With the Christmas markets coming around, and the snow starting to fall, it’s beginning to feel a lot like the end of the year. A weekend in Bruges brought me together with a very good friend from London and catching up for the first time in nearly 12 months made for a fun and nostalgic few days. We talked about life in the UK – how the pull of it can be so addictive and only getting out reminds you there’s a world outside London – and we had time to reminisce about people we used to hang out with, the things we used to do and the best and worst relationships we could remember having.
Such nostalgia did make me think a bit about how much things have changed in the past year, and trying to wade through all of what’s happened made my head spin a bit. When you live abroad it’s like your life goes on a rollercoaster. You go from living in one situation to a completely different one in the click of a finger, making you feel more on top of the world than your home country ever did while the bad times leave you feeling more lonely than ever. I thought the year I moved to London was crazy enough; going from living in one hemisphere to another, becoming single after being in a serious relationship, changing jobs twice and moving house. I really had no idea what I was in for when 2013 rolled around.
One year ago today, I was:
- planning a christmas market-themed weekend trip to Frankfurt with my London flatmate, and hoping to figure out if the boy I was texting/skyping who lived there liked me as much as I liked him
- putting together the paperwork for my visa for the UK, hoping that everything was in order
- booking flights back to Australia for a month so I could wait out my visa situation
- spending my weekends in a routine of drinking and feeling hungover, dancing and applying make up, getting horrible night buses and telling sleazy guys to piss off in as many creative ways as possible
- giving notice on my flat in Frankfurt as I plan a move to Stuttgart next February with the boyfriend
- organising my visa situation in Germany to stay here for enough time to get citizenship
- starting to pack up my things for the second time in the year
- enrolling in a month-long teaching course in France
- celebrating my boyfriend getting his dream job at Porsche
- spending my weekends doing a mixture of getting trains overseas to explore, having dinners with my new-found girlfriends and spending relaxing nights in with said boy
Things have changed a lot in the last year – I’ve gone from being a single Londoner to a Deutsche Frau in a relationship planning a move to city i’ve never been to before, via living and studying in France for a month. It’s been a pretty crazy 2013 and with plans to live in three cities in 2014, along with two trips back home and taking a big step in both my career and relationship, I wonder at what point my life will slow down and find some kind of normalcy.
Equally, I often wonder what would have happened to me had I not left Australia. I certainly wouldn’t be anywhere near close to being in this situation. Living abroad really does spin you in directions you never even knew existed before you left home and although I’m going to be putting my life into a completely uncertain place next year I think I’m experienced enough with this type of situation to know that it’ll turn out positive, even if I end up homeless, jobless, single and starting all over again, again.
Till next time xx