Europe

Love and moving abroad for it

After making the big decision, booking the flight, quitting the job, packing up my whole life in boxes. I got on my flight and moved to Germany.

I started to enjoy the new differences, the new pace of life, seeing new places, and of course living with Markus. It was a complete whirl win, which created such a major rush of adrenaline whilst trying to absorb everything during this time.

But then BAM!  Reality hit me!

As an individual there is no way to prevent this!

Culture Shock 

After some months I started realising the situation what am I doing here! What have I done! “I realised not much is true fully written about these experiences“.

For me this sent me in a spiral of confusion, anxiety, feeling lonely and homesick, this creative a barrier that became a obstacle in creating new relationships. To help overcome this I believe language courses are the key for the communication skills meeting people in similar situations to yourself, if only you can find more suited to your needs…sadly my experiences weren’t the most successful from finding one course taught by a french lady in a class of 20 students of mixed abilities, this was a horrifying experience to then nearly committing to paying 2500 euros for 6 weeks of classes, whilst searching for private tutors which is limited. It was all down to motivating myself to learn the language. ( After all my options felt limited).

Getting myself a job, any job!

I had already been on the search from day 1, having some opportunities but all leading to me moving away in Germany. I had to rethink of what I was doing. “I came to Germany to be with Markus”. It was hard, so many decisions and few opportunities arising but nothing which was ideally located. Markus was and still is completing amazing even with him agreeing to support me whilst living here, its a mistake to underestimate the effect of feeling useful on your self esteem and confidence.

How I see it whether you have a bank job or waiting tables, work gives you Independence. Not speaking the language is a tough one, searching for jobs which always came down to speaking fluent in the language…I felt I hit another dead end. However I was given the opportunity to go to work with my Markus’s fathers partner, which helped getting my feet out the door, to building up my communication skills to even building a friendship. Despite the language barrier, it was nice to have company and something to do.

“Look for work that requires language skills you have or even practicing the language.”

Have things planned that you can look forward too!

Having a idea when seeing family and friends always helped me each day, due to the distance I did’t see them that often or not enough during my first year. Skype, Facebook and Watsapp are a step closer to being in there lives, but still its not the same.

Choosing a date, making a plan and sticking to it!

This really helps me, having plans set that are stable, it makes me feel more at home. Especially reflecting on the last year it does make me sad that only one friend came to visit me in my new home. After all this is my new home, the house , Markus, the neighborhood, the things I want my family and friends to see with there own eyes.

Having goals, focuses and something to achieve 

There comes a time when you start to feel restless, your a bit bored, over the excitement of a new place, feeling you have already done everything. this is usually when people give up and go home. 6 months is when most hit this phase. I admit I was one, I felt so low, feeling I had achieved nothing beneficial, that going home was the only way to test if the move was really want I wanted, I was afraid to think of it as “I’m giving up, I felt so isolated and confused at the time. Markus felt it was his fault and he wasn’t doing enough, when really he was providing me with support. It took me a long time to even confined in my Mum, she suggested coming back as long as I needed, this is what I did, having that family time was well overdue, I admit this time I have now had to pay for because I did not speak to friends during this time. I felt it was so hard to open up about what I was experiencing and for it to be understood.

Thinking of goals definitely helps and helped me, striving for something to achieve “Whether its getting more close to being fluent in the language, visiting new places, or joining a club. Having a specific plan helped me, there were projects around the house which I was able to complete, redecorating the kitchen, making a workout room, having the advantage of a engineer as a boyfriend he has taught me many useful things. Even how to use a drill! Ha. I’m proud of things I have accomplished from his help from making a kitchen table to a monster of a bird cage.

I learnt working backwards is great to figure out how to reach goals, keeping a list of things was a helpful reminder to reaching the goals.

Expect to tough it out for at least a year! I’m just reaching the hurdle, and only just starting to feel more comfortable.

When moving to a new Country there will always be highs and lows 

One day is amazing, loving life and feel like you are progressing to the next you have a downer and a existential crisis. The one year mark is a good time to reassess. Asking myself the questions ” Can you see yourself staying here long term? Do you prefer this arrangement only temporary. Talking is important, as I really suck at hiding my emotions with Markus, he knows how I feel with the move, and we both know where we stand.

However….Warning Signs..its important not to ignore them, especially being a challenge or a red flag!. Cant find a job?…Challenge……Partner not allowing you to work…Red flag….Difficult making friends…Challenge….Experiencing racism, sexism etc…Red flag. The more red flags I feel its unlikely to be the place for you. I admit I have faced and have challenges when I don’t like to leave home, make conversion with people, ask for something in a shop, drive the car somewhere, or even say hello in German. I have my days but they are challenges and things which only can progress and get better.

The one thing I’ve learnt ..knowing you will lose friends and feel guilty/Lonely 

Moving away from close ones there is always; which sometimes is beyond your control, that you will grow apart. Respective contexts for the understanding the world does change. I often fear if I ever moved back friends may be distant because I chose to move anyway over them or even the fear you will move again. Feeling guilty having left my family and friends (YES)

Of course life is about learning and experiencing, so we make the choices which generally suit our needs and to result in us being comfortable and happy. There has been times with people I care for have achieved a milestone in there life, and sad that I’m not always there to celebrate, it feels hard when I’m missing out, like my nieces growing up or helping out on close ones who need it. I admit there have been times, when people close back home don’t quite understand what I’m going through, even my partner. It takes time to build a true friendship , all the while you feel lonely, but working towards goals and reminding yourself why you did the move in the first place.

Discovering new things

Its important to do this with your partner, especially as I live with markus, the greatest times have been discovering places in Germany that he hasn’t seen or been too.Doing activities together also helps to connect and form a unit. We pretty much always cook together, its nice to experiment, use our brains to be creative and generally make a mess! 🙂 I find routine is a relationship killer!

So moving forward…This Year start to say YES Helena!

Pretty much over a year in this new place, and I’m feeling more settled, its time to start saying yes.

  • Friends visiting the country and suggested meeting us say yes!
  • Friend invites you to join a club say yes!

I have learnt there is nothing to lose, but only gain experience…after all you don’t know until you try.

Already saying yes to moving was a big challenge. Reflecting on the great things that have happened. I’ve learnt so much of my new language, for any person speaking several languages it feels exciting knowing more than your mother tongue…I’m not fluent but I’ve even had times forgetting English words and asking Markus. I have also discovered my love for Yoga, become a domestic goodness (well in the making) ha

Moving abroad.. Opens yourself to opportunities, it not only puts you out of your comfort zone but helps challenge you to grow.

Final thoughts

Moving aboard for love can be a tough experience, pushing every button you have, its difficult for everyone, I understand that, even for my boyfriend, that’s why I believe its important to stay connected. I’ve learnt you get out what you put in. Regardless of the outcome, doing something that’s not many people you know have done and perhaps willing to do, makes you one of a kind.

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