There are thousands of American expats around the world and I love sharing their stories! Caity studied in London during university and has decided to take the plunge and become a full-time expat. If you’re thinking about making the move or you’re already an expat, her post shines light into the desire to do it and the sometimes difficult things you may have to hear when you go public with your dream.
It’s a tough road, when everything you want is a worlds away. And I mean this literally – my dreams were on the other side of the world.
I spent a semester studying abroad in London during 2012. What was normally a simple six month experience for most, changed my entire life. Being able to experience the world gave me a new prospective though, and living in London gave me the feelings that it was where I truly belonged.
I came back to the states in the summer, and while I was ecstatic to see old friends, family, my dog, and everything else I had been away from for so long, falling back into the regular scheme of life that I previously had seemed impossible.
I went through my final year of undergrad in Ohio, sending applications over to UK businesses here and there, while listening to people tell me I needed a more practical approach to life in the real world.
“It’ll be impossible to get a job over there”
“How will you survive financially?”
“Why don’t you just get a good job here and take trips over to London?
“Do you realize how tough immigration is?”
“You need to get a job and start earning”
But to me, London seemed realistic.
Without having anything set up as I approached graduation, London was drifting farther and farther. I accepted a management position in Massachusetts right after I finished school, and spent a few months saving up and working in an industry I used to think was my dream.
This position eventually led to my first full-time job offer, as well as the first time I turned down a job.
If your heart is not in something anymore, how are you expected to move forward with it?
Knowing that, I continued to reason that London could happen. I used the money I had made from the job, and spent the month of October in the UK, attending to as many interviews as I was able to set up. I headed back to the states with a junior offer, that eventually fell through due to UK visa guidelines.
This was my breaking point – I had come full circle and fallen in the highest beliefs that I could make this dream happy then suddenly, was right back at square one when I returned from study abroad over a year ago. The only difference this time, was that I was done with school and at the point where you need to start your life.
In my mind, my life was figured out – and it was on the other side of the world waiting for me. It was a rough time spent defending my dreams, while also trying to find a way to prove that I could make it happen, but here I am, over two years from when I first had these feelings, about to make that jump across the pond I’d been working towards for so long.
I had been on a rollercoaster of hopes and let downs for the past two years, figuring out a way to make my dreams come true
But now? I’ve got a great job where I’m able to save, I’ve got a great support system who have seen the trials and tribulations I’ve been through to get where I am now.
Moral of the story?
if there’s something you can’t let go of, there’s probably a reason for it.
A lot of people are set in the idea that some things are just too far-fetched and impossible to reach. If you ask me, nothing is.
All it takes is that first step – for me, that was taking my 20-year-old self abroad for the first time, and experiencing a life that I wasn’t used to. For you, it may be , quitting that job, getting out of the town you grew up in,
Do something you’re afraid to do.
Take it from someone who did – it’s worth it.