Before receiving an offer to be a Senior UX Writer from FREE NOW, I had lived in London for almost ten years. I moved to the city after school and built my career through gaining experience in journalism, copywriting and early versions of the UX writing role. In London, I had a great friendship group, was close to family and was at a stage where I was being offered freelance work all over the world; I had created a great life for myself, but, somehow, wasn’t 100% happy.
So why did I decide to move to Barcelona?
Although life was great in many ways in London, I was ready for a new adventure and missed being part of a team after five years of freelancing. When FREE NOW contacted me and offered me a role, I was lucky enough to be able to choose between Hamburg and Barcelona as my base location for the role. As someone who loves sunshine, hiking and the ocean, the decision was a no-brainer for me. The role and team seemed awesome, the company culture looked great and the opportunity to relocate to Barcelona was once-in-a-lifetime.
Still, packing up my life and saying goodbye to everyone at home was no small feat. As much as the move was exciting, there was a lot to prepare and at times, it was nerve-wracking. Looking back now, I am really glad that I made the move; a whirlwind few months paid off and I love my new job with a great team in an awesome city.
For anyone else considering a move abroad, here are the three things which I think will help make it a success.
1. Do as much research as possible before you leave.
Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it), I’m a super obsessive planner and I absolutely love organising things. This trait might drive the people close to me mad, but it was pretty helpful when it came to arriving in my new country, Spain. It meant I had at least a little knowledge of how things might work, which areas I would like to live in or how much I would be able to spend on rent, bills etc. There are tons of websites and expat blogs which can help you to get an idea of what to expect, so make sure you fit in some time before you move to read through some of them.
2. Try to arrive at least a week before you start at FREE NOW.
I did this and it meant that I could spend the entire first week flat hunting, exploring and getting ready for my first day. Seriously, don’t underestimate how hard it is to find a place to live in Barcelona in late May!
It also meant I got some chill time in my beautiful new city and meant that my first day was a bit more relaxed than if I had landed a day or two beforehand.
3. Embrace those nerves.
I honestly thought I was going to be sick when I was waiting to get onto the plane and saying goodbye to my family.
Cut to two hours later in the air and I was a vision of relaxation. Since arriving in my new home, I haven’t really looked back. I find it pretty funny now that I was so nervous, because so far this move is the best decision I’ve ever made. Nerves feel horrible, but they’re usually a sign something exciting is about to happen, so just lean into them.
On reflection, these things helped my relocation experience become a complete success. Change can be scary, but from what I have learnt, change is also a constant, so embracing it can lead to amazing new things. Relocation definitely pushes you out of your comfort zone — yet with planning, courage and a bit of time, there is no reason why anyone couldn’t rock it.
Are you considering a career in tech or changing your location? Check out our opportunities available in our Hamburg Headquarters and across Europe too.