Moving abroad – a trap?
Moving abroad sounds so exciting. A new country, new people, new chances. Letting go of all the bullshit you faced at home. What will await you? What kinda people will you meet? Will you finally have success?
I have moved countries quite a few times already. Well, with a few times I actually mean twice. Three times if you count moving back to Germany. Whenever I told people about it they sounded super excited, like ‘Wow, how can you do this’, ‘this is so scary, i could never leave my country/city for good’ etc. etc. Trust me, I heard this a lot, and still do. The first time I moved country, I moved to the Netherlands for my first study. While it was still one of the most adventurous years of my entire life so far (okay, I’m only 22 so my life hasn’t been long yet but imagine leaving the country full time when you are sweet 18). However, it didn’t work out after all (more about that in a separate blog post where I’ll be talking about dropping out of uni, coming soon) so I moved back to Germany, my home country which I thought would never have to live in again. Not because I don’t like Germany, I mean come on, Germany’s awesome – the cars, beer, Christmas markets, – but I was just so sick of it. I felt like I needed to get away but apparently the Netherlands wasn’t where I was supposed to be. (I still consider moving to Amsterdam in case I get deported because of Brexit). Anyway, so back I was, facing awkward conversations about why I returned.
But fast forward three years and we are in the year 2017. Bored of my hometown, I just couldn’t wait to get out of there again, and when the perfect opportunity arose I took it and moved to London. So here I am since July, and I am here to stay.
Although, as appealing and heroic moving countries may seem, it is not as glamorous. Facts.
First of all, you are all by yourself. You need to start a completely new life, and basically leave your old one behind. You need to get your new bank account sorted, you need a national insurance number, all that. You need to cancel everything in your home country and re-do it in your new country. It sounds easy but it’s just long. Especially when banks keep refusing you. If you are lucky like me and already know some people in your new country then good for you, that can be a huge help! It has certainly been a huge help for me. But here is the next step, finding your squad. Plus the time figuring out if those people are really your kind of people. In your home country you have known your friends many years already probably but figuring out how brand new people are like takes some time. So far I think I have made the right choices though! Still, it can get lonely. And you’ll have to be super sociable in order to connect with people. Not so convenient if you’re a little granny.
Another thing is, you have to adjust to a completely new culture. British people are different in many ways. Not necessarily bad, but just different in their mentality. Also food-wise. In my case, I have been to London too many times already so I already knew a little about how things are running over here. Still, it’s different to Germany. There seems to be even more competition here, and sometimes, even in a city like London, you feel a little lost. You just have to adapt and step outside of your comfort zone.
The probably biggest hurdle is keeping your friendships alive. Yeah, you will think its oh so easy, I’ll just keep in touch with everyone. Trust me, you won’t. When you move abroad you will realize who your real ones are. Those, who make effort to visit you, to keep in touch with you. Those, who make an effort to see you when you are on a break back home. And believe me, this won’t work out with everyone. Be prepared to be super busy when you move, with your new job or whatever it is you’re doing. You yourself will forget informing your people from home about your new phone number, you will forget texting back – things which make friendships fade away. As much as I want to avoid that, it just happens. And you’ll know what I mean if you ever move away.
While this all sounds rather negative, I can only say that I made the best decision ever of finally moving to London this year. Job-wise it is incredible, for someone who wants to work in the field of music journalism or music industry in general it’s just great. Only yesterday I was thinking about how much has happened since I moved here and I still can’t quite believe it. I made incredible friends, met so many like-minded people (shoutout to all of you) and had much more chances to focus on what I really want to do in life. Ever since I moved here, I have been learning how to take life in my hand (cause let’s face it, I’m 22 so I’ll have to get my shit together now init) without any next-door help anymore. So far it’s been overwhelmingly exciting.
So while moving abroad certainly has its negative sides, there are also many, many positive sides about it. Everybody is different though so you’ll just have to find out for yourself. Just be prepared to face the factors I have listed above. 🙂