Everyone has bad days, and social media does not portray this. This may be an unpopular opinion and look like I’m jumping on the whole ‘social media is not real life’ bandwagon, but that is not the case. I love Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, but the reality is, that what I and most other people post is just a small snapshot of their lives and only the best parts. The point of this, is that there are downsides and difficulties when travelling and living abroad that aren’t shown on social media. What inspired me to write this is that today I nearly got pick pocketed for the first time which was rather scary, so I thought I would reflect on some of the difficulties I’ve encountered while travelling and moving abroad.
In January 2015 I went on my first trip by myself to Europe and I had the most amazing time and it was the best thing I could have done, and there was only one downfall. I was supposed to go to Paris, from London on the train, but on this day the tunnel was closed and all trains were cancelled. I immediately freaked out and had no idea what to do, so I booked a flight (an expensive one I might add) on a whim and flew to Paris early in the morning. On top of this, I also got very sick that night, it was an unenjoyable 24 hours, but I learnt that you don’t need to freak out in situations like that, just remain calm and weigh up all of your options.
My arrival in Spain was so stressful, I had just graduated university and flown 20,000 km around the world to live in a city where I didn’t know anyone. I arrived on a Thursday night and I had three days to find a flat, which happened to be almost impossible at this time of year. I was so overwhelmed with everything like finding a house, getting my visa card, opening a bank account. Luckily for me everything worked out by the Sunday and I could continue on with the Spanish life of tapas and cerveza in the sun.
Something that creeps up on me from time to time is being homesick. I’ve come to accept that this is normal, and doesn’t mean that I want to pack it all in and go home. On top of this, little things can go wrong all of the time, especially with the language barrier. Even though my Spanish has improved a lot, there is still so much vocabulary I don’t know, so little things like going to the doctor, getting your hair done or trying to buy sour cream at the supermarket become huge tasks.
Every tough situation you get into makes you a stronger person and you learn from your mistakes and how to deal with things in a better way. So don’t believe everything you read on social media and think that everything is perfect all of the time. Although, the good always outweighs the bad and with the good you have to take the bad. Side note, I just got offered my job for another year, with every negative situation (nearly getting my wallet stolen) comes something good.