Appreciate what you have before it's gone

- Personal experiences after moving from Budapest to Northern Ireland -
My diary #1


I was 19 years old when I moved to the capital city of Hungary and started to study at a university. I had never lived in big cities before so in the beginning I felt quite uncomfortable because of the constant noise, air pollution and crowds. I got used to these factors as time went by but I couldn't wait to finish my studies to move to a quieter area and live in a bit more of a peaceful way.

After the 5 years it took to get my degree, an opportunity arose and we had the possibility to move to a small town in Northern Ireland. We gave up our not bad jobs, our little, comfy apartment, sold the things we had acquired during 5 years of living in Budapest and arrived with only a suitcase in the green corner of the UK (Northern Ireland) in August.

I was quite excited about the new beginning because I had always enjoyed studying English and I couldn't wait to test myself in some new situations like looking for a job in a foreign country or getting to know a lot of Irish people. I really enjoyed the magic of newness in the first few weeks when everything was a little bit different than at home and I excitedly stared at the new products in the shops and the different (very green) landscape around us. I also found a job in Spar quite early on in the third week of my stay which was not my dreamjob but I happily accepted it as "good enough in the beginning". (I was sure I would find something much better soon after).

Then one week passed by after another and quite a lot of things started to become too stale for me. I realised that the accent in Northern Ireland is not similar to the English I studied at home at all so I hardly understood native people here. I also came to the realisation that too many foreigners live in this area and that there is a kind of stereotype about them. I could not explain it properly, I just feel it every day. And I don't like it :) I was prepared for this before my arrival but when you truly live in a foreign country and experience a bit of pressure/weirdness around you, that's completely different.

I have also taken part in some unsuccessful job interviews and felt quite bored too often because living in a small town, I could not have too much fun here: there are not special events to visit, colourful bars and cafes to sit in, a normal cinema to watch a film in plus no proper public transportation. It was the hardest to get used to the latter because I have never had to walk hours in Budapest since I could quickly hop on a bus/tram/metro whenever I wanted. People mostly travel by car here and because I lack a car, I was usually just walking a lot. I mean a lot.

These days, I find myself missing Hungary and Budapest a lot. I miss my family, my friends and the endless possibilities that the city has offered me but I was blind to them earlier. Northern Ireland is not the place where I can imagine myself long-term but this period now is part of my life which had to happen to appreciate many things much more around me. I did not regret anything and I'm grateful for the lesson I have had :)

If you have any similar stories, do not hesitate to share them with me in a comment or email.
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Thank you, Rose

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