Can you believe it’s been four years already!? On 11th August 2016, I boarded a one-way flight to Frankfurt, and the time has gone so quickly. My fourth year came with a lot of change; some expected, and as for all of us – some unexpected.
I started a new job. This might not sound like a big deal for most, but when you move country for work, the job becomes more than just your 9-5. It’s the first place you have regular contact with the same group of people. And due to knowing hardly anyone in your new country, you literally end up asking your colleagues things like “Why can I not order tap water in restaurants in Germany?” or “Could you help me find a kitchen?” (Yes, I was lucky enough to have an amazing colleague who helped me find a kitchen, when I moved into an apartment without one!) With all this considered, before I knew it, aspects of my previous job had an element of home to them- and moving house is stressful.
A new job: New people (and naturally new names), new systems, new cultures and plenty of new tasks. There’s loads of unpacking to be done but you don’t quite know where to put everything. Adapting can be difficult, and whilst I’m not asking for more stress, changing jobs this time round made me realise that my life here in Frankfurt had become my new normal. I no longer had the ‘I’ve just moved abroad – woohoo!’ buzz that I did the last time round, and I hadn’t planned for the deflation I’d feel when I became aware of this reality.
But I adapted quicker than I thought I would. And just as I had finally found a place for everything, due to lots of hard work and being surrounded by my amazing new colleagues, COVID-19 popped up to say hello.
I have certainly been in a fortunate position throughout the pandemic, but social distancing alone whilst living abroad wasn’t easy. And on top of that, the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement hit very close to home. I won’t go into these too much in this post, but as for most of us, this year has been a rollercoaster.
When life had eventually become a bit more normal and travel restrictions eased, I booked a flight home to London, and actually spent the the last few weeks of my fourth year abroad with friends and family in the UK. For this, I couldn’t be more grateful.
My fourth year abroad certainly had its up and downs, but I guess that’s part of the journey. I’m hoping the fifth year will be somewhat smoother – for all of us!
Whether you’re a recent reader or have been with me from the start, thanks for keeping up with Alisa Jordan Writes. Life abroad is just a tad sweeter with you by my side 🙂