Exactly four years ago, I got on a plane, left my country behind and moved to Scotland. Today I write this post as a reminder, a celebration and a little story, for anyone thinking of taking the leap. Words of encouragement will always be needed because leaving the country where you've lived all your life is not easy. But, people constantly search for something more, something better or a place away from home where they can feel more at home.

So let's start from the beginning: long story short, I always dreamt of studying abroad. I was madly obsessed with moving to the UK one day and had a huge love for London where I spent two weeks of my summer when I was 17. Needless to say that only increased the urge to move. Two years later, after numerous research and planning, I booked the plane ticket. Truth to be told,  my father insisted that I should go to university, graduate and only then leave. However, high school was coming to an end and economically, my country was not the best place to be and when things started to decay even more, he realised it was time to let me go

I had never been in Scotland before and definitely had no idea what this accent was all about. I was 19 years old when I landed in Glasgow on a Saturday afternoon. I remember seeing an unusual amount of people wearing kilts as Scotland was playing that day. Everything was new and exciting. The plan was to hopefully find a job so I could settle here and eventually apply to university for the year after. Obviously nothing ever goes as planned and four years have passed and so much has changed. 

Although I wanted to leave home, that didn't make my decision any easier. People don't believe that you're really going to do it. They don't understand why would you leave everything and go into the unknown as I did. I had a friend asking me the day before I left 'are you really going?'. Yes, in a way I had no other chance. My country had nothing to offer but poor living conditions. Today I look back and I'm glad I came. There were many ups and downs and struggles but at the end of the day, I feel at home here. I know I'm missing out on a lot of things and it's impossible to describe how much I miss the food and my family or the fear I have that people may die and be born and I won't be there to see it ... but I know I will always do the best and everything I can not to loose that part of me. 

Scotland has given me so much. I couldn't be more grateful. I had opportunities here that I would have never had back in my country and that's what brought me here. The day I decided to move I only had the hope of better things and an education abroad. It might not seem a lot to some people but the obstacles I had to overcome for the past four years only helped me to achieve everything that I am so proud of today. The reality is, people in the UK move all the time, to Australia, New Zealand, USA and as many difficult situations they may encounter, language won't be a barrier. The language was definitely one of the hardest changes to get used to. I knew English, but hell, Glaswegian is a completely extreme of the spectrum of the English language. But with time, I got there and without even realising, I just learnt. 

In the end, all is worth it. Anyone should take the leap and find that place where you think your heart is. It doesn't matter what reasons make you do it, but just do it. Don't think too much about all the details because nothing will go exactly as planned and there will be a lot of improvisation along the way. But hey ho, what is important is that it works. I can tell you that when I look back, I asked myself 'how have I done this?'. I was only 19 years old, came here with no job, no idea of anything. I didn't know any better. If I had to do it again, in all honestly I don't know if I would have the courage but that's because now I know how hard it was. At the time I just went along and dealt with a situation at a time. Two really big clich├ęs that I can leave here for you: if you never try, you'll never know and there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.