If you’re actually considering packing up your life at home (aka your comfort zone) and moving to another state or country, I would like to tell you that it isn’t easy.
But, it is well worth it.
I say this from lots of experience. I have lived in:
- Sevilla, Spain
- London, UK
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- and now Sydney, Australia
My roster of countries is pretty well-rounded, but there are differences to each one. Yes, the language and culture, the obvious stuff. What I mean is, the first three cities I lived in I was living in for University and work. Where as Sydney, Australia is where I’ve come all alone to just ‘figure it out’. It’s safe to say, I have figured it out! Haha kinda.
It’s hard when you don’t have ‘a plan’ when you aren’t sure what the next move will be or come from. I didn’t put much thought into just packing up my life and moving to another country for longer than a month. Of course, like with everything, I was nervous as shit! But living in Australia was just something I have always wanted to do.
I will never forget the first night I arrived in Sydney. It was a Saturday and it was raining. I finally reached my Airbnb late that afternoon. This was the first time I had my own place in over 2 months. I was so happy! I had my own kitchen. My own TV! I felt like I hadn’t seen TV in ages. Anyways, I was chilling on my own couch watching Sex In The City. The perfect girls night. When my best friend calls me. The conversation went something like this:
Best friend: “Hey girl, watcha doing!? Hows AUSTRALIA?”
Me: Good! Watching Sex In The City!
Best Friend:…. (silence)
Best Friend: Jen, it’s a Saturday night there. Right? Why aren’t YOU out? Partying? Meeting people?
Me: Because it’s raining and I am tired! I don’t feel like talking. Plus, I don’t know anyone here. I just got here and I am staying at an Airbnb.
Best Friend: What? Where are your friends? Don’t you have friends in Sydney?
Me: Um they’re all travel bloggers. They aren’t around. Plus I don’t really have friends in Sydney. The friends that I do have don’t live in Sydney. They live else where and far.
Best Friend: WHAT!! You’re telling me you left home with no job, no place to live, and no FRIENDS!!
Best Friend: Jen? Hello?
Me: Um yes. Ah I got to go!!! (freaks out nervously)
I will never forget that moment because I freaked out. I realized I KNEW NO ONE!! I was 10000000000 miles from home and my mommy! So what did I do? Well it was like 10:00pm by that time. So I finished my wine, carried on watching Sex In The City, and went to bed.
I freaked out for 3 minutes. I realized that I wasn’t going to get a job, a place and friends at 10:00pm in my pjs. So I figured let me just appreciate the moment. Hahahaha
It’s safe to say that I’ve had several freak out moments just because this all fairly new to me. Traveling is the easy part. It’s the stopping and learning to live a ‘normal life’ that’s slight more difficult. All the other times I moved to new cities. I didn’t have friends, but I wasn’t worried because I was starting Uni and I would eventually make friends. Where as here in Sydney I really didn’t have anyone I could ‘trust’ I was all alone. It is a bit scary and to be honest I don’t think I could have thought about it too much because if I did, I wouldn’t have done it.
Here I am 6 months later and I’ve learned so much about myself and the challenges that I’ve faced. I’ve literally built this home all by myself. I am slightly proud (not gonna lie) which is why leaving in June is only making it harder.
Three big things for me, that normally wouldn’t be, were:
- Finding a job! Woohoo. (Recommendation: Find one before you move. Thats the IDEAL thing to do.- Of course, I didn’t.) Before I got to Sydney I networked the shit out of my networks! Haha Does that make sense? Meaning I actually used social media (my trusty friend) to meet people and let them know I was coming to Sydney. From there I networked. I make the majority of my revenue from freelancing. I freelance for social media management and consulting. So I somehow managed to connect with people who new people who needed someone. That was probably the easiest for me, but DEF the most nerve wrecking one. Because I NEEDED A JOB ASAP. I was slowly going poor.
- Finding a place to live. This is hard in any setting, but it’s extra hard and expensive when you don’t know where to start, and what’s going to work best for you and your lifestyle. Having a budget is key, but also having an idea as to where you’ll be working so that when you start working it only makes it easier to get to work. Most people who move to Sydney stay in Hostels for a few weeks. Honestly, after backpacking for over a month and staying in ONLY hostels. I needed a break. Also, I feel the older you get the pickier you get about who you live with. You’re less tolerant of annoying crap.
- This is def the hardest: Making Friends. I am the kind of person that does make friends a little easier. I guess it’s just because of my personality. But this is def the hardest part for anyone! Also, it’s really hard to make friends with locals. People from the country your moving to. Why? Usually because they already have ‘friends’ their ‘squad’, they aren’t looking for new friends. It’s much easier to make friends with expats. We just ‘get it’. I did have friends I met through social media that I was able to meet here in Sydney. From there it was just like a ‘domino effect’, I just kept making friends. Today I have a massive group of friends I can’t seem to get enough of! Which makes my social life so much more difficult to control.
I’ve built a home for myself here in Sydney. Having friends, a place to live, and a job all make this place ‘my place’. Which makes leaving Sydney slight sad. Don’t get me wrong I am extremely excited to head off to Costa Rica and make that my home too! But the initial step of leaving Sydney is going to be hard. As the clock starts to count down it only makes me realize how amazing this has all been.
The things that stop us from usually moving and exploring are things we do naturally. Like going to work, making friends, and finding a place to live. If we actually STOP and think about doing that in a brand new city where we don’t know a soul, we wouldn’t do it. I didn’t actually ‘stop’ to think about it.
I just thought: I want to do it. Right. I am doing it. Period.
Yeah, I know, slightly reckless.
See that’s the thing, most of us won’t do have the things we want to do in life because we think about it too much. We stop ourselves. If I actually sat back and thought this whole ‘year of travel’ I probably wouldn’t have left home a year ago. Don’t get me wrong, you should play with the idea for a bit, but don’t drive yourself mental. Thats my point. Don’t stress too much. Just make things happen!- I guess you can say this for anything really. The first move for the first kiss. That promotion you want to ask your boss for. That stranger you want to say ‘hi’ to.
Change is scary. For anyone! That first step is always the hardest. It’s just how you go about making it happen that makes the difference.
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” – Frank Zappa
No idea who Frank Zappa is, but my trusty ‘Daily Quote’ app just informed me of this amazing quote while I was writing this article. I had to share. 😉