Moving abroad – If you don’t speak the language, read this!

You and I both know that language is a tool for communication. Great. We all know that communication is important to humans (minus the men I’ve dated). We also know that not being able to communicate is f*cking stressful. Which is why many feel the bralette getting sweaty (we’re in a global pandemic, you are not wearing a bra) and the heart rate go up when they think about moving abroad to a country where they don’t speak the language.

Daydreaming about moving somewhere else once this pandemic is gone, is normal. Being scared about moving abroad is normal too! So let’s take a look at the language-issue, shall we?

Have patience with yourself

I’m telling you; the amount of times I’ve flapped my long arms around looking like a sweaty ostrich on cocaine with ADHD trying to communicate: “W-H-E-R-E–C-A-N–I–G-E-T–A–T-A-X-I” in China… I’m not proud of it.

Even just speaking English all the time in America or writing in English was something I had to get used to as well.

But it will take time whether you try to learn a new language, get comfortable speaking your 2. language or “re-learn” the language your teacher miserably failed to pass on to you in School because you were too busy drooling over that boy who was really good at soccer, but absolutely didn’t like you back anyway.

Be patient with yourself – you got this!

Let go of the ego when moving abroad

I get it, you know 10 words in Spanish. 5 of those words has something to do with either tequila or el mercado. So obviously you can’t move abroad, because everyone will laugh at you and throw rocks at you, since we all know that’s the procedure when you live in a foreign country and don’t speak the native language.

Do we get the sarcasm? Okay, cool. Moving on.

This might sound harsh but letting a language barrier stop you from moving abroad is in my opinion an ego-issue (I love you though). You feel embarrassed if people don’t understand you. You are scared of humiliation and if they will laugh at you. You don’t wanna look stupid.

Well, first of all, I can assure you that you are not only going to look, but also sound stupid. And so what?

Download the DuoLingo App and Google Translate. If you know 10 words – amazing sweetie – use those 10 words. Let go of taking yourself so serious that you can’t laugh at yourself, relax and embrace the fun journey!

If they make you feel small

If native people make you feel inferior and uncomfortable because you’re making mistakes when you speak, know that they are the losers here. Not you. I’ve been in that position 92 million times, trust me on this.

A foreign accent is a sign of bravery, and anyone making fun of you for literally adapting to their language and culture to communicate with them should go step on a LEGO-brick.

In my experience, people that are making the most fun of accents, misspellings and mispronunciations are also the ones that have never tried to speak other languages or traveled a lot. Which is just too bad for them, you know?

You can even try to ask them, if they prefer to go ahead and speak their second language? Probably not. So sht up JOHN.

Moving Abroad To A New Country?

You will make the world a better place by moving abroad

Even if you didn’t eat Kale today or remembered to “stay blessed” like they’re telling you to on Instagram, you can make this world a better place by living abroad. Learning a foreign language and the culture that goes with it is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy, sympathy and cultural outlook.

You also get an opportunity to not judge a country from what you see on the news, the internet or from being a tourist: “Omg, this one day in Disney Land in France, this guy skipped the line, so French people are just so rude”.

Learning the language, living abroad and being a part of a culture is so cool and different from staying in at Ritz Hotel in Shanghai for 5 days with your sorority sisters and eat Western food with an English speaking staff. Don’t get me wrong, that sounds like the GREATEST time and COUNT ME IN (especially if we’re going to chinese karaoke after dinner), but while traveling is fun, living abroad will change your life.

You’ll learn faster

If you’re forced to speak a foreign language to be understood and you don’t have other options, you’ll be so surprised how fast you’ll learn! You can sit in a Spanish class for 3 years and afterwards know the basics, or just go to Mexico for 4 months and come back fluent in Spanish.

You survived 100% of your worst days

… so you will also survive this. Let’s be real here. Showing up, constantly making an effort to learn and being brave enough to follow that little intuition in your stomach, will always be rewarded one way or another. If you’re debating on living abroad – please, go do it. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made. Ever feeling homesick? Maybe this post will help!

I apologize for sounding like a fortune cookie from Panda Express, but stop sitting on your dreams, stop procrastinating if there is something you really want, and stop saying “one day!“, because guess what, suddenly you’ll wake up and realize that you’re a decayed mummie in a sarcophage without a passport or lungs all wrapped in toilet paper. And at that time it’s too late, you know?

You absolutely got this.

PS (if you’re over 21): Chugging 2 beers can also make you speak and understand any language.


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