Thursday, 18 October 2012

Don't be too adventurous!

I've recently watched a video about a large number of Spaniards who decided to emigrate to Norway looking for a better life... only for some to end up begging for food and sleeping rough. [you can watch the video here]

What strikes me about the story is that those who experienced the most hardship did much to bring it on themselves. Seemingly, they had unrealistic expectations about Norway to the extent that they took hardly any money with them to the Scandinavian country, hoping to find a good job and affordable accommodation as soon as they landed there. 

Moreover, some of them spoke little English and (I presume) no Norwegian at all. I would say that the language barrier alone is reason enough to expect some difficulties when you try to live a normal life in another country.

I can sympathise with these people as I went through a similar situation in England (not so extreme, thank God) at some point during the time I lived on the island. For over a month, I had to spend a sizeable amount of money to pay for food and accommodation while looking for a job. Even though I was relatively fluent in English, it took me a long time to find work as a waiter in a conference centre. And this was before the global economic downturn left millions in Europe unemployed.

As you can see, it's not as simple as saying "let's go abroad and start afresh." I would advise anyone thinking of moving to England to do their homework before they embark on such a life journey. Make sure you can get a job there, take enough money to cover your living expenses (that includes money for a return ticket) and improve your English level before flying there. You shouldn't move to England if you cannot hold a conversation in English since it is very unlikely that an employer will give you a job if you don't have a working knowledge of the language. Unless, of course, you are happy working as a kitchen porter (and even for that there may be few vacancies).

I hear from my cousin, who is living in England, that many Spaniards are coming back because they cannot find a job. These are hard times. It is always enriching to travel to other countries but, if you are planning to go and live permanently in the UK, remember that the good old days are sadly gone.

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