Nervous about moving abroad? I know the feeling, trust me. Check out my story below of when I first moved abroad followed by one of biggest tips on how to shake the nerves.
Leaving for Thailand:
I still remember the day I left for Thailand. I remember it so vividly, so clear. I was terrified. I’d like to be all high and mighty and tell you how I wasn’t nervous at all, simply excited, but that would be a lie. I was very nervous about moving abroad.
I had traveled many of times before, all alone too, but this time felt different. It was my first time actually moving abroad all alone for a significant period of time.
I remember my friends taking me to the airport, three amazing people that I love. I don’t know what I would have done if they hadn’t been there with me. Of course, just to ease my nerves even more, my first flight had been delayed which caused me to miss my connecting flight. Did I mention my connecting flight was the one taking me all the way across the Pacific Ocean? This posed some problems for me as it messed up my arrangement I had for a pick-up when I arrived in Thailand and made me stuck at my layover destination overnight.
After a rough ordeal of flying, I arrived in Phuket Thailand around midnight. To say I was nervous before I left is an understatement to the anxiety I felt arriving alone in Phuket. I look back on that day now and smile at how vulnerable and naïve I must have looked. I walked out of the airport with my ginormous purple suitcase and I was immediately a target. The taxi guys came running up to me,
“Where you go?” they said to me in heavily accented English.
I told them the name of the hotel, which I completely mutilated (I know this for a fact now).
“1600 Baht” he replied.
From previous research I knew that a cab to where I was going should have only been about 600 Baht. They saw my vulnerability and jumped on the opportunity to try and scam me. However, I held my ground and was able to get the fare for 600 Baht.
When I arrived at the hotel it was in the middle of the night. I was escorted up to my room. As I entered the room that I would be living in for at least the next month, I was awoken with an oh so lovely smell of sewage. “Awesome” I thought to myself. Then as I turned on the lights, something scurried behind the mirror (I know now that it was a lizard, as they are everywhere in Thailand) But at the time I was a little uneasy as to what creature I was sharing my bedroom with. I popped a sleeping pill to try and fight the jet lag and crawled into bed—I knew I was in for an adventure.
And an adventure it was. An adventure that I would never take back. An adventure that I would have never had if I let my nerves get to me. It’s perfectly okay to be nervous about moving abroad, but never let your nerves get the best of you.
One of my greatest pieces advice I can give to you is this..
Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Don’t let others damper your dream or make you second guess yourself. Once you make the decision to move everyone will be giving you their two cents,
“Be careful over there, that place is very dangerous!”
“Make sure to get 100% DEET or you’ll contract malaria.”
“You are so brave to go all by yourself, are you nervous?”
It’s important to be prepared and to listen to others, but don’t let anyone plant the seed of fear into your mind. Most of the time the people that will plant the most worry in your mind, haven’t even traveled to the country you are going. Hell, they’ve probably never even left the country because they were too scared to. Don’t let nerves, worry or fear drive you away from something great. Traveling is a lot less scary than people make it out to be, don’t be nervous. You are brave, you are courageous and you are more than capable.