So You Want To Live Abroad

Living abroad might be one of the coolest things anybody could do in their life,  the experiences alone are astounding. Yet, it is not always so straightforward and easy. Especially on a budget. During February 2015, I finalized my breakup with my ex-fiance, moved back to my mamas house and was basically going nowhere. I knew a little German as a child, when I lived in Ukraine, and my family was supposed to move there, but for one reason or another we did not. So I thought why not, once I was a 24 year old with nothing to lose. In all honesty I thought of coming here and studying Chemistry *Crappy planning, never happened*. I did not have a Bachelors, so I thought why not learn German and then apply when I get a certificate. Because of my family situation, which  was tight, I needed to get out as soon as possible. This created a lot of chaos and trouble later on.

1. Friends
I had a little sense , and  tried to get to known as many people as possible online before coming to Berlin, because I thought it would help me. It did. Berlin is a very multicultural place and people buzz in and out of here in a hot minute. I met people that actually helped me getting two flats that I lived in, while a person with whom I have signed a contract for a flat I originally found, he pulled out a week before.
2. Living space

Finding a living online should be easy. It is not! Most people want to meet a person that moves in and you would too before moving. That is a problem, and hotels are not a cheap solution on a thousand dollar budget. Trust me!

3. Language

In New York I looked up taking German classes. Those were 500 dollars a month. There was no way for me to afford that. Somehow in my panicky state I did not consider to learn from a YouTube, but went and perused the library books. Duolingo helped with vocabulary. But the best thing was actually coming here and learning to speak from natives. Also local schools offer classes at 190 and 150 euro rate.

4.Budget
Oh my god, you guys cannot imagine how bad I am at budgeting. Not entirely true. When I have a lot of money I spend it, but when I know I have 40 euros for an entire week, 30 of which is for the train ticket, so it makes only 10 for food; I was goddamn frugal. I don’t think I’ve ate so much chicken ramen even in college!Lucky for me, my last flat was 190 euros a month, in Kreuzber – like very hipster and artistic and generally musical neighborhood. If the neighbors are not copulating they are partying. I honestly can say that I also went to Poland Woodstock Festival and to Greece on a small budget. This is mostly due to the fact that Europe or Germany is quite cheap, which permitted me to save and spend money wisely.
5. Happiness

I met my husband by a sheer accident. On Tinder non the less! Don’t tell our future kids! In all honesty I was considering moving out of Germany as a few bad things had happened, I did not see progress, was depressed and friends were drifting out of my life. This is when I met him, and Robert and I have been together since out second date. He was The Husband on my phone day two of us meeting each other.

6. Friends
I do not know if it is the age or what. I am more picky with my friends than I used to be. Obviously being nice to people is good, but I do not try to go out of my way, like I used to. So it does become quite lonely, when my best friend lives in states. Recently I had a friend here; she had no visa, two masters, was cleaning private residences and was also going nowhere. I got her to quit, sign up for German courses and showed how she legally could get a visa,m as she was obviously qualified. I gave her an 80$ dress (to wear to a wedding of a friend) and a shirt. Once I was going to Ukraine to see my grandma, she gave me a package to pass on to her mom. She said it was only candy in there. She kept sending me pictures of cheap trashy 10 euro dresses that she would wear to a Wedding in October! Like see through. I told her where to get the one I gave her fitted. Which she said was cool. At the post office, guess what? They had to open a box as candy cannot weight 25 lb! What is inside? Vodka, candy, my dress and a shirt. I texted her to fudge off. I did not feel lying people belong in my life. Her mom milks cows, so my dress was obviously sent to be sold. Don’t think of American farmers, the nice ones that go out, Ukrainian ones don’t. Why am I telling this story? To show how lonely it can be on this end. Few friends that I get don’t stay around long. I like to surround myself with people that care for me like I care for them, and that are loyal. Happiness, smiles and support I have plenty for an elephant to share with. ctc_04_img1128
Yes I have my husband, but I don’t see him as my half. I am a full person and so is he. I love him with my soul and heart and we are two entities that are connected, but when apart we should both have healthy relationships. That is why living abroad is hard.

Please comment your thoughts and experiences, I would so love to hear them. Does anything resonate with you guys? And if you have questions on how to move or anything specific, don’t be shy ya’ll!
Thanks.

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