Hi all, It’s my last week here in Greece and I’m feeling two emotions: I’m beyond excited to go home to see my friends, family, dog, and eat good vegan American food. I’m also devastated to leave. I love all of my students and have made great friends while I’ve been here that I don’t want to possibly never see again. However, my time in Greece, for now, is coming to an end. If a Spanish teacher job opens up at Pinewood tomorrow or next year, you know I’ll be the first to apply because these students are just a joy and I love them all very much and will miss them dearly. However, I cannot wait to go home. Living alone in a foreign country has put me through the ringer [although I’m glad to have had the experience] and I wanted to share my experience and a little bit of advice I have to people who will move to a foreign country alone at some time in the near future.
Make friends! The best thing I did while in Greece has been to make friends. Making friends for me has been easy because most of them are at the school I’m teaching at. Meet people from your work or school or whatever you’re doing abroad. If neither of these work, download Bumble and pick the Bumble BFF setting to make new friends in any city you’re living in.
Get out and explore your new home! The biggest mistake I made during my first month and a half was not exploring Thessaloniki. I would come home from school, exhausted, watch Netflix, make dinner and then go to bed. It wasn’t until I realized my time in Greece is coming to an end that I realized I didn’t know the city at all except for a few places I’d been to while meeting up with friends. Even if you just google “fun, free things to do in _______” you can find tons of things to do in your new city.
Take care of yourself. Taking care of myself has been the hardest part about living on my own. Eating a bag of chips and watching Netflix all afternoon may seem like the best idea at the time but it’s really not. Getting up on time, going to bed early, going grocery shopping, doing my dishes, and cooking myself healthy food can be hard at times but it’s important that I do it. Creating routines and putting myself first during my time here has been absolutely important and very beneficial for me as well.
My last piece of advice about my time living in Greece is just to make the most the most of your time. It’s not every day or every lifetime that you can say you lived in a foreign country, even if just for a few months. Soak in every moment, try every new experience, eat new foods, and just enjoy all the moments, good or bad, because one day you’ll be back in your home country, wishing you were still living abroad.
Have you ever lived abroad? If so, where?