Week 1 Abroad: Accomplished

Thoughts from Alanna…

There’s a lot of information about how great travelling and living abroad is, but the reality is tough for some. I’m very lucky that I’ve spent a lot of time in England and already have a wonderful support system here and at home to help. I absolutely admire those who have done the experience alone but I don’t think I would be as successful.

Here’s some tips I’ve discovered after finishing my first week living abroad!

Get Through It

I found the first night was the worst. I had only slept about 30 minutes on the plane that morning and it was a whirlwind of a day. By the time I finally settled down into bed, all the emotions hit me at once: excited, terrified, anxious, happy, just to name a few. I knew the transition would take time, so my advice is to remember the beginning will be tough. I totally cried like a big idiot and that’s okay. Get your rest and you’ll get through it.

Make Your SpaceDSC03151

Once you’ve got that big rest in you, it’s important to create your own space. I organized all my clothes into their new drawers and popped my shoes at the door. I hung artwork that students from my old job drew for me, put up a cross stitch my best friend made and found a home for my favourite jewelry cup that my mum and I found at a reuse centre years before. Suddenly, this new space felt a lot like mine.

DSC03153Look After Yourself

I naturally feel anxiety most days so it’s very important to look after myself and get those “good feels” back. I worked on waking up at a decent time, eating proper meals, drinking lots of water and getting good exercise. Really simple actions make the world of a difference in getting into the swing of your new home.


You are in a new place! With new faces and new quirks and new scenery! I find I get ahead of myself sometimes and need reminders to relax. I had two job interviews my first week so my exploring consisted of attending those and not looking like a total weirdo, then wandering around the surrounding neighbourhoods afterwards. Take time to understand your new home and it’ll feel right in no time.