Moving Abroad: The “Bad Days”

Moving to another country isn’t all that picture-perfect Instagram post with the hashtag LOVING LIFE makes it out to be. I mean, I do love my life – but there is a lot that happens between posts!

You will obviously have those picture-perfect kind of days – but you will also have those “I hate this place, what the f*ck was I thinking!?” kind of days.
And THAT’S what no one ever talks about.

 

When people ask me what it’s like to move to another country, there are about a thousand things I could say.
“It’s great, you should do it!”
“It’s scary, you should do it!”
“It’s hard, you should do it!”
“You’ll love it, you should do it!”
“You’ll hate it, you should do it!”

“It’s stressful, you should do it!”

Through anxiety attacks, bouts of unrealistic anger, immigration problems and language barriers – I still say you should do it, because you really should!

I believe everyone should live (even just briefly) in another country at some point in their lives. Living in another country is so much different then simply traveling to one – and it’s the best/hardest/most fun thing I have ever done!

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Moving to Belgium!

Most of my days when I first got here ended with a good beer after a night of anxiety brought on by how much I sucked at this new language, or missing my niece’s 2nd birthday, or not having a job. (I have a lot of anxiety, but that hasn’t stopped me from traveling!)

 

The point is, in the beginning, almost every day felt like one of those bad days.
It was so strange – to be so happy finally living with my boyfriend, but so stressed and anxious about navigating my way through all of this new territory. It’s really exhausting to constantly feel either really happy/excited or really terrified/annoyed. It’s one or the other when you first move to another country – there are seldom “in between” days.

 

Most of my days now end with a good beer after a short day at the job I consider myself lucky to have – followed by a long night cuddled up with my cats and my boyfriend in our new little house.

OH, how times have changed (for the better!)

 

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THE BAD DAYS…
Those days when you literally can’t stand meeting one more new person.
Those days when that new language annoys you every time you hear it.
Those days when looking at photos of family pets back home is almost enough of a temptation to book a flight.

That “bad day” struggle is REAL, friends.

I know a lot of people who have made the same move I have made, and every single one of them has had those days. No one talks about them; everyone has them. Having those bad days doesn’t mean you made a mistake with the move. But those days aren’t fun at all – and there is a way to beat them!

Sometimes the only thing you can do is wait it out.
Feel those emotions, no matter how unrealistic and crazy they are. “Hate” the country because of the way the language sounds, because they don’t have your favourite restaurant, because of your overly curious neighbour or even because of the way it smells in the city. They sound like stupid reasons, but on those bad days they are enough to push you over the edge.
Let yourself be miserable for an hour or so and then move on.

Belgian-Netherlands Border

That “bad day” vibe will pass and you’ll remember why you are where you are – and more importantly, how long it took you to get there!

Of course, there are still times when I ache for the familiarity of my own country, even though I know as soon as I’m there, I will want to be back here.

Most of the time, when those bad days come to an end – I am simply thankful to share a bed with the man I love. Sharing this bed, in this cold/half renovated house, in this weird country after a day of struggling to learn this stupid language is a lot better then sleeping alone in my mom’s house.

Of course, there are still times when I ache for the familiarity of my own country, but the difference is that I know as soon as I’m there, I will want to be back here.

For better or worse, the good days or the bad days – Belgium is my home.

 

Do you agree with the post? Leave a comment below about your experiences with those bad days!

 

 

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Travel Pray Love

Canadian travel & immigration blogger.

11 Replies to “Moving Abroad: The “Bad Days”

  1. Hi. I recently moved to Belgium as well and have had those feelings.
    I say to my husband: if I have to hear 1 more time “Hoe gaat het?” … I am packing my bags and going back home to Miami Beach where it’s actually warm all year!

    But as you said, focusing on the ‘WHY you are here’ and the ‘HOW LONG it took to get here’ is the best medicine.

    Are you in Wallonie or Flanders?
    I am in Flanders (Antwerpen) and learning Flemish… the not so easy language in Belgium.

    1. I too live in Flanders (near Turnhout, but I visit Antwerp all the time!)
      I totally know what you mean. The language is hard and some days I just cannot stand to hear it anymore.

  2. I can relate to lots of these things here! The best part is that the bad days always pass and allow you to get back on with enjoying the good days. Also, if you’re based in Europe, that’s a bonus as you can do lots of fairly cheap travel! I hope to live in Europe one day 🙂

    1. Yes, it is SO easy to get around here, it’s fantastic. Nothing rids you of those bad days like planning all of the trips!!

  3. “Let yourself be miserable for an hour or so and then move on” is probably some of the best advice. You can’t always logic yourself out of it! But at the end of the day it’s always worth it. <3

    1. It’s totally true! Basically the only way out, is through – so just let it happen and then get over it! 🙂

  4. I moved from Europe (Romania) to Mexico, almost six years ago, and recently moved to San Francisco. I do had so many bad days, but most of them were related to missing my family. Fortunately I love Spanish and Mexican people are so great in many ways. Now, after five years living in Mexico, I moved to San Francisco and although it a new challenge, I still miss my house by the beach in Mexico.
    Anyway.. I love your articles and your stories.

    1. Awe, thank Iuliana! A lot of my bad days were about missing family events (like my niece’s 3rd birthday, etc). Even though we love the moving and traveling, there are a lot of bad days too that no one seems to talk about. 🙂 thanks for reading! xx

  5. Yup, so true, can totally relate. Sometimes I let regular life problems turn into France problems and have to check myself. Like a fight with a family member, or a doctor who is late, a rude person, etc. That stuff happens everywhere but because I’m in France, I sometimes let my annoyances build up and boil over until I hate everyone and everything. So at least I’m aware of this and can take a step back. Living abroad isn’t easy at all but the benefits still outweigh the drawbacks for me, so until that changes, France is my home. 😉 Congrats on your new baby btw!

    1. Yes! That totally happens to me too, all of a sudden those every day problems become a huge reason to hate Belgium (even though those problems would be happening every where I would go). I definitely agree that the pros really outweigh the cons when it comes to living abroad most of the time! And thank you – we are adjusting to parent-life well! 🙂 can’t wait to start touring around with him in a few months!

  6. I totally feel you!
    I am from Denmark, but moved to the end of the world, Patagonia Chile to be with my man. Sometimes I am like “I got this shit!” and other days I am like “I miss my family, my Danish friends, speaking Danish, my life in Denmark, the food” everything! I miss expressing myself in Danish, I sometimes feel I am a shy and boring person bc I still find it hard to be funny in Spanish – and during snappy comments can be hard if you are are stumpling through the words and have to repeat it haha. Thanks for sharing, you are not alone!

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