Living abroad is amazing. It’s life changing. You get to experience a new culture, learn a new language, meet new people. You do things that you wouldn’t typically do. You start living this new, magical and exhilarating life. It truly is incredible.
I love living abroad. I realize how lucky that I am to have the experiences and opportunities that I have had in the last few years, getting to live both in Spain and in Colombia.
But what people don’t often discuss is the fact that living abroad can be so incredibly lonely. Because while you are surrounded by these new and incredible things, at the same time these new incredible things are not what you’re used to. You have to learn to make friends (in another language), you have to learn to do common and every day things (in a new country, in a new language)… and while yes it is exhilarating, sometimes it’s just plain exhausting. You’re far away from family and friends, and if you’re a trailing partner (like I am this time), you can spend a lot of time alone while your significant other is at work, wondering what on earth you’re doing with your life besides sitting in your apartment with no one for company. It’s rough.
Look, living abroad is not an easy choice. (If you followed along with my blog posts, you’ve seen how much I struggled with actually taking the leap.. admittedly, this time was a bit harder) From the outside it looks exotic and glamorous, traveling all the time and living in a foreign place, but the reality is, it can get incredibly lonely. It can be frustrating. It takes a while to build up a new life in a new place, to find new friends and to find a sense of purpose, to actually feel like you belong. And that’s exactly what I’m struggling with right now.
I have my boyfriend and his friends and his family… but at the end of the day what it comes down to is that sometimes I simply just feel like it’s his life, and I somehow feel like just a guest, like I’m just here places inside his life. That these people are all his friends, his family, his life .. and I just don’t feel quite like I belong yet. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is extremely warm, welcoming and kind. They do everything to make me feel like I belong, and they do… but in the end, I just don’t entirely feel it.
I don’t yet have any friends of my own. We’re still living with his parents, so I don’t quite feel like I have any space of my own. I don’t yet have a job, so my days feel long and lacking structure. I feel extremely lonely. I don’t have that feeling like I quite belong.
I know this takes time, that in time I will find my place here. That I will make my own friends, make my own memories, my own life. That me and my boyfriend will soon get our own place, and i will feel like I have space of my own. In time this place will feel like home, but as for now it doesn’t quite feel like it yet. I need time and patience, but right now it’s a bit of a struggle.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am happy here… I am so so happy to be with my boyfriend, and to be getting to experience this new city, new country, new culture. I feel lonely right now, but I wouldn’t change my decision to move here, of that I am certain.