I wish I have never moved abroad so I could stay in one place and be just happy, with money or not but happy. The relocation to the new country brings a lot of opportunities but in the other hand it breaks your heart in a half. It’s been over 5 years now since I moved from Poland to Ireland and I wanted to look back and recap the facts of being away from the country I lived for 27 years.
7 depressing facts of living abroad I faced:
I have never ever felt so lonely until I moved to the new country. I used to be surrounded by my family and friends. They were very close to me. For the first 3 years there was nobody. There were not spontaneous visits and calls. I could not meet anybody I know on the streets. The worst were the long winter evenings, quiet, cold and dark.
“: a substance that is released in the body of a person who is feeling a strong emotion (such as excitement, fear, or anger) and that causes the heart to beat faster and gives the person more energy” Yea, strong emotions. It is weird they are stronger than they used to be. Everything is new: people, culture, city, food, currency and surroundings. Every single thing is a challenge.
I moved to Ireland with very little English. It was extremely challenging to start my new life in the country of language I cannot even speak. My first job was terrible. I had to drive on the left hand side of the road. Even now after 5 years I am still in this alert mode, just in case something unexpected happen. I am still feeling stressed in the public places. I do not want anybody to talk to me in case I won’t understand.
I feel guilty, almost every day. It was me who choose to live abroad, to leave every single important person, to look for a new better life. This feeling is very strong. It usually appears when there is an important event in Poland and I cannot attend.
My grandma is asking me every time I visit her; “When are you coming back?”. I do not even know what to say, I do not know the answer too. I feel like my parents separated me from them, that they are punishing me for the choice I made. I am not longer part of the “family”. It is my life and my choice but many times I feel like the worst person on the world. I cannot be with them and I cannot feel what they feel.
As soon as we leave the country we used to live in, then there is never come back. I do not mean coming back from one country to another. I mean your home will be everywhere. In each place you visit. So being here you miss another one, going back will bring the memories from another and so on and on. It will never be the same.
I am asking myself often, where do I want to live? Where do I want to grow old? Where the real home is? When people ask me “Where are you from?” then I do not know it anymore. Constantly I feel like a traveler.
As soon as I started be fluent in English then I started loosing little bit of Polish. I cannot write in Polish as good as I used to it. The reason is the luck of writing in Polish. I do not need to do it anymore. I communicate in English on my daily basis. I speak and write in English. Even when I talk in Polish I use some English words between the polish ones. It’s a mix of two. I created my own language. I could never understand people who was living abroad and when they talked they were like “how was this word in polish?”. I am doing exactly the same. It is not funny anymore. It is a serious problem.
Many of my friends in here are foreign, not Irish. It’s interesting that I could get very close with somebody from here. Maybe still because of not enough language skills, maybe because I feel closer to people who has similar story. They moved here, looked for a job and stayed, like me. Sometimes I feel like I cannot express myself fully. Insufficient number of of vocabulary made me feel like I am starting completely from scratch, like I am two years old again. Sometimes, specially at work I laugh thinking; “In reality I am smart, I am just sound like a child right now”.
Feeling like a stranger
I feel like a stranger everywhere. When I am in Ireland, I feel like this place does not belong to me. Irish people are lovely, they never made me feel unwanted. I just feel a stranger in me head. I am aware I was not born here, I do not like fish and chips and Tayto crisps, I do not enjoy the windy, wet weather. When I go to Poland, I feel like a stranger too. I do not follow all the conversations, I am not up to date with every day life. My problems became different than my relatives in Poland.