In the beginning of 2012, due to an important and unexpected (kind of) change in my life, I decided that I was going to leave Spain and go somewhere else. Around that time I got a job (after so many months of search, I was so excited I could have cried) and for the next year I focused on finishing my master’s degree so I could actually go wherever I wanted.
When 2013 came I decided that I wasn’t going to wait anymore and started to do look for the information that I needed, while I was determined to finish the master that spring.
After a little of research I decided that I was going to try to go to Australia, and if that didn’t work, I would try to come to the States. I fell in love with Brisbane and I could already see myself lying in the beach of the Gold Coast and living in that amazing city, and I didn’t really care (or thought that much) about how far I was going to be from my family and friends.
When I did a little more research and found some stories of different people having done that, I understood that it was going to be difficult to get the required visa, as Spain didn’t have the Working Holiday Visa with Australia and getting a work visa was going to be mission impossible, to say the least. Of course, a few months after I got to the US they sign the deal for that visa… although I can’t say that I regret coming here!
Many young (and not that young) people were choosing a student visa, which allows you to work part time while going to classes. Some of them chose English courses, but you could choose other things too. It was very interesting to me, but it was way more expensive than I thought and I didn’t have that kind of money (some guy did a quote of what he thought he would spend in the visa, the classes, living… and it was about €18,000 – $20,500).
Not gonna lie. That was a little harsh to accept. When you have in your mind everything planned (yeah, I’m a little dreamer here) and you can imagine yourself living in the new city it’s not easy to just erase all that and start from scratch.
On the other hand, since I was a kid I always wanted to come live to the US, as I thought it was really cool (as seen in movies) so I started again all the process, now focus on how to get a visa to come to the US.
I read a lot of blogs, websites and forums on people that had come to work here. Not wanting to spend my money on (super) expensive classes I was focused on finding tips on how to get a job. Just in case you don’t know, it’s freaking difficult. Fortunately, while sending my CV to a bunch of companies and receiving (sometimes) rejection emails, I sent yet another CV for an offer in Chicago.
I don’t think I’ll be able to forget that moment. I sent the email, then I went to take a nap. When I woke up I checked my email and I had an answer, it was a company from the Netherlands that brings people to work in the US. I was the happiest girl just because of the chance to talk with them!
The first offer was to work in a hotel in New Orleans, starting in October. Unfortunately, as I was missing some paperwork I couldn’t fit that date, so they offered me Atlanta instead, starting January 2014.
Now I remember the process a little in a blurry. I was more than happy that they took care of all the paperwork and they told me everything that I needed to do, because bureaucracy can make anyone scream.
So 601 days ago around 9pm I landed in Atlanta with a couple of suitcases full of clothes, hopes, dreams and fears. I remember waking up the next morning and thinking if I was crazy for doing this. I knew English, but I couldn’t understand people sometimes when they were talking to me and, what’s worst, I didn’t seem to be able to put a couple of words together and make a simple phrase.
Beginnings are tough, but I met some amazing people that made the transition way easier and helped me a lot during the following weeks. I couldn’t be more grateful.
Are you thinking of going to live to another city, state, country or even continent? I would 100% recommend you to do it. If you do and it’s all you expected (or more), you will live amazing experiences. If you don’t like it you can always come back or go somewhere else. But if you don’t go because you’re scared to do so you might regret it your whole life. Which option do you choose?