What I’ve Learned After Moving to the UK
What I’ve Learned After Moving to the UK
The Language Barriers
What!? Language barriers? But everyone speaks English!
Everyone speaks English, that language that we all learned in school. The problem is that unless you practice your English with native speakers frequently, it will be rusty. Also, even if you write and read English every day, speaking is a different league. When I arrived I did not understand much at first.
The United Kingdom is quite big, it has a huge number of different accents that can throw you off guard when you arrive. There are also a lot of foreigners living and visiting the UK; which adds, even more, accents to the mixture. It can be hard to understand everything that people say.
I had had English classes since primary school, deep down I thought that my English wasn’t bad since I wrote almost every day, watched movies without subtitles, read without any problems and in school I always had good grades.
Well, the first two weeks I barely spoke a word, not only I found it hard to comprehend everything that people were saying, I realised how not so great my English was. This English was really different to what they teach us in school and even today I still learn new things, on a daily basis about this great language.
That Being Lucky Is Important
A little bit of luck goes a long way.
Like everything in life, everything changes for the best if you have a little bit of luck. I had quite a bit of it. Because of living in such a great house and meeting wonderful people, it has made my stay in the UK a lot easier.
I was able to be more motivated and in the restaurant I started doing all sort of jobs. Giving a hand in the kitchen one day, giving a hand as a waiter on another. Finally, I ended up being a waiter and kitchen hand, which was a great feat since I didn’t know how to cook that well before.
Everyone Is Polite
I’m soooo sorry!
Read anything about the UK and you will come across this words. If you bump into someone on the street, you will hear the other person excusing himself. Even while driving, where people usually lose their heads, you can notice how everyone is polite, especially if you come from places such as Portugal, Spain or Italy where a driving style is more aggressive.
Being in such a polite environment is great because it makes you feel welcome and is easier to adapt to a different culture and country.
Because I was living with these great guys, in an amazing country, they motivated me and said that I should send my resume to an airline. I did it and now I have a fun job as a flight attendant that allows me to meet a lot of interesting people and travel more.
It’s Hard and Lonely
Being in a different country can be hard and lonely. You will probably have to work in areas that you normally wouldn’t, but because you need to support yourself you might just grab whichever work that you can get your hands on.
I refused to throw the towel, repack my bags and go back to my old life back in Portugal. I started working as a pot wash in a restaurant, that was quite hard and exigent. Monday was my only day off and I did close to 70 hours per week. This made meeting new people almost impossible, on my days off all I wanted to do was rest.
The first house that I stayed was a nightmare, 8 people stuck in the same place sharing one bathroom. It was enough to drive anyone crazy, so after a month, I moved out and found a different house to live in.
In this new house, I started living with flight attendants and it was brilliant, they were Spanish and Italians and we had a lot of fun. We used to cook together, go out and making house parties. Even thought I was still working a lot of hours per week, coming back home was always good and I was able to start meeting more people.
Other Things I’ve Learned
It was the best life’s teacher I had.
Living on my own made me learn valuable skills such as cooking something other than rice and grilled meat. Tidying up straight away after you’ve cooked or have had a meal. Doing my own washing up and ironing, keeping my room tidy, something that I always struggled back home. Now I can’t live in a mess.
Living on my own also taught me how to deal with problems without relying on anyone else other than myself, how to manage my money and health properly and how to just be comfortable on my own.
After living in a different country, I think I could just live anywhere else in the world and how pointless it is to live just to get more money and purchase more things.