Why 2015 is the year I suck it up and move abroad

I have been suffering an existential crisis since I returned from Europe back in June.

Since then, I have been experiencing travel withdrawal in its severest form. I’ve made a million travel plans, and I’ve revised them. I’ve scoured the Internet for hours, wasting time, finding ways to travel. I’ve driven everybody absolutely freaking nuts. I find myself restless, depressive, and under-stimulated. I am uninspired, unmotivated. My hair is falling out. My FREAKING HAIR is falling out.


In Bosnia & Herzegovina, before my hair started falling out.
The only benefit of staying still for so long is that I’ve been crazy active at the gym and I have buns of STEEL.

Life, my friends, has gotten boring. And with the winter months looming over me like a schoolmarm with a ruler in her hand, and as the days get a little colder, I’m finding it harder and harder to get out of bed in the mornings.

It’s not that I don’t love living in Newfoundland, or that I don’t enjoy my friends and family, or I don’t appreciate the fact I’m alive and healthy and self-employed. I will always be actively involved in the Newfoundland travel community. Always.

It’s just that if I don’t do it now, WHEN WILL I?

 

I’m fully aware that for the past decade or so I’ve stayed put mostly because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone else. And I got settled. I got some cats and some furniture and I have a big badass wardrobe of nice new clothes and blingin’ neck adornments. And I love all these things. I like having a home, I truly, truly do.

Bella the smug cat

Let’s not talk about how much I’m going to miss my smug Bella.
But I’ve seen my roommates come and go like visitors. I’ve loved each and every single one of them with all my heart, but it just doesn’t make sense for me to have a house in St. John’s anymore. At least not right now.

So in spring of 2015, I’m packing up my belongings, sending Bella the cat home to live with my parents, and I’m moving to Berlin, Germany. I’ve been practicing my German. It’s really goddamned hard.

And then are the other things.

Mapping travel plans

When I get stressed out, I like to colour. And drink beer. And yes, those are supposed to be flip-flops. Shut up.
It took me a really long time to figure things out. First of all, I want to be everywhere, all at once. I want to live a million different lives. While figuring out volunteer opportunities in India I got sidetracked by Indonesia, and then I considered Australia because my time is ticking. (The youth mobility visa there is limited to Canadians under 31.)

Sylvia Plath quote
But if I don’t make this move now, WHEN WILL I? I own nothing. I am single. I am 28 years old. I am Canadian, and as a Canadian I am fortunate to have SO MANY opportunities to work and travel abroad. I’ve been fascinated with Berlin for a very long time, and from there I’ll be poised to take on some exciting travel opportunities.

So, my tentative plans: Leave St. John’s in the spring, and participate in a volunteer archaeological dig of a Roman city in Menorca, Spain. The trip includes a jaunt over to Italy to explore Rome and Pompeii. It’s a whopping $3k expenditure, but this will help me to determine whether or not I want to pursue archaeology as a career. I am profoundly in love with the ancients.

From there: a vacation, perhaps for 20 days in India or Indonesia, or whatever opportunity arises. I am literally open to everything. ANYTHING. ALL THINGS.

And then: a move to Berlin, where I’ll be in central Europe and able to explore all the infinite travel possibilities open to me. I’ve been searching flights from Berlin to “everywhere” on Skyscanner, and it’s marvelous. Also: The Yacht Week in Greece. Who wants in?

the yacht week

I want my life back.
Wherever I live in Berlin, wherever I am in the world, I will return to Newfoundland always. And likely frequently, because I’m pretty sure my parents aren’t going to set foot on an international flight.

And wherever I am in the world, I welcome all visitors. Since I’ve started casually talking about this move, I’ve had a dozen friends and bloggers say they’ll see me in Berlin. The world is small.

I hope you’ll follow me in this “arduous” process of moving to Germany. It’ll be a learning experience, and I would love for you to be there to witness my foibles and my ongoing baldness.

SETTING INTENTIONS. Sending happy vibes out into the universe. Lifting unnecessary burdens. FREEDOM.

  • October 15 2014

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS this is awesome! So happy for you!

  • October 15 2014

    I feel like you took the words right out of my mouth- I can relate to everything you said in this post. Goodluck with the move- I’m excited to read about your upcoming adventures!

    • October 18 2014

      Thanks, Ashley! I LOVE when people can relate to this post. Reminds me why I do what I do.

  • October 15 2014

    I am so excited to follow your journeys on here! Good luck on your move abroad! We are desperately trying to figure out how to move to Newfoundland and you are moving out of it! haha So excited for you!

    • October 18 2014

      Aww, thank you Shy! Hahaha, and that’s hilarious. Let me know if you do make the move here — it’s an absolutely wonderful place to live.

  • October 15 2014

    Candice, I’m so fucking excited for you, and I relate to every word. I’ve felt the same way since coming back, and I’m making a move early in the new year, too – but to Australia!

    Berlin’s awesome though. You’re gonna love your life so much. Best of luck!

    • October 18 2014

      WOOT! I’ll be headed to Australia the year after. I think a work visa is the only way I could possibly afford to live there, hahaha.

      • October 18 2014

        Haha, I totally understand. I’m grabbing the work visa. I’ll definitely need a consistent income. Hopefully it won’t be /too/ expensive.

  • October 15 2014
    RW

    Fantastic post Candice. I totes know what you mean with the wanderlust. You’ll be doing great things abroad. Best wishes.

  • October 15 2014
    Kasey

    I love Menorca. So much. Enjoy that. Enjoy all of it!

    • October 18 2014

      I know next to nothing about it! But a Google image search was all I needed. Haha.

  • October 15 2014
    Silvia Romão

    Awesome, Candice. Welcome to Europe! Please do come to Portugal and let me know when. Wishing you the BEST!

    • October 18 2014

      Oh you bet I will be taking you up on that offer, hahaha. Thank you!

  • October 15 2014
    Lauren @BonVoyageLauren

    You can’t allow your hair to fall out. It’s good hair.

    So excited for you and also for the fabulous posts that will come out of your move.

    Happy travels :)

    • October 18 2014

      I know! I don’t want it to disappear! Gahhh. And thank you!

  • October 15 2014
    Jill

    WEEE! I love the freedom of adventure! Enjoy the rush!

  • October 15 2014
    Ann Simmons

    Exactly!!! If not now…when!!! You are right not to wait….I wish I had travelled more when I was younger!! Go for it girl!! Can’t wait to read all about your exciting new venture!!! Enjoy every exciting minute!! Your hair will thank you for it too! :-)

    • October 18 2014

      Thank you Ann!! I love the enthusiasm, and the support!

  • October 15 2014
    Charlie

    Sounds like an awesome plan, Candice. You’re gonna love Berlin! And hell yeah, as much as I loved living in Canada (like, really really love it), the amazing travel opportunities that comes with living in Europe just can’t be beat!

    • October 18 2014

      Seriously! Canada will always be here…I think.

  • October 15 2014
    creativenomad

    what more can I say but dam good choice! A new and extremely exciting adventure ahead! Berlin is too amazing! Love your blog and looking forward to reading the new adventures!

    • October 18 2014

      Thank you so much! I hope our paths cross!

  • October 15 2014

    This is awesome Candice! I think you’ll have a blast on your new adventure!

  • October 15 2014

    that is so exciting! since I’ve gotten back from Brazil, I’ve been itching to get out again. I will soon enough!

    • October 18 2014

      GAH, that itch. Does it ever go away? haha

  • October 15 2014
    David

    I’ll see you in Berlin and I will see you in Sligo in August 2015. Trust me on this one, do not fuck up, do not miss it, it is the pinnacle of everything that ever was good in Ireland or being Irish. Your houseboat is reserved and it will be as good as the best of all the experiences you will ever have, anywhere!

    • October 18 2014

      LOL! We are going to be there, Julia and I! WITH BELLS ON! There’s no way in the world I am missing it this year!

  • October 15 2014

    So proud of you Candice, that you are creating the life you really want, rather than buying all the “shoulds” Wonderful post.

  • October 15 2014

    It seems like Berlin is definitely the place to be these days, I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time! Volunteering with a Roman archeological dig sounds fascinating, I can’t wait to read about it!

    • October 18 2014

      Thanks, Marie! I know, I can’t believe it’s even possible. I’ve been DYING to do an archaeological dig.

  • October 15 2014
    Joe Baur

    Yes! Do it! Had similar motivation for moving to Costa Rica. But ironically I’m looking toward Germany after graduation, so I’ll definitely be bugging you to find out how things are going. Viel Erfolg!

    • October 18 2014

      Excellent! Yes, sometimes I think it doesn’t make sense to seek another cold weather climate when I’m so miserable in this one, Lol. But surely the weather in Germany can’t be as bad as here in St. John’s. I pray. I hope.

  • October 15 2014

    YES. DO IT NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

    (*spoken by a 30-something girl with a husband, a dog and three houses, who is a wee bit jealous of your freedom and will never again in her life live abroad, likely*)

    • October 18 2014

      Hahahaha. Sell the houses! Come with! The dog and husband, too.

  • October 15 2014

    Living abroad is freaken fantastic, I have been doing it myself for 10 years! I love my home too (NZ) but don’t think I will be back to live for probably another 10 years – there is just so many places I want to visit and live in!

    • October 18 2014

      Isn’t it overwhelming?! Omg. The minute I start looking at visas, my head explodes. I have so many opportunities!

  • October 15 2014
    Laurie

    So happy for you! Yes do it now before you get tired down with all sorts of material and emotional ties. At your age (and we won’t go into how long ago that was but you weren’t born yet!!!) I desparately wanted to go to live and work in the UK. I didn’t for various reasons…always regretted it but won’t complain as I’ve had a damn good life of LOTS of travel (but max six weeks at a time), fun & family, etc.. Finally I am moving to London for six months at the end of the year and I can’t wait. But there is nothing like doing this while you are young so you go girl!

    • October 18 2014

      YAY! At least you’re going now, though! That’s amazing. And thank you for the vote of confidence!

  • October 15 2014

    Hells yeah. If you don’t make your move, so to speak, you’ll just get complacent and regret not going (least that’s what I think now that I’m 30 and many of the youth visa opportunities I could have had are finished). Sending positive vibes out your way – I’m sure the journey and the experience will be amazing.

    • October 18 2014

      Thank you Alouise!! And there are STILL a ton of visa opportunities, trust me!! Most of them are up to 35 years old

  • October 15 2014
    Susan Portz

    Go. Do.
    Spoken by an all-wise (not) 58-year old.
    You’ll never regret it.

  • October 16 2014
    Ali

    Berlin is an amazing, wonderful city. It’s absolutely nothing like the rest of Germany, which is good sometimes and not so good other times. We live in Freiburg, which is almost as far from Berlin as you can get while still being inside of Germany, but the three months we lived in Berlin last year were fantastic and we’d love to go back sometime. So if you’re there and we decide to go up for a visit, I’ll see if you’re around. Enjoy all the history and all the international restaurants. (I think I miss the food the most!)

    • October 18 2014

      I’m planning on doing a LOT of Germany exploration myself, so chances are I’ll swing by for a visit! Haha.

      • November 13 2014
        Ali

        If you come down to Freiburg for a Black Forest visit, just let me know! We have a guest room!

  • October 18 2014

    As a fellow travel enthusiast I’m happy for you, Candice. Everyone should follow their gut and what he or she feels is best and go for it. Life is always an adventure but only us can create our own story. I’ll be looking forward to your Berlin posts!

    • October 20 2014

      Thank you, Scott! I’m counting down the days.

  • October 19 2014

    Yay, I’m so happy for you and for your readers, Candice! I can’t wait to follow you through a move to a different country on a different continent – I’m sure you’ll handle the challenges with wit and wine and some fine writing, and I’ll sure it’ll be entertaining for us all. Well, all of it will be entertaining for your readers, and most of it will be entertaining for you (though some of it probably in retrospect…). It is gonna be arduous at times, but more often than that it’ll be amazing. May 2015 come soon!

    • October 20 2014

      Hahaha, thank you kindly! I hope you will join the journey!

  • October 20 2014

    I feel your restlessness! That’s great you’re heading off on an adventure, it sounds amazing! :)

  • October 21 2014

    Lady, let me start by saying thank GOD I found this post! I am living in NYC and after four years of one too many cubicles and excel spreadsheets I have had it up to HERE with New York’s work obsessed culture and stress. Each time I travel I am at my happiest and the best version of myself, only to come back to Manhattan and pick up the “baggage” of drama and stress I left sitting by the gate at JFK. That said, I am determined to move to London in January 2015 and pursue my masters in journalism and spend a year living abroad. As an aspiring travel writer, I can’t think of anything better than spending a year to focus on my writing, travel around Europe and live in a city I’ve never been.

    Being 26 (going on 27 next month) newly single, soon to be up out of an apartment and fed up with my job–it would certainly seem there’s no time like the present. Best of luck on your journey! If you’re ever in London, let me know!

    http://thepinthemapproject.com/

    • October 27 2014

      Woot! GO FOR IT! So thrilled that you’re moving to London. I shall certainly be in the area at some point!

      • October 27 2014

        Please let me know if you are! I’ll be solo traveling there next month to check out the city and the university I may be starting at in January; and then hopefully I’ll move there in January. If you’re across the pond, please shoot me an email!

        thepinthemapproject@gmail.com

  • October 23 2014

    Yes do it now! Live young wild and free! I just realised we are the same age and I am married and expecting my first child. My dreams of gallivanting the globe and living out of my backpack are over. Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy about where my life is now, but I wish I had taken the leap earlier and gotten to travel more than I have. I still plan to travel with my husband and our baby, but it’s not the same as what you are about to embark on. I love your plans, they same so well thought out and with intention. Can’t wait to read about your journey of self discovery! Good luck!

    • October 27 2014

      Hahaha. Young, wild, and free indeed! And thanks so much. Congrats on your coming little one — at some point in my life, I do hope I am in your position. :)

  • October 24 2014

    I am so happy for you!!! Living abroad was the best decision that I’ve ever made. Enjoy every second. I’m back in the US and am totally missing the excitement of being somewhere new and all the craziness that comes with it.

    Maybe see you in Aus next year?

    • October 27 2014

      Woot, thank you!! Yes indeed, I do hope to be in Australia by late 2015 or 2016. What are your plans?!

      • November 02 2014

        I’m not sure. I have trouble planning anything more than about 2 months in advance but I have to apply for the visa before February 2016…so I’m thinking a year in Australia late 2015/early 2016!

  • October 29 2014

    Good for you! I never regretted living abroad (10 years!) and would do it again- with the family, in a heartbeat. Berlin is awesome- got lost there once- in a major way- and ended up in the East. Nepal has volunteer opportunities too! Good luck!

    • November 05 2014

      Lol! I’m sure to get lost many, many times.

  • November 04 2014
    Candace

    You should seriously consider applying for UK tier 5 visa. Then you always have the option of working there and it is very easy to go from country to country within Europe with the visa. They don’t give you any problems when you have the visa. Enjoy,I had a UK visa and it was an amazing experience!

    • November 05 2014

      Can you work in other European countries with it?

FREE CANDIE FOR ALL!
SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE POSTS DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX