HTSTYA – How to Survive The Year Abroad.

Frankfurt, Germany

A survival kit for heading into the unknown whether it be for your year abroad or simply a long trip to somewhere weird and wonderful, or quite simply foreign.

I’m a couple of months in to living in the land of the hermans, a.k.a. Germany. It’s weird, but also pretty cool. Certianly something I know I will look back on and be glad I’ve done…. even if for right now the only place I want to be is at home with my family, friends and stinky boyfriend. Basically out of the land of the unkown.

Being a girl that doesn’t usually shed many a tear must mean that Germany has taught me how to ball my eyes out. Because lordy have I cried. I never knew it was possible for so much fluid to come out of ones eyeballs, but alas here I sit, living proof that it is and oh my is it emotionally exhausting. I turn into a big old baby rather randomly… I can be at work and one thought can cross my mind and off we go, or on a train, or even in the gym (yes, this has happened. Not the most ideal component to a training session I can assure you). My point is if you’re abroad and missing home, I get it. That’s me!

So, here’s my survival guide:

  • Have lots of things to look forward to. Whether it’s something small like a phone call with your mum of an evening or a gym session at the weekend.
  • Plan your days and stick to the plan. It sounds oh so simple, but it helps. When you get in a funk, you quite understandingly want to just curl up in a ball and watch some Netflix which granted does help sometimes, BUT having a plan for your day and sticking to it will make you feel so much better and accomplished by the end of it.
  • Comfort eat. Just do it, it will make you feel better… even if it is just for those pretious few moments you’re munching away.
  • Book flights home! By booking little trips back you’re not failing. The likelihood is a small dose of home will help to propell you through the next couple of months. PLUS flights in advance can be pretty cheap.
  • Do stuff on the weekend. Go out and see sights, explore new places, visit friends… whatever it is get out and about whenever you can
  • Keep in contact with your friends and family. Don’t underestimate the value of a little chit-chat with your bestfriend
  • Do things you’d usually do at home. For me this is simply listening to english radio in the mornings before I’m confronted with German for the rest of the day.
  • Have small home comforts with you. Especially if you can’t purchase them where you are…. such as English Breakfast tea bags!!
  • Remeber to breathe. Simple, yet effective.

It’s oh so easy to get caught up in everything in everyday life and even more so when you’re abroad worrying even more about the little things, but taking some time for yourself and planning exciting little things can honestly make the world of a difference. I sound like I’m preaching to the masses and have it all figured out, but quite frankly I don’t. Help please.


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