Why I Moved Abroad
So I’ve moved abroad. You probably know this by now, since I won’t stop banging on about it. So much so that I’ve even created a whole blog dedicated to the fact that I, Rhianna, 23 from from Derbyshire, UK, have moved abroad. I trundled off to the airport, looking like an overburdened donkey, just over two weeks ago now. Despite the tribulations, every day I become more convinced that it was the best decision I could have made for myself at this point in my life, and here’s why:
I love Germany
Despite the image you have in your head right now of a balding, middle-aged Jurg in lederhosen, dancing to Volksmusik and probably eating a sausage, I can inform you with some authority that Germany is actually cool. I don’t know when that happened either. The culture strikes a good balance between tradition and innovation, between pride and self-awareness. This is a country that recognises its past, that acknowledges it, and constantly attempts to reform and improve itself for its future. This, coupled with a liberal attitude, environmental conscientiousness and a straightforward approach to life and relationships, means that it suits me and my priorities better than the UK ever could. I LOVE Germany.
The British education system has a tendency to usher young people down set paths. We are shuttled en masse through primary, secondary school and university, to then finish our degrees and be left to flounder in an oversaturated job market. Finishing university left me in a position to really make my own choices for the first time in my life. Whilst the idea that I could move anywhere and do anything is overwhelming, it’s also incredibly exciting. To avoid moving back home and sitting and stewing, jobless, I decided to up sticks.
The UK and I have a tricky relationship at the minute
Flashback to the summer of 2016. The Brexit campaign had run its course, the atmosphere in the country was feverish. I was midway through a term abroad studying in France. My vote had been posted, and we found out before class began that Brexit was going ahead. The mood amongst the English students was sombre, and our teacher Pascale took one look at us as she walked in and shook her head sadly. “C’est dommage, vraiment dommage”. Sounds dramatic, but for language students Brexit felt (and still feels) like a punch in the stomach. It directly affects our futures, our career prospects and the basis of what we do and what we enjoy, so I’ve decided to take some time to mull over my relationship with my home country.
I didn’t want to chuck myself headfirst into post-grad life
The way I see it, millennials have got a long slog ahead of them. Gone are the days of retiring at 55 and winding down for some twilight years spent pottering around the garden and casually taking up painting (which sounds like a dream, by the way). We’re going to be working for a long time, such is the current economic climate. Bearing all of this in mind, what’s the rush in throwing myself into it right away? I don’t think anyone can begrudge me spending a few years faffing about, enjoying myself, moving and travelling and experiencing things I would never normally have the chance to experience. Grown-up jobs will always be around, my ability to travel unencumbered by responsibilities will not.
Any more recent expats that have some great reasons for making the move? Let me know in the comments!