Before I go into detail how living in the UK doesn’t work for me in the long-term and how it made me realise what I value most in life – being able to spend a lot of time outdoors, doing all sorts of sports and activities – I want to share that moving abroad has been the best decision I’ve made. It has shaped me in an incredible way. Without this experience, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Moving to the UK has given me so much. I’ve learned a lot about my field of work, culture, history, I traveled around the country and I’ve grown both professionally and as a person.
Living abroad also helped me learn a lot about myself, what I value most and what brings me joy. Because of this experience I’ve changed massively throughout the years. It was the life outside my comfort zone, away from the familiar bubble, that shaped me.
I wouldn’t see things the way I see them now, my perspective has changed a lot. In a good way, of course! 🙂
If I didn’t make that jump and moved abroad without a job waiting for me I wouldn’t have grown that much. Probably I would be a completely different person today. 🙂
I gained so much – but the biggest advantage this whole experience has given me is a high level of resilience. It’s one of the most defining things in life.
Moving abroad like that was a huge leap into the unknown but I trusted that everything will work out. And it did.
During those years I realised that some things are not as amazing as society wants us to believe. Below I go deeper into my thoughts on office life, landscapes and the weather 🙂
The Diverse Landscape is Not in Easy Reach
For the past three years, I’ve been living in a small town where there were no mountains, lakes, rivers, or seaside. So even in my free time, I am very limited in outdoor activities.
The landscape in the UK is not diverse, it’s flat everywhere you look. There are options for walking and cycling, but always on flatlands, which for me, gets very boring very quickly. And the weather is always wet, cloudy and grey.
To get to a more diverse landscape you have to drive for hours, it’s not in easy reach and definitely not on your doorstep. And the moody grey weather doesn’t make things easier.
It sounds like I’m complaining a lot. 🙂 But it’s just the way it is, this is the reality. I’ve lived in other countries and having good weather conditions to enjoy the outdoor activities makes a difference. Being outdoors brings me joy like nothing else.
The Scheduled Office Life Leaves Little Time for Anything Else
Working the typical office job felt like being trapped. A strict schedule would dictate your life. Most people would go home after work, have dinner and go to sleep. And then repeat the next day.
There were not many cultural or sports events happening in town. So we planned many walks and board game nights.
It might be because of the weather or the strange closing times of cafes in small towns (they close at 5 pm during the week), but I’ve not seen many people socializing after work or at the weekends. What we observed is that people spend a lot of time indoors.
We have become friends with many Europeans who have sadly left the UK after a couple of years. They either moved to continental Europe – back to their own countries or to some other countries.
They had a taste of what life is like in the UK, but they didn’t see themselves here anymore. Not for the rest of their lives.
Why I long for a slightly different life? With more options on ho to spend your time off? Because it’s something I’ve seen to be possible:
The Weather in the UK
Another thing that I really miss (so much!) in the UK is having nice long sunny days, those dry days with no clouds. Days where you could just go out in the morning and not worry about the weather.
To be able to enjoy your day without being worried about getting wet. Where you could hike up a hill, play volleyball, or go foraging in the forest. Or even sit down on the grass. It’s too wet to sit on the grass for about 8 months of the year!
I know that the weather does not define or bring happiness. But it does give you options to do more things that bring you joy. It depends on each person though, some people love being at home every day.
Trusting Myself and Finding a Different Path
And so over the years, I came to realize that it has been a great experience, I’m so incredibly grateful to have developed myself professionally, and to be able to start a life together with Ian.
But my heart has been longing for something different for the last couple of years. To find and do my own thing, and be my own boss. And through this process to connect with people that are very similar and maybe start a project together. To spend more time outdoors and connect with nature.
I’ve had so many different ideas over the years, but there was always fear stopping me. I think I grew up with this fear of moving away from safety.
But at the same time, I did make that huge leap into the unknown when I moved abroad at the age of 24 with only my suitcase, not knowing anybody and not having a job waiting for me!
So I know I’m capable of being brave and taking risks. There have to be some risks to reach your creative potential.
During these long days at the office, I started thinking about what to do and how to do it. Honestly, I was very lost. I’m still very lost.
I know what I want, I can see it. I would like to try going down this path to see how it goes. But to do this, I have to make time for it. I won’t be able to follow my path alongside having a full-time 9-5 job. At least for me, this doesn’t work.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading. Let’s see what’s next!
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