What it’s like to move to a new country

It’s weird. Here I am, ten kilometers high somewhere over France, looking out of the small airplane window and it still hasn’t settled.. I’m moving to Barcelona. The setting sun paints the sky in many colours and I still can’t believe I’m on my way.

As in, right now is the actual moment I have left my first home country and I’m making my way to Spain to make it my next.The moment the wheels of the plane touch down on the black tarmac I will be home. It might not feel that way, but that is what it is. Bye bye bitterballen, bye bye Linda de Mol and bye bye cloudy skies. Hola eternal sunshine, Penelope Cruz and tortilla de patatas. As great as the prospect is, it still hasn’t completely settled.. 


The long walk..


At last: cashing in my 1-way-ticket to Barcelona!


Bye bye rainy Holland

“Are you ready?”

The past couple of weeks I’ve had the same conversation many times with many lovely people. “Are you ready for the big adventure?”, they asked. I wasn’t sure. Did they mean getting ready in the sense of packing your bags and cancelling your subscriptions and everything? Then no, I was very far from ready. Or maybe they meant it as ready to leave this country behind..? How do you get ready for leaving your beautiful friends and amazing family behind? Can you? I’m not sure. Or maybe getting ready to go is having found a job already, or having learned the language, or having found a nice apartment. I’m not sure. Can you ever be completely ready for such an adventure?

Marta, the air waitress (Air hostess? Stewardess?) asks me if I would like a beer. I’m a little nervous about the whole trip. Not in a bad way, not at all. It’s a good kind of nervousness, exciting is the right word maybe. I politely refuse Marta’s offer of a drink. One of the new life resolutions I promised myself: no more alcohol. Let’s see how that goes. My mind wonders off again and I keep thinking about the conversations I had with my friends and family about preparing myself for Barcelona.


Amazing views from my window seat at the emergency exit row (Thanks Vueling!)


More eye candy. 


Apprehensive mid-France airplane selfie

Can you be ready anyway?

Somehow I do feel like I am ready. No, I don’t have a job yet, or even an apartment for that matter. And while I do speak some Spanish, I anything but fully master the language. Being ready then maybe doesn’t lie in job assurances, housing solutions, or even in lingual confidence. Getting ready is all in the mind. I was ready the moment my lady and I decided to leave Holland behind and head to Spain to give it a try. I was ready before my overweight suitcase was even close to being packed. I’ve been ready this whole time without even realising it.

It’s about diving into the unknown and knowing that things might get ugly. It won’t be easy, hell: it might even be very difficult at times, but truly being ready is accepting all of the unknown obstacles on the road ahead and trusting the process and most of all yourself to make for a great outcome. 

The sun has completely gone down now and the coloured sky has made space for cloudy darkness with some little lights at the horizon. The ding-dong sound tells me to put my seatbelt back on, signalling the captain’s ready for the descent. I put my laptop away and with a big smile on my face I think: bring it on. 

 I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.


It’s official.. I’m home!


What a welcoming committee!

This is where I am right now (my mom said this would be a good idea):


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This is Travel Viking
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This is Travel Viking

Captain of the Ship at This is Travel Viking
Writer. Traveller. Bearded man child. Better-looking than Donald Trump. Skinnier than Steven Seagal. Probably the best writer on this website.
This is Travel Viking
Stalk me

Latest posts by This is Travel Viking (see all)

This is Travel Viking

Writer. Traveller. Bearded man child. Better-looking than Donald Trump. Skinnier than Steven Seagal. Probably the best writer on this website.

19 thoughts on “What it’s like to move to a new country

  1. hello,

    Nice reading your story. I will leave bitterballen and linda mol behind in 2 weeks from now.
    Really excited to go to barcelona. Hopefully you will write an update in a week, to see how barcelona treats you. Good luck in barcelona.

  2. Welcome to Barcelona, I love the way you write!

    I moved here, well, close to Barcelona, a bit more than a year ago from The Netherlands, and maybe I am still not ready, but it is worth it :)

    Enjoy your first day!

  3. Welcome to Barcelona! It’s the story of my life, moving from one place to another and now also in the beautiful Barcelona!! At the beginning is hard because you miss everything from home but I realized home is where your heart is :) best wishes!!!

  4. I can totally understand the excitement and feelings of uncertainty.
    I moved from Québec to Germany with my boyfriend one year ago, without really speaking German…
    And guess what, it turned out to be the best decision of our lives. We’re now pretty good at the language, have met an insane amount of nice people all around Europe and are happier than ever!
    I’m sure you’ll love Barcelona and its sunny weather! :)

  5. If I ever move from Amsterdam to a city elsewhere, it will be Barcelona (or Berlin but that’s my bf’s dream). I just love that city and all it’s beauty. I am sure you will love living there.

  6. Hi Jesper,

    I am on the same boat as you were more than two weeks ago. In less than a week I will start a life abroad in Portugal with no secured surroundings around me. But it is part of the process becoming a “new-local”.

    Good luck with your journey!

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