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!
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!)
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.
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!