I’ve always dreamed of packing my bags and moving abroad. I never imagined I’d end up in Sweden, but love takes you to some crazy places. Living with my boyfriend is amazing, but living abroad comes with a ton of obstacles. A lot of which, I didn’t prepare for. For starters, learning Swedish is hard AF. Taking classes and studying for hours seem almost pointless when everyone speaks English, but my unemployed ass needs a job and to work in Sweden, I have to master this language. Right now I’d say my level of Swedish is equivalent to a 5-year-old, luckily for me, Robin has two infant nieces so that gives me a tight circle of friends to converse with. Squad goals, amirght?
My days are mostly spent forcing myself to study Swedish and sending out my resume to any company willing to hire an American. My choices are pretty slim, but a girl’s gotta eat, so the search continues.
The hardest part of being in Sweden is surviving without my friends. Making friends as an adult is so hard! Making friends that can keep up with my level of craziness is even harder. My boyfriend does a freakishly good job filling this lonely void, but he also refuses to watch Vanderpump Rules with me, so who TF should I talk to when drama goes down between Katie and Schwartz?
These troubling times force me to think about my move to Sweden. Was this the right choice? Yes. Was I fully prepared? Hell, no.
Here are a few things to consider before booking that one-way ticket.
1. Getting used to spending more time alone.
Like I said, without your friends and family, it can feel like you just committed social suicide. But spending time alone can be relieving. Try to enjoy it, because once you have a job and responsibilities, people will seem less interesting and more annoying.
2. Strict budgeting.
When you first arrive in your new home, you’ll want to celebrate. It’s all fun and games until your card gets declined. It may take a very long time for you get a job and get settled in a new country. So no more fancy nightclubs or Sunday brunches, it’s time to save up.
3. Pack accordingly.
I thought my J. Lindberg and faux fur scarf would be enough be keep me warm during the Swedish winter, but after enduring three severe colds, it’s safe to say I was wrong. I spent most of this winter walking around like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. I wasn’t attacked by a bear or anything, but I felt like on the verge of death while walking through sub-zero temperatures.
4. Being dependent.
Annoying, but true. When you move abroad, the process towards getting on your feet will be a long one. Make sure you have a support system in place, it’ll be necessary.
5. Ask yourself why.
Moving abroad is a huge change. You’re leaving behind your loved ones, your career and the life you’ve created. Ask yourself if you’re willing to move forward at the risk of leaving so much behind.
Photos: Rebekah Black
Have you ever moved abroad for a relationship? Share with us in the comments.