March 20, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Moving Away

I've been thinking about whether or not to hit 'publish' on this post for a while now and all I keep thinking is, if this posts helps just a few other people who are considering a move far away from home then it's been worth it and I guess that's what having a personal blog is all about.

I want to start by saying that my experiences may differ hugely to your experiences of moving away, but as it's coming up to one year of living in Singapore I wanted to reflect on this time, the positives and the occasional negatives, because let's face it, life isn't perfect and can be full of challenges! 

Here are my positive experiences of moving away so far: 

Personal Growth

When you take on a long distance move (15 hours from home to be precise), you are opening yourself up to a world of change. Starting a new life in an unfamiliar place away from all your safety nets takes a lot of courage, but it's the best way to truly know yourself and learn more about YOU. It sounds silly because you'd think you know everything about yourself, but I have learnt strengths and weaknesses about myself that I really didn't know I had. I've been anxious in certain situations and the happiest I've ever been in others but whilst the risks of moving away may be great, so are the rewards as drastic change can spark new excitement in your life.

Career Opportunities 

Whilst finding a suitable role for me was a challenge to begin with, getting out of the rut you may be in work-wise and discovering new employment opportunities can do a lot for your career and push you out of your comfort zone. I feel I've learnt new skills, explored new networking opportunities and experimented with unlikely job choices which has definitely helped me to develop new skills and experience whilst adding global experience to my portfolio too!

Living Somewhere New

Moving countries has certainly afforded me the opportunity to live in a new place and experience different cultures which has been amazing! The area my fiancé and myself lived in the UK before we moved here really wasn't right for us and a new place to call home has been super refreshing and I've really enjoyed making it homely, with a little help from Ikea!! Our local area, Tiong Bahru, has amazing cafes and brunch spots, yoga places and more importantly so much character so it's refreshing that we can still have fun around our local area, without the need to go anywhere else.

Meeting New People (Not like the little guy below!)

I know this may sound like an obvious one, but it's really important to try and push yourself out there from the minute you move away! I found it difficult to find the right groups of people at first but now I have a lovely group of friends that I see often but it does take a good while to settle in and feel comfortable. The best thing for me was to get involved in various fitness groups including bootcamps, running clubs and yoga and that's been a great way to meet people. On a separate note, also try to use social media to reach out to people you think you might get on with, could be a gamble in some instances but it's likely to pay off! Adam from Foundation Photos SG has been taking some photos for my blog for a few months now and we met via Instagram so you should always reach out to people and see what you may have in common, but I understand that's easier said than done!

Travel, Travel, Travel!

I feel super lucky to have travelled to some unbelievable places since I've been away but it's hard work that's had to pay for each and every trip. But hard work is worth it if you get to visit places you never thought you would have the opportunity to visit in your whole life. Singapore is a great place to live as it's so close to so many must-see places including Bali, Vietnam, Sydney to name a few so I've loved getting out there and I feel very happy to have ticked a few places off my bucket list.

Here are my negatives so far...I hate being negative but got to be realistic!

Distance from Friends and Family

As dramatic as this may sound, a 15 hour distance from friends and family can sometimes be so difficult and although I never thought I would, I've struggled and been homesick from time to time. Social media and Skype is great for keeping in contact with those closest to you but sometimes you just need friends and family to be physically by your side. However, this whole experience has definitely made me appreciate the people around me, those who have continuously made the effort and always been there and I feel stronger as a result too.

Culture Shock and Fitting In 

Finding new friends, finding where the doctors surgery is, where to go for your favourite foods, where to go for essential beauty treatments, basically where to find anything can be a nightmare at times but you just have to persevere. Added to that, you're likely to be using a phone number from a different country, trying to navigate your way around without Google Maps (first world problems) and I've got to say there's always struggles no matter how long you've been away and you've just got to laugh about it all and keep your cool. Getting used to new rules, regulations, and other peoples ways of working is also frustrating at times but if you look at it all as valuable life experience you are winning!

The Stress and Cost of Moving

Moving is stressful, the end. I'm ashamed to say that my parents are still sorting out the stuff we left behind in bedrooms and storage units so if I could do this whole experience again, I would take time to sort everything out at home before moving so it's a more stress free experience. It's not an easy journey home if there are any essentials you've left behind, in my case wardrobes of clothes, but you will get your hands on everything you need if you are desperate. 

Outfit Details: Dress by Cotton On / Shoes by Topshop (Past Season sadly!) / Bag by Lilla Lane / Bracelet by Monica Vinader / Earrings by Isle & Tribe 

If you are thinking of moving away permanently or temporarily, I hope this post hasn't deterred you from doing so! I wish I'd have done a little more research and asked questions about other people's experiences before I moved so hopefully this has been valuable and helped in some way. If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments below and I'll get back to you.

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