a long detour with the wrong bus route, you’re going to want a familiar face. Even with your basic few and new made friends, longing is a real word.
That’s the thing about change, it’s going to push your buttons, pull your hair, introduce the true meaning of resilience, show you who your friends are and teach you to cook your own food. Sometimes when I think of it..my meaning of productivity, beauty, hustle, family has changed so much. Maybe that’s what different cultures do to you, help you see new perspectives and ideas.
Has it been easy? Nope
Has it changed me as a person? Um, maybe
Has it made me incredibly happy? OH YES!
To conclude, a friend once told me, remember all the new adventures that await….and it will all be worth it.