Four years have passed since I moved to Switzerland to follow love and my wanderlust. When I first decided to left Portugal and move abroad, I was so excited about it that I couldn’t help but to share my happiness with the world. Truth is I still couldn’t believe I was actually doing this, and sharing my plans with friends and colleagues was a way to make it feel more real. Or so I thought.
Little did I know that my excitement about my new life ahead would be received with such negativity and cynicism. I mean, some close friends were very supportive and genuinely happy for me, and I have only to thank them for it.
But the majority of the people, from friends and coworkers, to mere acquaintances, wasn’t so nice. For my surprise, I was met with pessimism, skepticism, scorn, and yes, even anger. I couldn’t understand why some people would seem so upset about something that had nothing to do with them, and eventually I started doubting myself and my decision.
I had dreamed about moving abroad and traveling the world ever since I could remember, and now that the opportunity presented itself as never before I was having second thoughts. Fortunately a good friend advised me to ignore all the noise around me and focus only in what I really wanted to do.
So on the 20th of June 2013 I took a plane from Lisbon to Zurich, and started a new life from scratch. It wasn’t easy. It was challenging and hard, as well as frustrating and lonely sometimes. But it was also rewarding and enriching. Most importantly: I have no regrets. I saw the chance and made the most of it, and I won’t look back someday and think “what if?”.
But what if I have heard to those negative comments? What if all the discouraging things people said to me had made me change my mind? What if I had let doubt and fear win over hope and courage?
Recently it occurred to me that I never properly answer to those people. So here are 5 of the many discouraging things I heard before moving abroad, along with my 4 year late response. I hope this will inspire you to follow your own dreams and ignore anyone who says you shouldn’t.
#1 “Isn’t that too risky?”
Oh yeah, it’s risky! Life is risky. But do you know what’s even riskier? Not taking chances and letting life pass you by.
#2 “You’re shooting yourself in the foot!”
Well, apparently I did that already, when I decided to start this conversation with you…
#3 “Change is not evolution.”
Actually, that depends. If you’re in a situation where you’re not felling happy or fulfilled, not doing anything to change that is not evolved, it’s just stupid. Most people fear change and the unknown, but change is inevitable in life. Only through change can we grow and become better persons.
#4 “It’s not going to be that easy!”
Believe me, I know. But I don’t want, and I don’t need it to be easy. Life is difficult no matter where you are. So I’d rather work hard to achieve my goals and live the life I dreamed of.
#5 “You’ll come back – things are falling apart everywhere!”
Maybe I will. But not because things are falling apart. I believe the world is a beautiful place, and that not to explore it is a waste of time and life. Yes, maybe one day I’ll come back, but at least I would have seen the world and lived to the fullest.
Four years have passed, and I guess I should also thank those who tried to discourage me, some out of genuine concern, others for not so noble reasons. But all of them reinforced my willingness to pursuit my dreams and never give up, and I remembered their words every time a small victory came my way. So, thank you!
Anything is possible – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And if they insist in doing so, just go out there and prove them wrong!
Have you ever had anyone try to discourage your dreams? Share in the comments section below.
If you like it, Pin it!