Living Abroad: Challenges, Adaptation, and Meeting People

*The Amsterdam Experience*

Many of us face this life phase - moving abroad. It can be uneasy, challenging, yet exciting. In this video, Una, Tacia, and Julia, who are all expats, are talking about the main challenges and suggest solutions from their personal experiences.

How to adapt to a different climate? How to meet friends? What about the nightlife? How to go about a different dating scene?

Cozy wintery evening, tea, and a sincere women's talk, full of insights and fun! Enjoy♥


Una: [00:00:04] Hi everyone, and welcome to the Fashion Potluck Blog. My name is Una, and I'm here with Tacia and Julia. And we're going to be talking about living abroad. So, we all internationals and we all live in Amsterdam right now. Okay, I'm really curious what made you move to the Netherlands? Why did you decide to live abroad?

Tacia: [00:00:27] I think actually what inspired me the most to move abroad was the last people I met in Australia. So I started hanging out a lot with a bunch of backpackers and they were basically just living the dream. And, for me is I'd like never left the country before. So I was starting to realize that I was like quite box minded. If you hear about all these stories overseas and abroad and you see all these videos but it just doesn't really feel real because you're just so stuck in your own way. And I guess I was just really like I guess hungry for that feeling as well as being so far away.

Julia: [00:01:08] Was it scary for you to move away for the first time?

Tacia: [00:01:14] Yeah no really. I mean the last day in Australia - the feeling was kind of like you're about to go bungee jumping, because you really don't know what to expect and you just know that you're going to wake up tomorrow, and nothing is going to be the same. But, I think I was more excited than afraid, to be honest.

Julia: [00:01:35] Did you move by yourself?

Tacia: [00:01:37] Yes, I moved by myself.

Julia: [00:01:38] And did you move to the Netherlands?

Tacia: [00:01:39] Yep. Just flew straight to Amsterdam.

Una: [00:01:43] So cool! But what about you, Julia?

Julia: [00:01:46] Oh for me it was a very simple reason to move away. I moved to Germany to study. And the decision was pretty simple because I don't believe that education in my country is very good. Neither I think that there is a good future, in my opinion of course. It's only my opinion, of course, it's a beautiful country. But, yeah, I chose Germany because it was very cheap, it was a free education, in English. So, the choice was obvious. And, yeah, I'm pretty happy I did it. But at the same time, it was easy for me because I was planning to move away for five years before that. So, when the day actually came, it wasn't scary, it was pretty natural. It was only scary on my first day. But as soon as I started university, it went away.

Una: [00:02:41] Yeah. It was the same for me. I also just came here to study and since I went to international schools my whole life, it was kind of like I was supposed to move anyways. So, yeah, that was really kind of natural and funny, but I feel like sometimes some people when they move abroad they might feel a bit lonely or something. Did you did you feel lonely or like how did you meet friends? Do you have any advice on how to meet friends when you move abroad?

Julia: [00:03:09] Well for me, personally, it was pretty easy initially because I was in the university as I said and it was a bit more difficult when I moved to the Netherlands. Because I started a new job in a small company, so the number of people I could potentially get friends with was pretty limited. And, I think you should make an effort to actually meet friends, potential friends, or just good acquaintances. I think you should just go out there and even if you're introverted just like put it out there and try to connect to people even though it can be uneasy. But otherwise, like, I don't see another way. Maybe, I had to message some girls in Instagram, maybe from the same country, something like "Let's go for coffee" and stuff like that.

Una: [00:03:55] But that's a good way to do it, definitely. I feel that also when you move abroad, no one knows you, and you can really present yourself in a way you want to. But I also feel it is easier maybe if you're a student and if you live in a student house. Because for me personally it really helped. You just are there with students, you start hanging out, meeting other people.

Julia: [00:04:17] What about you, Tacia?

Tacia: [00:04:18] I think in the beginning I found it really tough because I was working in a Dutch restaurant and I guess I was the only expat there. So, quite often in more of the social settings, like after work or whatever, I felt a little bit like left out because I didn't understand Dutch and they'd quite often forget to speak in English. And, yeah, so that was quite miserable because it was getting to become winter as well, and just like not really knowing anybody.

Julia: [00:04:55] But, how did you actually do it? Because now, since we know you, you have pretty a lot of friends here.

Tacia: [00:05:02] I think honestly my best advice for anyone like moving just completely abroad would be to find yourself in the beginning in a very international environment. Whether that would be for example, if you're studying, you know, that's like your student accommodation. Or even having like a real touristy job where everyone else is I guess speaking the same language as you. I think that really helps me. And then I guess once you meet people, you start to be a little bit more comfortable with meeting more people.

Julia: [00:05:44] When you know someone, it's easier for you to meet other people because you meet one person, then at a party he introduces you to someone else. It continues and continues.

Julia: [00:05:52] Yeah for sure. It's kind of like a bridge. Yeah, I think it's also getting over that first initial fear of just walking up to people and talking to them.

Una: [00:06:03] Yeah definitely.

Julia: [00:06:04] Yeah. Maybe another tip would be just to attend some events, I'm not sure, maybe the events related to you. For example, I was going to some events of, sounds funny, the Russian women community. That was really cool! You know you feel like home. You meet new people and, yeah they're not Dutch, but I don't think it matters at the initial point. You can get stuck with people from your country. There's definitely a challenge not to get stuck only with them, but I think it's a good idea or maybe some related meet-ups, expat meet-ups...

Watch the full video above.♥

We hope you enjoyed our cozy women talk.♥ If you moved abroad at some point in your life, or simply have some fun stories to share, feel free to share them in the comments!


The Fashion Potluck Team

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