Moving somewhere on your own can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Moving to a new country on your own can be considered crazy. In this 21st Century world where nothing has ever been more interconnected and the human family has never been smaller or closer from all corners, the world can feel eerily gaping wide when you step foot in a land you’ve never lived in before.
In fact, it really is mildly insane to go out into the world on your own, with all you have to save and clothe yourself slung over your shoulder.
I can say this because I have moved to two new countries in the last five years.
If doing something that scares you everyday is one of your motto’s, then this can literally be every new day spent in a new location for the first few months. There were countless days my first weeks where I felt like the world was turning around me and I was paralyzed stiff from fear of what was out the door or simply too poor to enjoy all the things that my new surroundings had to offer.
Venturing out also meant that I was alone amongst a world of people who had friends or lovers nearby. Their laughter echoing through the air as I walked past as invisible as I felt. Once I got a job though those fears began to melt away ever so slowly I connected with people at work where life allowed for some level of interaction with other human life.
For all the people who spurt off “you’re so brave” or “I could never do that” they don’t know that going it alone can lead to experiences and bonds with people you would never dream of meeting or calling friends in the life you left behind. Sure, it takes some adjusting and won’t be all smooth sailing where you feel ‘this is where I was always meant to be,’ but it doesn’t have to for the heartbeat of your surroundings to affect you if you give it a chance.
There are also ways for making new scenery and friends as comfortable as old surroundings and it can be as simple as the touch to a keyboard. Using the internet to resource where you will stay when you arrive in your new homeland, whether you are there for a year or indefinitely will help you get on your feet much quicker.
Sites like Couchsurfing.org or airbnb.com can be useful, not only for giving you shelter and a place to lay your belongings, but the people whose home you share can lead to knowledge of how to apply for the best priced travel cards or easiest travel routes to take and where you can avoid save or splurge for things.
Connect with as many people as possible, whether you know them well or only met them once and they simply became Facebook friends. Ask to meet up for coffee and expect as little from them as possible due to you stepping into their lives that are already grounded. Some may surprise you with kindness and invites to events while others may make even meeting for coffee difficult. Don’t be disappointed with the pace some friendships take to grow.
For the countless smartphone owners, there are apps like Viber and Whatsapp that are helpful to keep in touch with family and friends back home. They are free and use wifi for messaging new and old friends and family alike while keeping costs down in this internet run world.
Enjoy the freedom of getting lost and meeting new people who may be as lost in their surroundings as you.
Relish the time available before routines set in. Wander the anonymous streets if you can and get to know where locals buy coffee or beer.
See the sights that you may not be able to pay to go into or up, but from ground level (as a local).
It doesn’t have to be impossible for a new country to feel like home in a short time. By using the resources of local knowledge, the internet and its endless basin of information and contacts can only help make a new country fit for you.
By keeping a clear mind on why you moved there in the first place, you can and will succeed.