Celebrating 1 year in the UK, how I faced the struggles and how I have eventually adjusted!
On this day last year, I arrived in the lovely country of United Kingdom, in England to be exact. I was unsure of what was waiting for me, unsure of what kind of things I would be facing. All I had in mind was, this was for the best.
The Reason Why I Moved
It would be a lie if I would say I didn’t come here to seek for greener pastures because it was one of the reasons why I pushed the decision of coming over. Career development was the main reason why I came here. I moved here intending to work here and get to experience being a trained professional here. Second, to gain independence. I grew up in a very paternal family, proving to my family that I can be independent and I can be successful in my own little ways became one of my goals in life.
I grew up pampered under the roof of my parents but going on my own in a different country with different cultures to abide by was difficult. I needed to learn on how to get by on my own which was very hard for me as I was very close to my siblings, there were times that I would just tear up because I miss them so much. Also, I’m not the best cook but I did learn to cook what used to just be served to me back home. Though, I’m still craving for those home cooked meals my mom and nan used to make for me. You can’t really take homesickness out from me especially when time passes by. I tell you, I’m badly missing home right now and I can’t wait to visit them this year!
Time difference & the Weather
I struggled with the time difference and the ever changing climate during my first few months here and getting used to these took time. Jetlag was inevitable, it took me more or else 2 weeks since I arrived before I got used to the time difference. The unpredictable weather here was also an issue for me. On my first month here, I had difficulties with the weather. Let’s talk about being welcomed by a snowstorm. I knew the extreme weather took a toll on my body when I started feeling dizzy and even had episodes of nose bleeding. Now, I still have a love & hate relationship with the ever changing weather. Don’t worry, I learned my lesson and I always see to it to keep myself warm, always need to have an umbrella in my bag or even just wear a waterproof coat.
Work & People
Work was the main reason why I came here so I always do my best when it comes to work but the adjustment wasn’t really easy. There were similarities and differences when it comes to practice as a trained professional here compared to back home, I was confused where I stood but I eventually learned everything one step at a time. I am actually blessed and grateful to be assigned in a workplace with a very supportive environment. Yet, I as an introvert still had difficulties adjusting. I wasn’t confident at first, I even barely talked. All my colleagues can testify to that but I’m more comfortable now and my area is definitely my comfort zone.
Finances, Budgeting and Working extra shifts
It just saddens me that a lot of people would think that I already have everything just because I work and live in a better country. Yes, the pay is better here but the cost of living is high. The finances aren’t a joke, you’ve got to manage your finances even when you’re unsure how much you’re salary would be in a month but thankfully, I have really good budgeting skills. What disappointed me the most was being accused by people I didn’t expect to that I was enjoying my life too much here that I’m not being of help. Little do they know that I do my best to still send support back home. I do my best to save up too. How do I seem to get the good things? I take extra shifts for it.
Here, I can totally appreciate how it is a multiracial country but the people are still one. When you go to the central, you can hear different languages spoken by different people. I even got to learn different languages and cultures from the people I met. Yet, I guess there will always be those traditionalists and what we sadly call, racists. I haven’t really experienced being racially attacked directly. It would just be subtle that I could brush it off. Until that one day, I was racially discriminated. It was horrific for me, I was trembling while cruel words were thrown at me. I was still able to stand tall and keep myself together. When I got home though, I broke down. I had a panic attack which triggered my hyperventilation syndrome which I haven’t experienced for years already. The only people who could calm me down were my sister and my boyfriend. I didn’t want to call home looking all messed up as I didn’t want them to worry about me but I still did as I really needed to. I couldn’t forget how my mom cried over the video call, struggling to make me calm down with my sister. I did eventually calm down but I had anxiety problems after that.
Effects of Stress
There are numerous factors that could give us stress. There are different effects of stress on each one of us. For me, there were times when I had troubles sleeping which lasted almost a month for me. Stress has taken a toll on my skin as well. Spots started growing. Promise, I don’t have the good skin I used to have. There were also times when I get home and see a lot of bruises on my limbs. Getting redness and light bruises on my body was actually a neon sign for me that I should double up what I usually do to keep healthy. I never had so many bruises before back home. The latest effect was weight loss. I gained a lot during my first few months here but recently, I lost a lot of weight. Yes, a lot, to the point that even the people I seldom see would recognize it. Not to worry you so much, I have started a diet plan already.
Overcoming the Struggles
There are people who would judge you but there are more people who would support you. I have such beautiful support system here that I couldn’t be more grateful of. People who are willing to give their ears to listen and their shoulders to lean on are the best support system you can have when you’re away from home.
Traveling is also one way that helped me so much. Whenever I got to a different place, it was like a getaway for me but I also learn new things from it. I’m also very excited for my upcoming travel plans this year! You can expect plenty of pics too!
Also, keep a positive outlook in life. You attract the kind of energy you give off. Keep smiling as frowning won’t do you any good.
Lastly, keep praying and keep the faith!
This would be the first time I had this kind of confession here. I wanted to give inspiration to those who are similar to me, people who are looking for a place outside their comfort zones. We may not have the same circumstances but how each of us deal with it differs. I also just wanted to open up more here in this little diary which can also be of help to a few of you who could read this. This isn’t something very dramatic too but I just wanted to be transparent, especially to those who thought less about those who are new to working abroad.
I am very happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to work here and I’d be even happier to settle in this lovely country soon. England, you’ve been amazing and I can’t wait for more adventures here!
To celebrate my first year anniversary here, I went around Notting Hill (above photos) which is one of the first places I visited when I passed my exams which is why I will always have a soft spot for it.
A little throwback to my travels during my first year here with these photos! I featured Westminster Cathedral (photos below) too as it is one of my favorite places in London as it is where I silently share my secrets.
Let me end this with 5 lessons for you & me!
Lessons for You and Me
- Adulting is difficult for real! – This is literally true and it’s no joke.
- You only see what’s good but turn your back on the bad. Don’t judge people over what you only see. – It doesn’t mean that someone is already in a better place, she is already living the life. People tend to not look at the struggles that went with the good things. You may see me traveling, shopping and watching concerts, but I work hard for that. I take extra shifts to get what I want.
- Appreciate and trust your people. – One of my mistakes would be being too cautious to the point that I just keep my problems on my own even when I know I’ve got people to turn to and I could wholeheartedly trust. It’s alright to keep your guard up but it also ok to trust.
- Reward yourself! Give yourself a little me time! – You deserve to be rewarded for working very hard!
- There will always be struggles while you’re on your way to achieving your dreams, be strong and stay strong. There will always be light after the tunnel! Have faith!
Be pretty, be happy, be you! ~H