Just over a year ago, my boyfriend and I decided to move to another country. It was an old dream of both of us. One of that kind of dreams that, if we did not put it into practice, we might spend our whole lives regretting.
The timing was favorable, both changing careers. The thought was: if we’re going to start from scratch, let’s do that where we would like to be living in. It was “now or (maybe) never”. We looked at each other and agreed: now!
Since then it has been a series of steps that have brought us here. Each of them full of uncertainties, bureaucracies, and delay. A constant exercise of patience and believing that everything will work out.
Look for documents for my Italian citizenship. Ask for document correction. Wait. Repeat this 6 times. Brits vote for Brexit. Plan your trip to Italy. Go to Italy. Come back to Brazil. Wait for the process to be complete. Go to Italy again. Come back. Get married. Apply for a spouse visa. Wait for the visa to arrive. Purchase plan tickets.
Pause life because it will continue in another country. Just buy new things that are worth carrying. Decide what to do with what does not fit in your luggage. Sell, donate, throw out (incredible how we accumulate things throughout our lives, but that is a matter for another time). Try to spend a lot of time with all the important people you know you are going to miss. Get on the plane almost without believing that, more than a year after you made a decision and so many steps later, you are finally going. It’s real!
Arrive in London. Tirelessly seek a new place to call home. A week later, you, who love to travel, could barely see the city you chose to live beyond the underground lines and the houses you visited. Visit places you wouldn’t like to stay for 5 minutes, let alone living there. People try to pull a fast one on you (yes, that happens here as well).
Fall from heaven a good place to live. Phew, step settled. Calm down, you still have some step ahead: bank account, insurance number, health system, and a lot of other bureaucracies. And the anxiety of starting to work soon in a place where you know almost no one yet.
A year ago, when I start to tell people we were preparing to live abroad, many of them looked at me surprised and say, “Seriously? Wow, you’re brave!” And I, calloused for already having changed the course of my life and started from scratch a few times, thought to myself, “you’re not getting me, for me this is motivating, I know what I want and I know it’s hard work, but I know it’s going to be worth it. Courage is to give up dreams in search of safety and comfort”.
What I did not know back then was that, beyond hard work, it would be difficult! I did not know how often I would want to cry, not knowing (and not having to) where to run. We know that it will pass, that everything will settle and, in a while, it will be very worthwhile. It’s already worth it, actually. What I want to say is that even knowing that I am exactly where I would like to be, doing what I would like to be doing and having one of the best years of my life, it is still being a difficult year! And for those who told me I was brave, what I have to say today is “you were completely right, you have to have the courage!”
Staying in the comfort zone says for itself, it’s comfortable, it’s easy. Making dreams come true is difficult! It is to jump off the airplane trusting that the parachute will open! Each choice, a consequence. I think the important thing is to be aware and to get along with them (or in spite of them), whatever path you choose.
My choice continues to be to dreaming and making them come true! The pains on the road make me strong and make me appreciate the whole walk even more! I think it helps to conclude, at the end, that it was worth it!
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