The first few months abroad – the toughest time

I want to share with you how the first couple of months in UK went for me. It’s not a story of wisdom or courage, it’s just how things happened with me. I hope you can find some comfort and understanding in case you or somebody close to you is heading off to the unknown experience of moving abroad.

September 2014 – two large suitcases and packed with enthusiasm and self-confidence, I landed at Luton airport where my adventure started.

I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a full bank account, I didn’t have a boyfriend or a relative to sustain me, I didn’t have any security or anything that will promise me that things will work out for me.

What made me take this brave and maybe unreasonable step then?

I asked myself many times this question, the answer which pops up is that God made me do it. Then it couldn’t be wrong or that bad.

Luckily, I had the support of my family and that of a Bulgarian friend who accommodated me in the very beginning and introduced me to the English lifestyle. I also had the contacts from my previous job and a few friends who supported me.

Now, when I look back,

I can tell my faith and positivity ( exceeding the circumstances I was in ) helped me go through the obstacles to follow.

There was the closed circle of finding a job, an accommodation and opening a bank account – all of them connected in such a way that if you don’t have one of them, you can’t get the rest – a vicious circle I was in for about two months.


I was hearing “NO” – and I was hearing it a lot.

I was sending 30-40 CVs a day with NO reply from anywhere.

I was viewing ridiculously tiny but expensive rooms just to find out they didn’t trust that I would be able to pay the rent as I’d just arrived, didn’t have a job or any credit/ work history.

All banks declined my applications to open a bank account with them.

Eventually, it all worked out – it always does. But you shouldn’t give up – ever.

I remember one time that I got so emotional and overwhelmed by all the rejection, it was straight after I went to apply for a bank account again and I thought I brought all the necessary paperwork. They turned me down again – quite abruptly in my view back then. I sat on the street and just started crying – not because of that certain instance but just because as a sensitive person, I’ve got too much rejection for such a short time. And let’s face it, nobody likes to be rejected.

However, it was a big lesson – it made me much stronger.

That period gave me the confidence I can handle it and that everything shall pass and better times will come.

How about you? Have you been in a situation where you had to settle in a new town/ country permanently or temporarily and how did you handle the stress and the demands of the new place? As usual, please leave a comment for your experience!

2 responses to “The first few months abroad – the toughest time”

  1. Lawrence says:

    Thank you Maria, for sharing this with us!
    I had never been abroad before and when I arrived in U.K. I also had a lot of enthusiasm and positive energy. But I was helped by my brother, who was already there and somehow things were easier for me. Still, besides all the good things that I found in UK I had always the stress of being a foreigner and that I don’t really belong there, which is why I eventually decided to come back.
    Your experience is very helpful for many of us and your story is lovely told and not boring at all.
    Good luck in the future!

    • Maria Toneva says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience Lawrence. There is no right or wrong way, everybody is free to try and take the best decision for himself. I’m glad you’re happy where you are as that’s what matters the most. Hope you find more valuable resources here and thanks for the kind wishes!

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