Well, I moved to Barcelona from India a bit before the pandemic.
Read the labels in supermarket carefully. Used baking soda for my cooking the first few days here, and wondered why everything tastes bitter. Sal ≠ Salt.😅
But no really, ask for help even if you think you will manage fine. Accept all help that is given if you don’t need it.💙
Be it someone telling you the directions in the age of Google Maps, or someone helping you move. Take their help!
Also help yourself replicate parts of your old life as fast as possible. Making aloo paratha will not be on top of your list when you move, but do it if you loved it back home.
It’s tempting to follow the new life, new me thing — but we don’t change overnight.💁
Tell about your aloo paratha with baking soda to your friends back home. It’s hard to stay in touch with people when your head is flooded with to-do lists, and a new circle of people — but call your friends & family. Lean on them earlier, then later.☎️
Talk to them well, but also fix how you talk to yourself. Be your own aggressive cheerleader. Don’t underestimate the adventure you’ve taken up — cooked yourself a meal? Yay! Took the right metro? Wohoo! Made yourself a friend-kinda? You are rocking it! 💃
While at talking, also give honest and kind advice to anyone who asks you how it is to move abroad, needs help with it. Don’t be jealous, unkind or busy. This. Is. Important.
Find friends in unlikely places. Be clingy.
It’s awkward, but do it! I found friends in a 80 years old war veteran I met while hiking, a neighbour in lockdown, and someone who came to share my flat, it didn’t work out — but we stayed friends anyways.
And the hardest part — be prepared for the unknowns. I prepared mentally to not see my family for 6 months, and now it could be a year or more.
Know that not all things will go as planned, and be mentally stronger than you are before you moved.💪🏻💖