For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt of moving abroad. I am not sure where the dream came from. As I grew up in a small town, I have always had a need to see what is out there in the big world. Maybe I have always had some sort of wanderlust, or maybe I just wanted to learn more about the British culture (I have always had a soft spot for the UK).
When I was 15, I wanted to do a high school year abroad, but I did not do it. When I was 18 I was supposed to move to Oxford to study English for a year, but I did not do it. Still, the dream was there. I just could not leave the idea behind. So when I finally went to uni, I had one goal in mind – study abroad for one semester. I had five amazing months in Canada, but when I moved back home to finish my degree, the need was still there. Therefore, when I graduated I decided to move to Wales for my masters. Before I moved I told my friends and family that there was a big chance that this time, I would not return.
Don’t get me wrong. I have had an amazing time in Wales. Wales is absolutely beautiful, and I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity. Even though there has been very hard at times, I have learned so much I would never have learned if I stayed home. I have met people from all around the world, became fluent in a foreign language and most importantly – developed as a person. Even though most of my time has been devoted to uni, I have had the possibility of getting to know a new country, its traditions and culture, and there will always be a big place for Wales in my heart.
One of the most important lessons I have had is how important a good network of friends and family is. Distance can’t sever the connection we had before I left. When I was living at home with big dreams and big ambitions, I didn’t see how lucky I was to have such a secure and great network that supported my dreams and accepts me for who I am.
Up till Friday last week, I had every intention of staying. I had applied for multiple jobs, was called in for a couple of interviews and was looking for a new place to stay. When I was preparing for a job interview that should have taken place today (I cancelled it), reality hit me. Staying in Wales would mean long working days and long commutes. My uni friends will eventually move away, and I will again have to create a new network. It would mean years of going home a couple of times a year, missing big life events and the small moments.
Many of my friends and family members have asked if this means that I am giving up on my dream. To me it does not feel like that. I did not give up on my dream. My dream changed. As my mum said; “You just needed to do it for you. Now you’ve done it and its fine to realise its not the right path for you.”