I still remember that day, I think it was late November. I was sat at my desk at work trying to crack on with my to-do list, one month in the job. And suddenly this realisation hit me – “Damn! This sh*t is real! I’m in Manchester, having a proper job, I have actually started a new life.” Yes, it took that long for the whole idea to sink in. And it scared me! Five months in now, has anything changed?
One thing is for sure – the fear is gone! To be honest, I wasn’t really scared. It was a bit overwhelming to realise what I have accomplished. Because when I was just looking for the job, I was only focusing on this one goal, nothing else – including my feelings and thoughts about the whole thing – mattered much. But when you have the time to reflect, it might sweep you off your feet as you’ve put all that aside for quite some time.
I must apologise it took me 2 months to finally find the time (or inspiration?) for the next blog post. To say “I’ve been busy” would be true, but also lying. A lot has happened, however, I guess I just didn’t make this as the priority. I’m hoping this post will get me back on the track. I have so many ideas what to write about, but am a bit conscious if you’ll be interested to read all that :)
Where Am I Now?
I’m still living in Chorlton, still working in MediaCityUK with the amazing and wonderful team ZEAL, so basically – nothing has changed. But I think I have changed though…
I’m feeling that Englishness is rubbing off on me quite quickly and easily. I’ve still not had even the slightest culture shock, and I get complimented from others (“That was so English of you!“) for fitting in nicely. Yes, I still sound American/Canadian, but my Latvian friends say my English is getting more and more British. Who knows?! Maybe I was meant to be English? Or am just terribly good at fitting in…
Either way, I’m enjoying being an expat in Manchester. To be honest, I’m not even referring to myself as an expat anymore. Manchester is my home now. And if you ask me now whether I’m still sure that this was the right thing to do – YES, YES and thousand more times YES! Couldn’t be happier for being so daring and a bit crazy to turn my life around like this. All for the best!
Jetsetter On Steroids
On my first week on the new job, I was told I will need to do some travelling for one of my clients. I was quite excited about having one-day trips down South to London or Swindon, but never in my dreams, I expected to be travelling to Singapore and the USA! Wooop!
My task was to help facilitate two workshops in Singapore and Wayne, NJ. Might sound fancy and all (and don’t get me wrong – it was!), but it was hard two weeks of long flights, little sleep, loads of work, episodes of anxiety and “How the hell am I supposed to handle this?!” moments, and never-ending jet-lag. Also, I got to experience emergency landing (bloody third engine – decided not to work properly on a 14h flight!), and food poisoning in Singapore (“This will be challenging,” from my doctor was not the most inspiring sentence I heard on that trip).
But I survived! And the experience was amazing and invaluable. I couldn’t be more thankful for someone trusting me so much (shout out to my surrogate family, team ZEAL) to send me on trips like that to represent the agency on such level. Amazing! One thing I struggled with though…
The often-asked question: “And where are you from?” Wherever I went, people kept asking me this, and even though I should’ve gotten better with each time, I still can’t answer without sounding confused or indecisive! “From Manchester, UK… but originally from Riga, Latvia” seemed too complicated. I still feel closely related to Latvia, however, I’m in Manchester now. I guess with time it will get easier.
Hitting Off 2016 With A Blast – An Extended Trip Home
I got the amazing chance to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Latvia – had a wonderful two-week long break to spend with my family and friends. And this time leaving wasn’t as hard and depressive as the last time in October. I guess it was easier as I now have something to return to and things seem less uncertain and confusing.
But one thing is sure – I’ll never have enough time to see everyone I want to see and do everything I want to do back in Latvia! One needs a good holiday after a holiday like this, ha! But it was really nice and lovely! Now waiting for my friends and fam to come over to Manchester and get to see how I’ve settled in. Exciting times!
What’s In Store For The Future?
Work, work, work! Ha, no – it won’t be that bad. Though, work will definitely be one of my focus areas this year. Got big plans and challenges, and I can’t wait to crack on with all that!
As for my off-work time – still trying to keep myself as busy as possible. Running, yoga, kickboxing, ice-skating (and ready to roller-skate as soon as the weather will allow me that – brought a pair of skates with me from Latvia), photography (got a new camera to play with), reading loads of books (will I hit my goal – 50 books – this year?), and planning to travel around England, Wales and Scotland.
And blog more? :) I definitely should! Especially after accidentally meeting a reader that I didn’t know personally… It was another Latvian girl living and working here in Manchester who approached me at a pub after recognising me from my pictures. Felt so weird, but really nice! Love knowing that there is someone out there reading all this!
As I already wrote, I have loads of ideas to blog about, but I would appreciate if you could let me know what you would love to read about! Blurt it out in the comments below, and thanks for getting this far to even read this ;)
Note: This post originally appeared on Expat in MCR (expatinmcr.com) blog which has since been renamed to Dream Chaser (dreamchaserwrites.com).