I’m currently writing a piece about the experience of living abroad which I’m going to submit to the publishers of a new book focusing on that theme.
I read over the piece last night and one word kept jumping out at me – challenge.
Moving to a foreign country is hard. First you must overcome loneliness, a sense of dislocation and, in my case, crippling self-doubt.
Eventually, fresh challenges present themselves. Coping with the language barrier, making friends, finding work, getting to grips with the arcane laws of the bike lanes.
But treat each challenge as an opportunity instead of a hurdle and things will start to happen for you. It’s cliched wisdom but I think you have to adopt that tactic in order to succeed.
I came here because I needed a challenge. I was stultifying; sinking into a morass of unfulfilled ambition and small-town insecurities.
I am nowhere near the finished article. Some challenges need more than just positive thinking to overcome, new difficulties present themselves all the time.
But this is life. Engaging with it and taking it on is the only way forward.