Sunday, 26 January 2014

My Cosmo article: Six reasons why living abroad for a year is the best thing ever.


Um... yes. Sorry for shouting. 

Anyway, here it is:

As I stared out of the plane window at the not-so-patchwork fields of Germany, I tried my hardest to hold back the tears, but alas (much to the amusement of the businessmen beside me), I couldn’t stop a few cheeky tears escaping. It was actually happening. I was moving to Germany. For real. Not just for a holiday but to live actual life there. And it was all just a little overwhelming, hence my eyes leaking.

That was nearly five months ago and I haven’t cried since. Well except for when I watched Marley and Me, but c’mon, I’m only human and that is one cute dog.

The point is, moving to Germany wasn’t nearly as scary or hard as I’d imagined before leaving. Sure, I miss crumbles, baked beans – not together, mind – and proper tea (oh, and my family, obvs) but apart from that, it’s all been, well, awesome.

Of course, there are the obvious pros of starting a new life abroad like meeting new people, learning a language and broadening your horizons, but we’ve all heard that before now, haven’t we? However, I’ve discovered a few other reasons why moving abroad is a simply marvellous thing to do.

1.     You’re the foreign one 

Pretending to be German at Oktoberfest (read my blog about it here)
You know how when you go to a party and the guys are all ogling your friend’s hot cousin who’s just come over from France? Well, when you’re the foreigner abroad, you get to be that interesting, different one. But I can’t promise you’ll automatically develop French femme fatale seductiveness by moving abroad. Sorry.

But whether you’re on the train, in a shop or at a party, people take just a little bit more notice, because you’re foreign. And that’s quite cool. It’s fun to feel special, unique, and – dare I say it? – exciting, even if people are only trying to listen in to practice their English. (They usually are.)

2.     Discovering new culinary delights

Embracing the local delicacies
Let’s face it, baked beans are always going to be there when you go back home, and as wonderful as British cuisine is (the Germans weren’t so convinced when I tried to explain the awesomeness of fish and chips), it turns out there’s a lot more food to be eaten and drinks to be drunk outside our green and pleasant land.

Ever heard of Maultasche, Spätzle or Federweißer? Nope, didn’t think so (unless you’ve been reading my blog, you lovely person - I wrote a post all about lovely German cuisine here.) They are all incredibly delicious German delicacies. I am choosing to ignore the fact that I ripped a pair of my favourite skinnies while crouching down a few weeks ago. Completely unrelated to all the stodgy-but-scrummy German food I’m consuming. Ahem.

3.     You get to be a tourist and a local at the same time

Discovering Coburg - here's my blog about it!
Doing a year abroad is a funny (but awesome) thing – you feel a bit like you’re on holiday, whilst simultaneously settling into a new home. I love the fact that I feel like I know my town well now and I bump into someone I know nearly every time I go out, but at the same time, I have something of a holiday mind-set. Some might even say ‘YOLO’ (or in my case, ‘YOIBO’ – You’re Only In Bavaria Once. Catchy, I know.)

When you know you’re only in a country for a matter of months and it’s not really real life, you just want to make the most of every opportunity, say yes to everything (within reason), travel everywhere and yes, eat everything. My justification? It’s German. I’m embracing the culture.

4.     Going home feels extra special

Christmas abroad is great but... (this is Prague and here's my blog about it!)
I tell you what, as much fun as I’m having abroad, going home for Christmas was absolutely delightful. I didn’t particularly want to leave Germany, but I was definitely looking forward to my home comforts – being here has made me realise all the teeny tiny things I miss about living in the UK. And I’m not just talking about food, honest (although a mince pie binge obviously occurred – who knew they were a purely British thing? Tragic.)

Going home to see your family at Christmas is always lovely, whether from work, uni or school, but when you’ve been living abroad, it is super duper special. Red post boxes, shops open on Sundays, Union Jack bunting, the Royal Family, One Direction, Cadbury’s, Topshop, family, friends, pets… How I miss you so!

5.     Everything’s interesting because it’s new

A FOOT of sausage!? Well, when in Germany...
Visiting a new country is always fascinating, purely because everything (well, nearly everything) is different to what you know. Even the most mundane things that you wouldn’t give a second thought to at home (exciting trip to the supermarket, anyone?) are a million times more interesting abroad. I for one like to think foreigners to the UK would be just as fascinated by a trip to Marks & Sparks – heck, an M&S trip is an exciting outing for me too!

The novelty of experiencing strange German traditions definitely hasn’t worn off, and every day I discover something new. Sure, the locals may think I’m slightly batty for showing so much enthusiasm towards their daily habits, but it’s better than showing no interest at all. No, they definitely think I’m an eccentric British nutter, but that may be more down to my onesie and collection of Christmas jumpers…

6.     You learn SO MUCH

Heidelberg - blog about it here!
When you move abroad, you automatically learn about a new culture, other people and languages without even trying, but mainly, living in another country pushes you out of your comfort zone and teaches you about yourself. Everyone says it, and it may be a little cringey, but it’s true.

And there it is! I think it looks much better on Cosmo and I'd love it if you had a little lookie... Here it is! (Just to prove I'm not making this up. As IF I'd ever lie to you, lovely readers!)


  1. Great post - and congrats that it is on the Cosmo website!! I'm going to be starting study of my degree in English Lit and German so I get a year abroad there and this has made me so excited about it! :)

    1. Thanks so much. Oh, lucky you! You're going to have the most wonderful time and I've glad I've got you all excited :) X

  2. Congrats, I love reading your blog so it's no surprise other people would love your stuff too!


    1. Oh thank you, Sophie, that's so kind of you to say :) X

  3. Aww that sounds amazing, this is something I would love to do and looking into :) just need to decide which country and when xx


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