Are you thinking about moving abroad? It can be a tough decision. It all depends on your situation. When I moved abroad I was 23, had just finished college, and was in love with a good-looking, mysterious foreign man. I had nothing to lose, frankly, and I’m so glad I took the plunge now. But it was hard for me for a long, long time. Why, you ask? Read on to find out.
Uncertainty. Living abroad is rife with uncertainty. The whole thing is just one big question mark. One surprise after another. And I effing hate surprises! I like knowing what’s where, what’s in the box, what I have to do/say next. And living abroad, there’s so many unknowns. How many times is this person going to kiss me on the cheek? Do I call this person Pani or “ty” because, hell, we’re the same age? Who goes first at this fucking intersection?!”
I’m a terrible expat. I mean I just suck at assimilating. I was wondering why some people seem to manage so well and why it took me so damn long to feel comfortable here. I realized recently that I’m terrified of uncertainty! I hated being single. I hate driving somewhere new. I hate going to institutions I’ve never been to before and speaking Polish. I don’t like parties with a bunch of new people. What’s wrong with me?!
I’m sure it all comes down to being an introvert. Oh, the struggle. But for sure it’s also the fact that there’s a high degree of uncertainty because I like to be prepared for whatever is going to happen. I don’t know where to go, who to ask, what forms to use, maybe some thing will come up that I don’t understand, whatever. This one shitty character trait has been holding me back for years! The crazy thing is that I can speak Polish now. I know how to ask the questions I might have to ask somewhere and STILL it makes me uncomfortable just thinking about going to some new place!
Honestly, I think that’s why I haven’t changed cities in Poland. I’ve always lived in Gliwice and I don’t have much interest in moving. The thought of having to figure out where everything is, find a new dentist, new neighbors… no! I just can’t! I finally feel like I’m relatively comfortable here and I just want to keep that for a while longer 🙂 My husband’s dream is to move to the mountains though so I guess I should start getting used to the idea if I wanna keep him 🙂
Strangely, I love traveling and experiencing new places and cultures, but it’s the everyday life situations when I prefer certainty. So, if you think “hmm, those things sound really simple. Leah’s making a big fuss over nothing!” Then you’ll probably manage much better as an expat than I.
Are you an expat? Do you struggle with the same things as I do? Or maybe you’re a badass expat and the lifestyle suits you perfectly. Lucky you! Leave me a comment and let me know.