You can do more than that: how adapting to a foreign country opened my eyes to my abilities.

Our editor Yulia Kozoliy ended up in another country, she was looking for comfort and tranquility, but she found herself. About miracles of adaptation, gratitude and unfunny memes.

Surprisingly, but true: in order to accept emigration, I needed to return to my homeland, already to visit. I have been living in Cyprus for six months. My city – Nicosia – 48 years ago, the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey were divided exactly in half. If you walk around the old center, you can come to the border point and hear the muezzin singing, calling “from the other side.” They say that after moving, you especially want to go home in six months, and I think I understand what they mean.

Don’t misunderstand me, when the world is unstable and your position in it is even worse, spontaneous emigration is not the best solution. Therefore, I ask you, do not compose memes and do not judge strictly those who return. They have come a long way, tried new things and made a difficult, responsible decision. I see jokes in the style of “SMM and IT specialist are returning from Tbilisi” and feel bitterness and shame. It’s nice to savor someone else’s failure, but is it really failure?

Returning to my personal story, first I want to support those who now, in spite of everything, are “floundering” and do not despair. You guys are heroes. My strength during the move turned out to be a lot, but they were exactly enough to close everyday issues. But there are still ambitions, fear for one’s future and longing for the past. All this time, I recognized only shortcomings: I arrange my daughter for school for a long time, I can’t find a comfortable apartment, I lack language, courage, lightness. And everyone around has already settled down, in this race you are in the laggards!

And then comes the blissful stage when everything is in order. Three months later you feel the ground under your feet. I remember how I walked with my daughter around the area and met a neighbor, she unloaded the child from the car and walked home with purchases. I thought that I want to be in her place right now! What a sweet feeling it must be to know that you are fine and tomorrow will be a planned predictable day in Cyprus. By the way, the neighbor is from Russia, and has been living on the island for 7 years. And also by the way: a week later I did the same, picked up my daughter from the camp and went home, confident in the future.

And it is at this moment of calmness that sadness creeps in: I am here, alone, and life is in full swing in my (my!) City. And then give arguments about the sea, the sun and vitamin D – it won’t work! It was at that moment that I got home … And I clearly understood where this house is now.

They said, quickly integrate into the local environment

Being a responsible person, I took this recommendation literally and was very stressed because I didn’t want to communicate with anyone. And then I just accepted the fact: now I need a family and no one else, it’s more comfortable for me to watch the life of locals and expats from the outside. And that’s okay.

They said practice the language

In Cyprus, everyone speaks English, which is a huge plus. You arrive, order coffee, rent a car, buy groceries and feel comfortable. And then you start doing real things: to arrange a child in a school (English-speaking), rent an apartment for a long time, talk to a lawyer, go to the migration service. And here, no matter what English you have, there will be stress. Physically, it feels like fatigue from communication, from the need to read a lot of important information in another language and even just to speak. I was helped by pauses in business, the most common doing nothing.

They said, dive into a professional environment and develop

Whoa, whoa, be quiet. My mistake was that, once in a new environment, I demanded instant growth from myself: both linguistically and professionally. There is everything around for this. I talked about this in almost every meeting with a psychologist. As a result: fear for your future and stress. In the meantime, my real daily desire was: to sleep for an hour or two after dinner.

This lasted until the psychologist one day listed out loud a list of things that I had completed in a couple of months, and recommended that I focus on them. It’s easy to discount what you’ve already done and criticize yourself for being tired, but the reality is that after a huge amount of stress called “moving”, a person needs to rest, not sprint.

They said it would be very beautiful

There are nuances in any country in the world, you should not romanticize the move, but you can look for something that supports you personally. For me, it’s home improvement: I’ve finally found a big apartment that I can furnish in Mediterranean style, put down a fluffy rug, and order a poster from a store that doesn’t deliver to my hometown. I have a sea here that heals any sadness. And I have family here. Dot.

They said kids adapt quickly

Partly it is. The child thrives in warm climates. And adaptation is easier if there are psychologically stable parents nearby. Do not transfer your fears to the child, especially about school. Mom and dad just need to be there.

By the way, about the school. Any emigration is easier for the whole family if you have a schoolchild. Because, whether you like it or not, you will have to merge into the environment. Thanks to school, you begin to understand how social mechanisms work. From friends who moved to other countries, I even heard this: couples with children quickly mastered the local language – whatever one may say, but the child needs help.

Do not reproach yourself if something does not work out, accept any mood, do not pull yourself out of your comfort zone by the ears in search of friends and community. Give yourself time to thank yourself for being brave, courageous, smart, and adaptable to anything. You are awesome, and it turns out you can do more! And so ahead!

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