Ever felt bored with your city? Felt like you need to get away?
When I was younger, I was so caught up in my own life, gossiping and hanging out with friends. I was in a bubble. It wasn’t until I turned 18 and traveled around Europe, that I realised how big our world is and how important other cultures are to making you a knowledgeable, kind person. I decided that I would pack up and leave Australia forever- a little over dramatic but that was my aim. I started hating where I came from and my old bubble.
I chose Ireland, as my father was born and raised there and I had just been granted my passport giving me citizen rights to live and work in the EU. I arrived in Dublin with wide eyes, a very small wallet full of money and big ideas to work and study full time. This is when the realisations started to hit. Moving across the world is not easy- it is a challenge every single day! From finding a job, to renting an apartment… it was more effort than I expected.
1. You will appreciate your family and friends more than ever.
This was probably my first lesson learnt. I felt lonely and I struggled to go out on my own and do things. It wasn’t until I moved into my Smithfield apartment that I met Sophie and Riona, two Irish girls who became amazing friends throughout my struggle. I missed my family, but more so I missed being a part of my inner circle of friends. I missed catching up on the gossip, who was dating who and going out on weekends. It took me a while to realise you can create that in any country- so I started getting out there and being social. I made new stories!
2. You will realise what you want to do with your life.
Before I left, I wanted to be a teacher as it had always been something I could see myself doing and people often suggested that it would suit me. It wasn’t until I started working in a Dublin promotions and marketing company, The Giraffe Agency, that I realised my absolute passion and drive to create and manage events. It was then that I started applying for Event Diplomas and Marketing Degrees and I can now say that I am a successful Events and Marketing Manager in Perth.
3. You will find out who you truly are.
I thought I knew who I was until I left. I was pretending to fit in with people I didn’t like (and who ended up losing contact with as soon as I left) or who tried to make me be something I am not. When you are left out on your own and can be whoever you want to be- the truth will come out. I am now exactly the person I am meant to be and nobody can change that!
4. You will be forced to be sociable.
Yep, that means talking to strangers folks. Sorry but if you want friends this is the only way to do it! Finding a fun workplace (bars and restaurants are always great fun), hobby or share house is the best option for those a little shy, you are bound to meet somebody. Put a smile on that dile and introduce yourself- what have you got to loose when nobody knows you anyway?!
5. You will be the poorest you have ever been.
Oh my god. I was so poor. I ended up gaining 20 kilograms (yes I was HUGE) as all I could afford was pizza! Plan prior to your departure and make sure you have a steady income. Don’t fall for the ‘I am on holiday and enjoying myself’ trap- you are starting a life for yourself and being healthy will allow you to be the best you can be! Make sure you spend wisely- don’t blow everything in one month. Another BIG tip is check out the taxation laws prior to departing- In Ireland they held my pay for 3 weeks while my tax number was created- it was a nightmare!
6. You will either love or hate where you came from.
I realised how amazing Australia is to live and work- the money, the safety, healthcare and education… but most of all I realised that I LOVE the weather! My sister, also born and raised in Perth left for London and never came back- she realised she HATED the small country-town feel that Perth has and now is in Berlin. What will you discover?
7. You will learn the hard way the difference in cultural norms.
I thought I was a pretty respectful person until I called somebody a ‘knacker’ as a joke. I was almost punched! This saying is one of the rudest and condescending terms you could ever say to an Irish person- while in Australia it is seen as funny to tease people like that. Just watch your wording and make sure you always end everything with a smile!
8. You will see and explore new and exciting places.
I was able to use Dublin as a base to explore Cork, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Galway, plus I even went over to Malta as it was so cheap to fly! Use your time abroad to find new places and see new things, that way if it all ends badly- you had a great time anyway!
9. You will become a better, well rounded person.
Every day, I thank myself for making that step. Leaving Perth was the best thing I ever did because it made me realise how lucky I am to be an Australian and call Perth my home. I now know that I don’t want to grow old anywhere else, but I have also grown a travel bug within me that wants to keep learning these things. If you’re struggling with your current life- what is stopping you from leaving? Take it from me, the journey is better than the destination.