England

How Not to Move Abroad in Europe

In 2016 I graduated from high school and just a few days after graduation I packed a tiny bag and flew to Madrid and then onwards to Liverpool. Which I decided was my new home. My experience moving abroad was a disaster. Not the city of Liverpool, but my experience. So here I am today to tell you how not to move abroad in Europe so that you can learn from 18-year-old me and not make the same mistakes.

Me in my bedroom in Liverpool. Why did no one tell me that my hair was actually yellow?

Plan ahead

I wish I knew planning ahead actually can be a good thing. I have a tendency to dive head first into projects and not thinking about consequences, which can be a good quality sometimes. But it also gets me in all kinds of hard situations that I then have to solve in like 2 minutes. This was one of those situation. I had a living situation sorted out, but that was it. I had about $200 in my bank account and no source of income what so ever. Don’t think of me as a spoiled child because in my adult life I’ve always made my own money and I have not lived of my parents.

This is the building in which I failed my interview. I have walked by this building when visiting Liverpool later on, but it still gives me a feeling of failure and I try to avoid going to the docks when I visit.

Don’t procrastinate

Okay, so I just graduated after 12 years of school. I was tired. But as I mentioned earlier; I had no source of income. And I procrastinated finding one. I procrastinated searching for jobs and getting my National Insurance-number, so that I actually would be able to get a job (spoiler: I still don’t have it). So I did not make it easy for myself. Also remember that I was 18 and never had a “real” job before. Eventually I got a interview for an internship at a museum (which I obviously didn’t get) and after failing the interview SO HARD. I pretty much gave up on life. When I look back I feel sorry for myself.

 

Realize when things doesn’t work out

You can make it work. No doubt. But I just couldn’t. All trough high school I had been struggling with depression, anxiety and my senior year I was even on sick leave for the most of the year. And let me tell you; to move abroad to a new, foreign country did NOT make it better. So after about a month of panic attacks on the kitchen floor, crying myself to sleep, not having found a single friend and about $0 in my bank account. I gave up. I flew back home and saw myself as a failure for a very long time. I started studying at a university in a new city and tried to forget all about Liverpool and England. But today I’m proud that I tried and also proud that I took the decision to move back home and stop torture myself.

The neighborhood where I lived.

Try again

I am not yet at this stage but I will definitely move abroad again in the future. Maybe not in Liverpool but somewhere. I love adventure and I think I would manage much better now. I’m today healthy from my mental illnesses, have work experience and I’m a much more mature human being. So I have not given up. One day I will move out of the country again but I will be better prepared.

 

Some actual tips on moving abroad

  • Be active. Go to the local pub, talk to people and you will probably find friends for life!
  • You don’t have to work a traditional job. I wish I realized that I could work online when I was still in Liverpool. Then things probably had turned out different for me. This makes moving abroad easier!
  • Save up some “if everything goes to hell”-money before going. I didn’t do this and the fact that I had no money was constantly in the back of my head and made me get severe anxiety. I actually wouldn’t recommend to move abroad without some back up money.
  • Plan somethings ahead. I’m all about being spontaneous but when you’re making big life changing decisions, a back up plan can be a good option.
  • If you want to move abroad and not have to worry about all these things I just mentioned; trying going as an Au-Pair.
Edinburgh

My travel diary: Edinburgh

This post was planned weeks ago but exams and Christmas came in the way… But better late than never I guess!
I’m back home from Edinburgh and it’s time to conclude my trip! I had never been to Edinburgh or Scotland before and I LOVED IT! Even though it reminded me of England it was completely different. We spent 3 nights in Edinburgh and we stayed at the Britannia Hotel West End. The hotel was nothing fancy or extra ordinary but it was a bed to sleep in and breakfast in the morning. It was actually the only hotel availabe relatively close to the city centre during our stay so we didn’t have much choice haha. But it was super cosy since we lived in the “old part” of the hotel and not in the recently built part.
On the night we arrived we also went to a really nice pub called The Grosvenor on Shadwick Place which was only a 5-8 min walk from our hotel. The perfect distance after traveling the entire evening (our flight was of course delayed…).
The first day we spent Christmas shopping! We were all very excited for Primark since we don’t have that in Sweden. And I will admit that I spent a bit more money then planned haha. But the highlight of the day was the evening as we went on a ghost tour around the city! It was so interesting! I learned a lot about the horrible history of Edinburgh. This was my first time doing a guided tour (except at like museums with school when I was younger) and I will totally do it again! I doesn’t have to be expensive either. In fact, the tour we did was free but we of course paid tips at the end since we really liked it. The tour started on the Royal Mile and took circa 1hr 15mins.
On day 2 we decided to explore the area around the Royal Mile some more. One of our favourite discoveries was a super cute vintage shop called W. Armstrong & Son. If you want to see more of the shop, check out the video below! The area where the vintage shop is located is called Grassmarket and of course there was a market as well. Not very big but so cute!
One of the highlights of this day was our visit to Greyfriars kirkyard. Both Sandra and I are big Harry Potter fans so obviously we had to visit Voldemorts grave. Definitely a must-visit if you are a HP-fan! Hope you like this very touristy picture of me next to the stone haha.
That same day we also walked up to the Edinburgh Castle and oh my gosh the view from up there! Beautiful! But waaaaay too many people for my liking. There were people EVERYWHERE. Not a big fan. We didn’t go inside the castle this time but if I visit Edinburgh again I would love to.
On the last day we visited the Christmas Market again and it felt so nice getting into the Christmas spirit. There was mulled wine, hot chocolate, handy crafts and many other things. I bought a hot chocolate and a hand made wooden lantern for my mum for Christmas (she really liked it!). This concluded our trip to Edinburgh as we traveled back home the day after. But before we went to the airport we hade some time to visit the National Museum of Scotland (they have a roof terrace with a panoramic view over Edinburgh!!!). Big recommendation if you visit Edinburgh!

If you want to see the entire trip in a video, you’re in luck! I made a video for my YouTube. If you like it, don’t forget to like and subscribe HERE. Also don’t forget to follow my adventures over on Instagram! @STROKEOFADVENTURE 

Edinburgh

EDINBURGH: Plans and Expectations

As I revealed a couple of posts ago I am going to Edinburgh next week. I have never visited Edinburgh or Scotland, so I’m very excited! And since I’ve never been, I thought I would share some of our plans and my expectations for this trip. We are six people in total travelling together on this trip and that means a LOT of people that want to do different things. We arrive in Edinburgh on November 30th and fly back home on December 3rd.
Plans
We have three main activities planned for this trip. But they may change due to weather etc.
First off, shopping. Since we are going to a country in which it is cheaper to shop for clothes etc. than in Sweden we are going to do some Christmas shopping. I’m planning to buy the majority of my Christmas presents in Edinburgh and so are the others. Hopefully, I can find some goodies for my self as well. I just recently cleaned out my entire closet because I’m moving to a different appartment when I get back from this trip. So now I need to fill it back up, right?! I plan to spend a lot of time in Primark since we don’t have that in Sweden haha.
Picture: TECHRETE
Secondly, a ghost tour! Edinburgh is a very old city and therefor it has a lot of history, especially haunted history. There are multiple tours all around the city for around £10-20. We’re planning to take a walking tour around Edinburgh if the weather allows it and then find somewhere to eat dinner. Hopefully the weather will be nice to us because I’m very excited about this tour! Have anyone of you done a tour like this in Edinburgh? Do you have any recommendations?
Picture: MY HOLIDAY GURU
Lastly, we plan on climbing Arthur’s Seat. Everyone on this trip are nature freaks and loves the outdoors so of course we plan to hike up Arthur’s Seat. Once again this activity might change due to the weather but I’m bringing a rain jacket and my hiking boots, so no one can stop me haha!
Picture: WALKHIGHLANDS
These are the three main activities on this trip but of course we have a whole lot more planned. Me and my cousin are big Harry Potter-fans so we plan on visiting Tom Riddles grave at Greyfriars kirkyard as well as the cafés where J.K. Rowling apparently wrote some of the books. We also want to visit the Museum of Edinburgh and the Edinburh Castle.
Expectations
As I’ve never been to Scotland at all before I really don’t know what to expect. I’ve heard only good things of Edinburgh but I don’t like to listen to rumors too much. I have visted the UK quite a lot so in some ways I expect it to be very similar to that. Right now I just hope the weather will be okay and that it doesn’t rain the entrie trip haha. But other than that, I will just have to wait and experience it on my own!
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