A few years ago I decided to make a huge decision and move abroad. Germany to be more precise. Some people thought I was crazy, others admired me and saw me as an example.
To be honest, it was an obvious step as the girlfriend is German. Nevertheless, I was settling in a new environment where the habits are different from my own country. This was by far the most drastic decision I ever made. It was both exciting and frightening. The hardest part for me was adjusting to the habit of not seeing my own family so often. This was hard for me and not always easy to deal with. Especially after visiting Belgium for a few days and then having to leave. I struggled with this for a few months. Right now, I am actually laughing at this while writing it down.
After a while, I completely adapted to my new environment. Germany has a place in my heart. Well, at least Bavaria! I still have quite some exploring to do. This is an amazing place to live. The nature is incredible, the wine is the best I have ever drank and the people (most of them) are friendly and helpful. Ow yeah…not to mention… The Autobahn!
This experience broadened my vision on the rest of the world. I would like to go through the whole process of moving abroad at least once more. This international lifestyle is quite fascinating and enriches you in so many ways. It can change your mindset completely. Besides that, the majority of my colleagues come from all over the world. Everybody has a unique story. And let me tell you, a lot of them are mind-blowing. My story is actually pretty boring compared to their’s! Sharing my story with strangers usually ends with feedback like… “Wauw, this is not the usual road you took”. While to me, this feels perfectly normal. Before I experienced this, most of my friends and the people around me walked the regular path of studying, finding a job and starting a family… of course, there is nothing wrong with that! But for me, this was not the path I wanted to walk. At least not straight away.
As I mentioned before, we moved. The girlfriend is currently enrolled in a master program, I’m in Belgium because I’m able to pursue an investment project. I can probably disclose more in the nearby future. I can also disclose that she is in The Netherlands. Therefore, I am visiting and exploring another country I know very little off. Another great experience!
I thought coming back to Belgium would be a stroll in the park. Let me tell you, it’s not. It’s even harder for me to adapt to the life here again. Because Belgium and Germany are neighboring countries, I assumed the lifestyle is pretty similar, but there are quite some differences.
The point I’m trying to make is that my mindset has changed to a more international level. I would have no problem with packing my bags and move to The Netherlands as well. We are even talking about pursuing another adventure abroad once my girlfriend finished her studies.
I also feel everybody should pursue this at least once in their lifetime. This will only lead to more positive vibes. A while back, I read an article about an expat family who moved locations every 4 years. The thing that struck me the most was the mother explaining that her children do not know what racism is just because they grew up in an international environment. Wouldn’t the world be a beautiful place if every single person would not know what racism is.
Without wanting to extend this subject, I want to end with saying that I feel privileged because I was able to experience this and I’m definitely ready for more. I consider myself less and less Belgian but simply a child of the world, like everybody else!