Let’s talk… Working abroad!

Ciao!

How are we all doing these last couple of weeks? I have to admit, I for one have felt a bit weird these last couple of weeks (hence breaking my weekly post pledge, oops…). I don’t really know why exactly, but I think the whole; ‘I have no idea what day it is’ doesn’t help and just sitting here unknown of what’s to come is just WEIRD isn’t it? But anyway, as always I don’t like being all doom and gloom, so let’s keep things positive and do a bit of reminiscing shall we? I mean this could go one of two ways couldn’t it… it could either make me feel amazing or it could make me feel like utter crap and make me want to run off somewhere abroad again. Who knows haha, but lets just hope it’s not the latter for now…

So lets talk about the thing we’re all banned from doing at the moment… Travelling!

To those reading this who have travelled, I’m sure will stand by me in saying that; travelling really can be one of the most exhilarating and amazing things can’t it? Now I know (and as I said above) travel is currently banned, so the last thing I want to do is rub it in/make people feel evennnn worse about the situation; so I don’t know about you, but I’m personally swivelling my mindset to remembering the good times (ooof that sounds a bit sombre doesn’t it haha…) and just pinning myself back to the hope that we can soon return to that ‘stepping off the airplane’ type feeling. So please try and do the same and don’t let me make you feel miserable! I feel I should also disclaim that my bottom is firmly placed on my chair, in my bedroom, in the UK. Just in case there’s any confusion or anyone thinks I’ve broken the rules and run (ha! 20 mins running is my current limit after all…) away somewhere exotic, as I can assure you, I have not!

So I bet you’re all itching to know why I chose to write this post right? Maybe not haha, but let me tell you anyway…

When I was younger, I was always fairly lucky in the way that I often went on summer holidays with my family, so I guess really I caught the ‘travelling bug’ early? Since then, I’ve done two slightly more major expeditions shall we say: I worked for a holiday company in the summer of 2018 (this is what I reallyy want to tell you about) and then I did 4 weeks of Greek island hopping with my sister in 2019 (I was about to say last year then, how scary) which were both ah-ma-zing. So I guess I haven’t done too badly really, although I’m sure this will not be the last of it. Hopefully…

So as mentioned above (and sticking to the meaning of the title of this post) I want to tell you about my experience of working abroad! If you’ve read my ‘Let’s talk… Self confidence!’ Post, you will already have a little insight into what’s to come here and this is also for the people who voted that they preferred ‘Life stories’ in my recent poll on Instagram as to what blog posts you all like…

Firstly I feel like I should put you all out of your misery here and start off by saying that my personal experience with working abroad was one I’m never, ever going to forget (in a good way) and even though I always said “I’ll only do it the once”, I have a funny feeling one day that might end up being all one big fat lie haha! But who knows.

Soooo, as a bit of an insight; I worked for a holiday company called ‘Neilson Holidays’ (whom funnily enough are based in Brighton, like moi) so everything was arranged for me really once I got the job with them (as a spa therapist), so I had it nice and simple really, all I had to do was pack a bag and find my way to the airport… So I did just that in April 2018 and I flew out to Calabria in the south of Italy (3 bloody years ago nearly!!!) not knowing a single soul and in reality, to put it bluntly, I was quite frankly sh*tting myself. But I was determined not to bail on myself, so I didn’t.

Once I arrived and unpacked my 6 months worth of luggage, the weirdest thing was (and much to my surprise); it wasn’t nearly as scary as I ever thought it’d be and it’s funny really how when everyone’s in the same boat as you, it kind of puts you at ease straight away, if that makes any sense at all? (It might have also been because in my case, we had to share a room with a complete stranger from the word go. Luckily, I got put with someone lovely who I ended up being really good friends with so it wasn’t all bad, just initially it did feel a bit odd haha). Once we all acquainted ourselves with each other, that’s when the pasta, booze and ridiculous amounts of Maxibon cookie ice creams (as a side note- if you’ve never had one of these, you need to!) well and truly started to flow…

But it didn’t all go swimmingly at first… It’s funny isn’t it when you think of a being in a hot country for 6 months, you don’t even consider the weather temperature at the start and end of season (in April and October) do you? Well let me tell you, it’s definitely not all sunny & shorts weather straight away, as I swiftly found out… but you know, its all part of the fun isn’t it? (So yeah, if you work away abroad in the future, bring a jumper or 2!) but you know, you just improvise and get on with it right? Oh and then there’s the rain… I didn’t particularly consider that in too much detail either and thought a good old flimsy brolly would cut it, turns out a rain coat would have been much more sensible… but as I said, it’s all part of the fun and you live and learn eh? (And you can learn from my mistakes if you like, you’re welcome!)

Fast forward a little bit more and a jumper was no longer needed (nor were the layers of makeup I was used to caking on) and we were well in the swing of things and really, we were just working really hard but equally playing just as hard. It was great! But, don’t let me fool you into thinking it was all singing and dancing (theoretically & literally) because I can assure you there were times when all I wanted to do was jump on the next flight home (in my instance, there were times when I’d message my sister telling her I was about to pack and she’d soon snap me out of it which meant I ended up staying put. Thanks Lu!). So please take it from me, stick with it if you can! 2 reasons being: 1. If you go home, you’ll no doubt get a serious bout of FOMO (fear of missing out) straight away when you see all your mates having a ball still on Instagram and 2. There is no nicer feeling than knowing you’ve made it right to the bitter end and in my case, knowing you’ve been a huge part of thousands of peoples summer holidays for A WHOLE SUMMER. So pleaseeee don’t give up, because at the end of the day remember-

“The good days always out weigh the bad”

Another funny thing was, the amount of people who said to me when I came home; “how much Italian did you learn” and my answer was always “not a lot” and I’m honestly not even exaggerating. Working in a mostly English resort (half the staff were in fact Italian, but they all spoke English) and albeit even in a very Italian area, you still somehow manage to scrape by speaking very minimal Italian. It’s bad really isn’t haha? But anyway, life goes on and I did learn the word ‘Ciao’ as you may have noticed at the start of this post (that was an achievement right there clearly)…

All in all, working abroad is honestly one of the best things I’ve personally ever done and you know when you hear people say: “you find yourself when you go away or do something out of your comfort zone” and then you probably go and roll your eyes (don’t worry I used to do that too). I can now honestly say, it actually is in fact true (I know, I never thought I’d say that either really…) and I hand on heart couldn’t recommend it highly enough if you are considering it (obviously only when we are actually allowed). Yeah okay you might not come back a completely different person (but to be honest, that would be a bit weird really and I’m sure no one wants that haha), but in my experience, the extra boost of confidence it gave me, I can honestly say was one of the best things ever. I can imagine it’s also similar to going to uni in the way that you’re moving away & pushing yourself out of your comfort zone!? So if you’re considering that too but are unsure, JUST DO IT! Because it might just be the best decision you ever make, you never know…

Overall, can you tell I loved it haha? Like I’ve said above, I know full well we can’t do such things at the moment, but lets hold onto the hope that we can veryyy soon eh! Oh and as it turned out (& I don’t know how you feel), but that was actually quite nice having a little reminisce (because that’s about as much travelling (albeit back in time) as we’re going to get right now isn’t it haha) but now it seems now like there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, lets keep all fingers crossed we can soon whip out the passports! (Oh and get your vaccines people, so we hopefully don’t have to wait quite as long. *wink wink* to the people who aren’t sure about getting it😉)

Take care all & hopefully next week I’ll manage to not be quite so slack and actually manage a weekly post again, fingers crossed!

Have a lovely weekend!

Lots of love, Ella x

Ps. Excuse the language in this quote, but I personally think this is sometimes one of the best quotes to live by! (Obviously within reason haha and not for the answer of something like ‘go and jump off that cliff’. Pleaseee don’t do that.)

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