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7 Things To Consider Before Moving Abroad

Now I know I haven’t moved abroad for work or anything, so I do feel slightly cheeky writing a post on things you should know before moving abroad.

But. And there is always a but!

I still believe my points are worth considering from my experience as a study exchange student. Plus, I do plan to move abroad again, one day. And I think it’s always wise to have some tools before you consider moving abroad.

As you’ve heard me say a million times before ‘moving abroad was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made’. I feel like it was a period of my life that I learnt so much about myself. It’s when I felt like I became whole and really believed I was capable of doing absolutely anything.  

7 Things to think about before moving abroad  

THERE WILL BE A LOT OF SELF DOUBT  

Unfortunately, this is inevitable. When I moved abroad, I always doubted myself, mainly as a young black female. And (at the time) had never even lived out of her family’s home before. I was first worried about how I would be taken in Singapore. Everything I did caused doubt.

China Town

Honestly, moving abroad was and is one of the most humbling experiences. I was forced to come out of my shell overnight with very little support (that’s my opinion – which I am happy to discuss at a later date).

But moving abroad is an experience to meet people and live after a while the self-doubt will literally disappear.

MAKING FRIENDS MAY BE DIFFICULT 

I personally didn’t have a massive issue with this because as you can imagine, everyone wanted to be my friend haha! I’m joking moving abroad can be quite daunting when you don’t know anyone on the other side.

As an adult or young person, should I say, making friends can be somewhat much more tricky, and if you are an introvert even harder – in my opinion? There can also be lots of misunderstandings, you know people learning about themselves. I had this trouble while living in Singapore, and it caused a bit of friction between a few friends and me. 

Tip: I would suggest starting with an interest, I was surprised how music was an icebreaker for me when making friends in Singapore. I seemed to find similar interest with people that loved Beyonce! If you can, I would also suggest using Instagram and Facebook.  

N.B don’t be afraid to ghost someone; people appear their best selves when you first meet them. If you don’t think you click with someone, do not hesitate to keep it moving! 

YOU’LL GET FRUSTRATED LIKE ALL THE TIME  

Anyone who tells you that moving abroad is easy is just lying! Moving abroad can be quite overwhelming, and if you lose your cool – it’s understandable. If you are moving over as a student, this can be reasonably straight forward, but if you’re doing this on your own – it can be quite frustrating!  

It doesn’t stop there you then have to think about getting a new sim-card (if you already have a phone) then signing up to a new bank, the money you need to spend. Not to mention time difference. This can really test you – honestly, there were times I’m sure people thought I was just a spoilt brat! Things didn’t seem to go my way when I moved to Singapore, and I just wanted to come home!  

However, despite the little hiccups, I learnt so many things. I reminded myself that it was all a learning process. As cheesy as it sounds, you really have to take a step back and just breath! All these annoying things definitely made me a more patient person. 

YOU WILL BE SPENDING MONEY LIKE YOU’RE BARCLAYS BANK  

Let me be real with you. Unless you have some fantastic benefits, you will be spending a lot of money. The first thing I did when I landed in Singapore was head out to IKEA. I wanted to feel like I was at home, and I couldn’t do that with no bedsheets.  

Singapore money

Get ready to save some money before you go and then spend it once you get there.  

YOUR STEREOTYPES WILL BE CHALLENGED  

THIS IS SOMETHING PEOPLE LIKE TO IGNORE. PLEASE DON’T!

Sometimes as human beings, we have preconceived notions of how people behave or how they will perceive us. You can even have presumptions of how a place might be and more. Moving abroad wholly change everything for me. Not only did I learn so much about the culture in Singapore, but I was continually learning about other cultures and countries. I met people from America, Malaysia, South Korea, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada and more. At first, I can honestly say it was a huge learning curve, but an enjoyable one where I felt like I gained so much from people. 

IT’LL BE THE BEST DECISION YOU’VE EVER MADE  

As I will always say and continue to preach! Moving abroad has and will always be the best decision I ever made. The decision to get out of my shell and see the world really changed me for the better and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  

If you’ve ever had a thought that moving abroad is something you want to do, I’ve got one piece of advice for you – DO IT! If you are in uni/college, please consider. 

What about you have you ever thought about moving abroad? What’s holding you back?  

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7 Things I Wish I Did Differently for My Study Exchange Abroad

I like many other study exchange students, wasn’t prepared for my study exchange. Back in 2013, I flew out to Singapore for seven months and studied at the National University of Singapore. While I had done a little research on Google I didn’t really know that much about the country. I was flying abroad blindfolded with no plans for what I wanted to do while I was in Asia. I was blessed enough to meet people who pushed me to go on trips.

Sometimes I look back now and have some regrets about things. Things I wish I knew and did before and during my stay.  

Created a list of things to do in Singapore 

I know I mentioned earlier, doing a bit of research on Google, but my research was limited. I had heard that Singapore had a number of laws and was a lot stricter than the UK. This scared me to memorise all the laws. Things like not bringing chewing gum or eating on public transport where things to note. I spent ages going on about the injustice of not being able to have chewing gum that I didn’t make time to think of the things I could do whilst living in Singapore.

Don’t get me wrong. The first month or so I did the Singapore Sling, ate some amazing street food. And when my family came down, I went to the Singapore Zoo. I still wish I did more. I recently went back to Singapore this year and realised how much more of the country I could have explored. Taking the time out to read up on some blogs may have helped me see such a beautiful country.  

Here are a few things I wish I considered before moving to Singapore:

Packed what I needed  

When my airline told me, I was only allowed one suitcase. Nearly grabbed my chest! I was so upset how can I only take one suitcase! I, of course, shipped another suitcase to meet me in Singapore.

At the time it felt like it was needed but in reality, I wish I had thought through what I needed to take. Maybe ask questions like ‘Ade are you really going to wear this?’ There were a number of things that I didn’t end up wearing and didn’t actually need. Depending on how long your study exchange is. You will need clothes to cover your time whilst you are out there. Pick clothes or things you can layer for any climate.

I say this because I spent a few days in Australia and met quite a cold country. Well for someone who had been living it a hot climate. Think about things you have to take and stock up. As a black girl, there may be products you won’t find abroad so stock up on them also.

Don’t make your bag heavier than it’s needed.  

Started a YouTube Chanel or a Blog  

This is something I have mentioned in my previous post like ‘Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway’. I do wish that I started a YouTube channel. My study exchange was a period of my life that should have been shown, but like every young person, I allowed fear to stop me. Don’t get me wrong I am so happy where I am with my blog now. However, it doesn’t stop me thinking about how cool it would have been if I started My Breaking Views back then. I could have talked about all the countries I visited in South East Asia. Even if you don’t want to have a social media platform it’s a good idea to keep a journal. That way you can look back at your experiences.  

Knew when to stop  

There were a few times like other study exchange students, that I let a little too loose studying abroad and ended up regretting it the next day. Wish I had known my limits and understood that going out didn’t have to mean doing the most. I remember a study exchange student going out every single night! I wish I had the energy to do that myself.

Taken that job  

I was in the final year of my degree whilst living in Singapore so I had a lot on my mind. One was looking for another job! Funny enough I did actually get a job out in Shanghai, China. Unfortunately, my mother was adamant that it was a bad choice and put me off it instantly! I wish I had a bit more backbone then and decided that it would have been a good move for me.

Abroad you will be introduced to a new set of people from around the world. Take it in and use the time to network and connect with people.  

Taken a photography class and invested in a good camera  

Back when I moved to Singapore, I was terrible with the camera. I had a little small iPhone 4s and thought back then that I was doing bits! Wish I knew then the importance of good quality pictures. I started to become more and more concerned with how I looked in a picture. And almost half the pictures (if not more) I took were of me standing in front of this or that doing the same pose!

I wish I had learned more about photo composition and what makes a good quality photo before I moved abroad. Singapore has some absolutely amazing photo opportunities that I see people taking even today. I missed the opportunity.

Chilled out a bit more  

I don’t know if I ever told you the story. The one where I had a break down in the middle of a jungle.

No, I haven’t? Well to cut the story short me and four of my friends decided to go hiking to see a waterfall. My friend fell and had a minor concussion and I literally panicked for my dear life and experienced a breakdown. Thankfully, my friend came around and to my surprise wanted to keep going. Once we got to the waterfall it was like nothing ever happened. I wish I was just a bit calmer sometimes.

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#MyBreakingViewsTravels

A post shared by Adebola of #MyBreakingViews (@mybreakingviews) on

These are the seven things I wish I knew before going on my study exchange. I try not to dwell on things too much. However, I sometimes wonder where I would have been today if I had started my YouTube channel back then or even started the blog.

At the same time, I think I can still learn from my mistakes and encourage someone not to make the same.

I tend to only speak positively about my study exchange hence why this post wasn’t the easiest. I guess it only means another post is coming up!  

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How to Beat Post-Travel Depression

So, it’s been just over a week since I wrote my post on How Travelling Helped Deal with My Depression and Anxiety’ and the responses I’ve received have been amazing! I just want to thank every single one of you that has taken the time to read my story and have shared your own experiences with me. Since my last post, I thought it would only be wise to share how I manage my post-travel blues when returning back from holiday. I know from experience, that when I travel I am always on a high! I’m ALWAYS so excited about just getting on a flight, seeing a new country, experiencing the culture, the beautiful views and most importantly learning more about myself, which I do every single time I leave for my travels. You never want to leave but…

Then…

You’re enjoying yourself and just like that, it’s time to come back to the reality. I have to start remembering what I have to deal with when I get back and at that moment you are reminded that you are now coming to the end of an amazing trip. Returning home, whether it’s from a day trip, two-week-long vacation or a multi-year-round-the-world trip can hit you hard; for me, it hits me so hard I plan my next trip from the moment I get back from my current one! Post-travel depression can affect everyone, and people don’t know how sometimes it can affect you. In this article, I suggest some ways to overcome post-travel blues! Please note – I am not an expert in this; as I’ve said before I only know how to deal with my own mental health.

Sooo… What is the Post-Travel Depression?

Just as it sounds, post-travel depression is a feeling of depression that hits you at the end of a trip. Sometimes it can even begin in the days running up to the end of your trip. I always end up feeling a little sad in the days before I head home. It’s that feeling where you’re like ‘man it ended too soon or I just need a little longer’. As well as a sense of depression, other symptoms you may experience include exhaustion, loss of appetite, a lack of motivation, feelings of nostalgia, and for me immediately researching the next trip!

In all seriousness, though, post-travel depression can seriously affect your mental well being and last for as long as weeks or months. Friends of mine who have taken year-long trips around-the-world have confessed they still don’t feel as though they’re fully back to normal, even up to a year after returning home. It is hard to just go back to normal life again! One huge reason why this is the case is travelling is transformative. Once you leave your comfort zone and have explored a country of the world you’ll feel like a different person, you will feel refreshed, sometimes you will even look different because while you’re away you meet people from all walks of life. Your attitude changes and you begin to have a different outlook on life.

When did it happen to me?

I can give you an example – when I travelled to Cambodia in 2013, I met some young people who knew so much about the United Kingdom and barely went to school because they were on the streets making money for their families. These young people had very little, but the kindness and positive nature they gave out assured me that it’s actually OK to just be nice.  Not everyone is as fortunate to have the same opportunities so when you are presented with a good opportunity you should take it seriously!

The other issue is everyone you return to is often the same. Nothing has really changed. There are in the exact same place they were when you last saw them and that can also be depressing in itself. I remember really feeling this when I came back from living in Singapore. I had travelled all over South East Asia and almost faced near to death experiences I had changed in person and it was such a strange feeling seeing everything was exactly the same. I couldn’t explain it. I remember it so vividly, I had just finished university and couldn’t comprehend how nothing had changed and chose to keep myself busy because I could feel myself falling back into the trap of a repetitive reality. Even now I see people who are lost, lost in a system that doesn’t allow them to enjoy life and they have given up and fallen into the stereotypical life that the system expects of them. And the saddest thing is we all have. 

What happens?

It’s a strange feeling to slow back into your old life as if nothing has changed, while deeply knowing that everything has changed. And when friends and family take interest in your trip for a week or two then don’t care to hear any more, it can be tough to deal with so many incredible memories that nobody wants to hear about. I do remember having my study-exchange friends that I met up with on a number of occasions; this was so helpful – James, Jade and Georgina shout out to you three!! You truly made returning home bearable.

Even now I see people who are lost, lost in a system that doesn’t allow them to enjoy life and they have given up and fallen into the stereotypical life that the system expects of them.And the saddest thing is we all have. 

So, what can you do to prepare yourself for post-travel depression, and how can you minimise its effects? As I said before I am not an expert in other mental health, only my own.

7 Tips on How to Beat Post-Travel Depression

1. Catch Up with Friends

I understand listening to me talk about my travels can be annoying especially if you haven’t been anywhere for a while. And I do apologise. I remember wanting to share my stories with a former friend, she hadn’t travelled then and I felt bad talking about them – so I stopped. When she started to travel I really enjoyed her stories because I knew what it was like to experience something new.  

Talking to friends that are travellers when battling with post-travel blues, can be a blessing in disguise. I remember meeting up with my friends that I met on my study abroad, we spent hours talking about our memories abroad. If you know my friends, you will know there are endless stories that I don’t even know where to begin! I am always left with laughter and a warm fuzzy feeling inside. If you can meet with your friends, it could help keep you distracted and lessen your attention on how you wish you were still abroad.

2. Take Care of Yourself

When we travel, you are having so much (well I do) it can be hard to take proper care of yourselves. Maybe that body you worked so hard for in the gym is now disappearing from all the junk food! You are lying by the pool doing nothing or sightseeing all day, drinking and clubbing every night. Your body will become exhausted. Write a list of things you want to do when you get back. For example, my list – I would like to start eating clean, reading more uplifting books, go to bed early, go to the gym and dream more and most importantly get closer to God.

3. Share Your Photos with Friends/Social Platforms

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Me & my hello kitties ?❤️

A post shared by Adebola – Travel & Lifestyle (@mybreakingviews) on

Now I know Drake in his most recent album recently said ‘I know a girl that saves pictures from places she’s flown to post later and make it look like she still on the go.’

But sorry Drake I don’t care what you say.

Some of us don’t have the opportunity to be constantly on the go. We must save those memories and keep reminding ourselves how amazing the trip was!  Post pictures not to impress people, but yourself for your own memories. My social media is my collage of all my best pictures. I post pictures on Instagram and my other social media platforms because I want people to see the beautiful sites I have captured.

Sorry not sorry! #MyBreakingViews #BTravelCreators

4. Return back to Work or Study Immediately

Some people will disagree with me, but in my opinion there nothing worse than sitting at home doing nothing when you can be keeping yourself busy! If you don’t throw yourself back into your normal routine you will regret it when you do start!

5. Start Planning Your Next Trip 

Hahaha! I don’t know how many times I have mentioned this already! Best way to get your mind of post-travel blues is by of course planning your next trip! Write down a list of places you want to go! Then start the planning! And then book your flight, you will enjoy counting down the days to your next trip that the days will fly by!

I have a travel bucket list. In 2016 I wrote that I wanted to go to Italy and America … Guess what I went to both… Write down your visions.

6. Start A Travel Diary or Travel Blog 

If you’re like me, you’ll love to keep a record of those life-changing moments of your travels. If you have a travel blog write about your experiences! Share your tips you will be so happy you went! And if you don’t have a travel blog start one and comment below with a link to your blog! I love learning from other travel bloggers!

If you have a diary then use that. I always carry my diary around with me. I am so relaxed I think differently I can write and see my God-given vision, clearly and write this down for the universe.

7. Use the #BTravelCreators

I am sure you have seen that I am trying to do so many new things this year! I and Debbie for Wanderlustcalls have started a platform for Black Travel Creators! And it is going soooo well! We are both on Instagram and Twitter  @btravelcreators so if you want us to share your lovely post and pictures please use the # or @ us. Oh and of course follow us!

Starting this platform has really given me so much confidence because there are so many other people with similar outlooks in life. This has given me the ability to share my experiences and be more open with my readers. I want to thank you all because really, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you all.

I hope these tips do help deal with travel depression. Do you have any tips to share please do so below!

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My first award: Liebster Award!

I can’t Thank God enough! Last day of the first month and I’m so excited to announce that I have been awarded the Liebster Award! This is my first reward that I have received for my blog and hopefully the first of many. I want to say a BIG Thanks to WanderlustCalls for the nomination. Make sure to show her inspirational travel blog some love!

WHAT IS THE LIEBSTER AWARD?

Liebster is the German word for dearest. The award itself started back in 2011 and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The aim of the Liebster Award is to welcome and recognise the work of new bloggers.

THE LIEBSTER AWARD INTERVIEW:

1. What is your top goal for your blog in 2017?

Oh woow. There is so much I would like to do with my blog this year, but I think my top goal would be to enjoy the journey and get myself connected with other bloggers because I haven’t done this in the past. I also would also like to collaborate my blog with my YouTube channel which is due to come out soon!

Overall, I hope to expand MyBreakingViews Platform!!

2. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

I think the most favourite thing I enjoy about my blog is how I can now connect with a wider range of other blogs and people.

3. What would you say is your best quality?

Hmmm… this is a difficult one but I would say that my best quality is I am extremely ambitious and I always go the extra mile to do my best!

4. What was your favourite blog post that you wrote?

Hmmm…. this is another tricky one I must admit! I love all my posts! No I am joking!
I would say my most favourite post to date has been Why Let Society Dictate When You Get Married?” – have a read!!

This post was about society and cultural pressures in forcing women to get married, but not placing the same pressures of men! It touches on my favourite author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Love her!

5. How many countries have you visited and which one was your favourite and why?

To date I believe I have visited 32 countries and I would say Singapore is my fave country.

Now I lived in Singapore for half a year (in 2013) on a study exchange programme, in myfinal year of University/College. So, Singapore became my second home, I laughed, cried and got angry in this Lion City. It also is an incredibly clean country due to its strict rules and zero tolerance to littering. I have a mad good friends that I am still in contact with today!

It was an amazing place to visit and live in!

6. What are your top three travel destinations for 2017?

Oh no! Well this year I haven’t got any travel destinations I am taking a step back. I want to do some saving! Highly doubt it will last though I will be most likely travelling to the States – Texas and New York, Peru and Greece!

I am a firm believer of travelling a New Country every year – check out the post!

7. What inspired you start blogging?

I remember reading Abena Kusi blog back in 2013 when I just got back from my travels – still had the “Miss International” name then. It was Abenas blogs believe it or not that inspired me to start a travel blog but because I felt that I should have written the blog when I was travelling it failed miserably!

Then in July 2015 I realised that I wanted to start blogging again properly on politics because I truly believed that young needed to have a platform to express their own political view. However, due to family issues and work commitments I fell of the edge again and didn’t stay on top of my blogging.

Third time lucky! I was encouranged by a good friend to get back into blogging and decided to come back with a BANG! Since then I have opened my platform to blog about everything from politics, my faith to travelling with some aspect of my lifestyle.

8. What was the best thing that happened to you in 2016?

Oh, this is an easy one! My decision to get closer to God and build a serious relationship with him! Because God is so wonderful!

9. What would be your top tip for someone considering starting a blog?

My top tips to start blogging would be to Go for it! It is never too late and always stay consistent!

10. What’s your life motto?

Hmmm… Interesting question my Auntie Lola has said I should have a life motto and end my post with it so here goes:


It’s ok if life knocks you down, it’s just not ok if you stay down!

MY NOMINATIONS ARE:

The Christyle Blogger

A Christian and lifestyle blog. Recommended reads: “My Friends Don’t Support Me”and “Forgiveness = Freedom!”

Blonde Moments Daily

A blog to about relationships with occasional dabbles on other issues. Recommended reads: “Teach your children life” and “Why we don’t listen to our own advice”

Abena Kusi

A personal blog addressing everyday issues that women face. Recommended reads: “Obama do black lives matter? and “Travel Diaries in Thailand ”

Perspective View

A personal blog about her journal thoughts, adventures and experiences. Recommended reads: “My Kind of Happiness – 50 Things that make me happy” and “2017: The Best Year Yet”

Leanne Lindsay

A freelance blogger and coach and mentor. Recommended reads “We all have our part to play” and 7 benefits of writing a journal

Well done all! Let’s keep this going GET YOU Liebster Award BY FOLLOWING THE QUESTIONS BELOW.

Your Questions (drum roll please) :

1. What is your blog about and what made you start blogging?
2. What do you find most challenging about blogging?
3. What do you love about your blog?
4. What has been your favourite country visited and why?
5. What political issue needs to be spoken more about? #MyBreakingViews
6. What would you like to achieve with your blog in 2017?
7. Have you ever lived abroad? If so, where? If not, where would you live?
8. Who inspires you the most and why?
9. What is your fave food from your country?
10. Do you have any networking events planned this year?

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