My journey abroad began almost 8 years ago when I was just 18! Can you believe it? Because right now, I can’t.
I always knew I would study abroad, in fact, I was planning to go for an exchange year already in high-school. So, for the longest time, the only thought I had in my head was moving abroad. Little did my 18-year-old, self know what adventure I would be getting myself into.
When I was moving things were a bit surrealistic and everything happened very quickly. I came to Denmark to start my bachelor’s degree, but it wasn’t the only country I had applying to. So I got to know I was going to Denmark only a month before taking the flight. On top of all, I had a week holiday planned in-between. So in 3 fast weeks, I had to learn what Denmark was like, how to get there, and where to stay once I got there. These were only the priorities on top of a probably 40 task list.
But then the day had arrived with all my friends and family at the airport saying a final goodbye. And honestly, it felt like I was never coming back. But I wasn’t afraid because my life dream was coming true. All I could think about was how exciting this new adventure was.
Fast forward 12 hours later and I’m crying at the airport in Copenhagen because I was cold, I was alone, and my laptop had just broken during the trip. But I got myself together for the last stretch of the trip.
My landlord met me at the station, drove me around, and showed me all the shops and important places. I took the longest sleep I ever had and then took off to explore the city. That’s when I met one of the people who is, up to this day, one of my best friends. It took precisely two days to make new friends–thanks to all the university arrangements–and the fact I wasn’t the only 18-year-old who had just left their country all alone to pursue a better future abroad.
Some things were harder than others, but when the only option you have is to figure things out– you figure things out. And then it became fun, very very fun! All the new friends and new experiences made the time fly by and before I knew it I was on the plane back home for Christmas. I thought about months earlier when everyone was sending me away as if for the last time. But time went quickly, and as the years went by the visits home became more frequent, my friend circle bigger, and the feeling of Denmark being home- stronger.
Those 8 years in Denmark allowed me to travel to 20 countries as a part-time working student. My parents got to visit 5 new countries together with me. I met people and made friends with people from more than 50 nationalities. I learned a new language, moved to another city, and had to become an adult when I wasn’t yet ready. But what I gained is so much more important to me. I am 26 now, living and working full time in Denmark. I can no longer stop the urge to travel and explore more. The longing for being home, both in Denmark and in Bulgaria, always brings me back. And if you are still afraid of making the big step, just remember – home is always there waiting for you, but don’t let the fear hold you back from all the possibilities.
Rumina is originally from Bulgaria. She left home for Denmark 8 years ago to begin higher education. She has a Bachelors in European Studies and is just about to finish a Masters in Business and Communications. She is passionate about traveling and photography who’s been a freelance photographer for 7 years. A social person who loves new challenges and adventures you can find her on IG @travellikeagirl. With two part time jobs in addition to her education she plans to also start a business together with her boyfriend.