Moving Abroad: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Are you thinking about moving or are about to move abroad? If yes, let me give you the lowdown on what it’s like. I am not going to say I’m a pro at this but having moved countries twice already, I think I can share with you some additional details that might help you (hopefully encourage you) to make the right decision. Whatever that decision may be.

The Good

Why are you moving or considering to move abroad? It could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re trying to escape the pressure at home or perhaps you’re trying to fulfill a lifelong dream. Maybe you’re moving for love. Whatever it may be, at the end of the day, this is a fulfillment of something. Who doesn’t like that, right?

If you enjoy traveling, this is also a great opportunity to discover new places on the long-term (and I’m using the word long-term haphazardly here, I’m just trying to say it’s beyond a regular vacation). Finally, you can fill your Instagram with photos of beautiful places but more than that, this is a chance to get to know new cultures. It’s an opportunity to educate yourself about the world, beyond what’s in your backyard.

In case you are moving for a job, this will look hella good on your resume. A lot of companies put a lot of value towards international experience. Whether you intend to stay permanently or temporarily, this can only amp up your CV.

6DB1880E-86CC-4178-BDDE-590E7F3B0EC0.JPG

The Bad

Homesickness is very real. If you’re the type who is family-centric and are moving solo, be prepared to miss your family and friends. This is challenging especially when there’s a timezone difference between you and your loved ones. You will have to learn how to schedule these calls or simply go on days not Skyping or Facetiming. You will miss a lot of family functions and get-togethers. You will not make it to certain parties or important life events. Homesickness gets even worse when you’re sick or when you’re sick and the weather is just plain dreadful. But this can be managed. I’ve dealt with homesickness myself.

Moving abroad is scary. You probably have to start your life over again — new home, new job, few to no friends, it could be that you don’t know the local language. Everything is new and that alone is terrifying. But that’s the price you have to pay to live elsewhere. You need to learn how to deal with the unknown, there’s no way around it. We cope differently but for me I just think about why I left in the first place. That is enough motivation for me to get through this. Most importantly, what I’ve learned is that when you’re preoccupied, you won’t even notice that you’re homesick. Get a hobby or another job, volunteer, learn the local language. If you do something enjoyable with your time, it gets better.

The Ugly

It’s not easy to move abroad. If you are moving for school or work, you either need a lot of money or luck to do so. If you’re moving to study, you need funds or a scholarship to survive. You might have to work part-time if you don’t have a family supporting you financially.

If you’re leaving to work elsewhere, know that the competition is pretty stiff. To give you a perspective of what you’re facing, you should know that people here (in Europe) graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree. Not only do they have a master’s degree, they’ve also done practicum/internships abroad. Possibly not just one but multiple internships. In Europe, people speak two or more languages. If you’re like me who despite graduating from a premiere university in my home country, there’s just no way you or I can compete with this. Just keep submitting your CV on job boards or to companies directly. But be prepared to be rejected many times. It might take you years and years to find the right opportunity. Be patient because you will not miss what’s truly yours.

Now if you’re moving for love, I only have one tip — take good care of yourself first. Do not ever forget that if that person leaves you, you’re on your own. Take care of yourself first, always.

There is hope.

Remember that it is not impossible to move to another country or continent. It is just a more difficult process for others especially if you’re coming from a third-world country. You need to go through more stringent processes than others. However, that makes it even more satisfying when you achieve it. Good luck and all the best on your quest for a new life overseas.

East Side Gallery Berlin

This weekend, I'm taking you to the wall that once separated east and west Germany during the Cold War -- the infamous Berlin Wall which is better known nowadays as East Side Gallery. If you love street art like me, you're in for a treat. But first, let me tell you a little bit about the said wall.

You will find this international memorial of freedom by the river Spree. This part of the Berlin Wall is 1 316 meters long and is located in the heart of Berlin along Mühlenstraße (muu-len-shtra-se). There's about 105 murals but I only have almost a dozen photos to show you today (sorry). So here we go.

I hope you enjoyed this little entry. There'll be more weekend adventures coming soon so please come visit my blog again next time. Tschüss ♥

Summer's Last Hurrah part 2 - Naples

An Italian once told me that the gangster part of Italy is Napoli (better known as Naples in English). Last weekend, I had less than 12 hours to see out for myself. So what to do in Naples for such a short period of time?

Eat

Italians love to eat and in Napoli, there's no shortage of good food. Napoli is where pizza margherita (a.k.a. pizza napoletana) originated. So it was only mandatory that we try them out. I was lucky to get to try them not just from one but three of the most popular pizzerias in Napoli.

Pizzeria dal Presidente -  On the wall is a picture of Bill Clinton visiting this pizzeria. No wait, the wall's filled with photos of local and international celebrities on the wall at this pizzeria.

Gino Sorbillo - There's a queue to get into this pizzeria and for good reason. If you want to eat pizza from the chef who trained Italian and Australian Masterchef contestants, you're in the right place. Their pizza margherita bufala costs less than 10 euros and they serve really good red wine. What more can you ask for? P.S. Dolce & Gabbana love their pizza. Perhaps Sorbillo was their inspiration for their pizza dress? :D

Da Michele - If you want to eat where Julia Roberts had pizza in her movie Eat Pray Love, you've just got to go to L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele. You can get a really good margherita bufala with double the dose of mozarella for only 4,50 euros. Yummers! I unfortunately have no photo because three pizzerias later, you'll soon realize they all look the same. Haha.

If I were to rank my favorites, I'd say Sorbillo > Michele > Dal Presidente. :)

Anyway, there's also plenty other things to eat aside from pizza. Proof.

But my favorite is this deli in the middle of Via Dei Tribunali called Salumeria Rafele o'Lattaro. There are only four small tables in this deli and they'll ask you to just come back if there are no tables available. But if you are down for some wine, cheese, and antipasti, it's definitely worth the wait. My personal favorites are their salami, prosciutto crudo di parma, and of course, pecorino cheese.

Do

Aside from the food, there'd been two things I enjoyed doing during this short trip -- taking photos of store fronts and street art. :)

See

I think part of Naples' charm is there are so many things to look at. I like to people watch like a complete weirdo that I am. Bonus, if you're a street photographer, you'd probably have a swell time here because it's just bustling with activities.

Shop

And if all else fails, shop.

I hope you enjoyed my not so little entry about Napoli. If you made it this far, grazie mille! I hope you'll stick around until my next adventure. Now where should this tiny Asian travel to next? Feel free to leave me a suggestion on the comments section. 'Til next time! :)

Summer's Last Hurrah part 1 - Amalfi Coast

The weather in Amsterdam is beginning to suck and the temperature is beginning to drop. So what's a girl to do? Escape the gloominess and head over to somewhere warmer. I hope you're ready for this jelly because this is going to be one long ass post. Haha.

Positano

Our long weekend began in Positano, a cliffside village along Italy's beautiful Amalfi Coast. We went for a nice walk to get some breakfast and then we headed to the beach afterwards.

Laurito

We headed over for a late lunch at a small town called Laurito. Here we met two couples vacationing from Australia. We pretty much tagged along with them until late in the evening. We even snagged a free boat ride back to Positano (yay!) where we had some drinks and watched the sunset in a very posh-looking villa called Villa Treville.

Furore

Our initial plan was to head early to the island of Capri. But because of the crazy, giant waves, all ferry rides leaving from Positano were cancelled. So instead of going to Capri, we went to Furore to see its famous fjord (which is basically a small crack in the rocks, an ancient gorge that was a hidden place for the bandits in the past). But before we go check the Fiordo di Furore, this is a treat to all foodies out there. This is what you get if you decide to buy breakfast early in the morning from shops.

So going back to Furore...

Fiordo di Furore is like a natural port, where it is only possible to arrive by the sea side. The place is surmounted by a natural rock arch that perfectly completes the charm of this place.

Praiano

Underwhelmed by the fjord, we decided to go to Praiano for a quick lunch and a little bit of exploration. We didn't manage to go to the beach because there'd been so many tourists, most buses were full. We had to get to Sorrento after all.

Sorrento

Since there are no boats going to Capri from Praiano or Positano, we went to the tip of the boot which is Sorrento. From there, we caught a ferry to the island of Capri. I didn't take many pictures because the ride wasn't fun. I have terrible motion sickness and needless to say, was quite miserable in the ferry.

IMG_4705.JPG

Capri

Ah, the birthplace of the Caprese salad, the lovely island of Capri. Too bad it was raining quite a lot, we didn't get to see much of it. But for what it's worth, we ate like a king (as we did for the most part of the trip). We of course had a caprese salad (the mozarella di bufala is to die for), some grilled octopus, and I had a shrimp lemon risotto.

Sadly, the weather was so gloomy and it seemed like the rain wasn't going to stop, so we decided to head straight to Napoli. Not all ferries were running that day and to avoid the possibility of getting stuck in the island, we took the soonest ferry to Naples. But that story's for another day. :)

I hope you enjoyed my entry for today. All photos were taken using my iPhone because unfortunately, I lost the battery of my Sony NEX 5N (huhu). Nonetheless, I had fun shooting with my handy dandy iPhone. It was very convenient. Please watch out for my next entry because it's dedicated to the rough and tough city of Naples.

P.S. I'm also on Instagram (@tinyasiantravels). Please follow my adventures there as well (if you haven't already). Thanks and 'til next time! ♥