Five Years In England

by - 20:19

This year marked my five years in England, five amazing somehow terrifying years. Before moving to England at the age of 20 I lived in a small village near a small town which was near another small town. I have always felt like I needed to see more than that and I have visited the UK for five times before moving here. First time I went to London was when I was 12, I was lucky enough that my parents paid for me to come on a school trip to Paris and London and I was mesmerised, of course I was sold after seeing all the posh buildings and everyone being super polite and nice to me. I was always a Harry Potter fan so that helped a lot. Vinegar chips served by our host family didn’t necessarily did it for me but that was just one teeny tiny detail. 

After this trip my English got naturally much better (before this trip I needed after school lessons because I was almost failing the subject), I took more interest in understanding English (and American) music and films and took every opportunity to practise the language and talk to strangers in real life and online. Fast forward eight years and I wasn’t twelve anymore, I was twenty years old and I was researching everything I could ever find about living in England and how to move there and what needs to be done.

(Picture of me carrying CVs around and handing them to everyone who cared. I have NEVER found a job through this method. :)

Two weeks after college I was packed and left for Brighton. Just so you know, I wasn’t going alone and remained in a relationship for a year before I finally broke it off BUT I was always going to go live in England after finishing the college whether I would be going alone or with somebody, it was long before decided that I was going to make living in England my reality. I managed to find a room in a shared house in a village near Brighton. There were many hick-ups after the arrival to Brighton but nothing I wasn’t able to deal with. There were 7 of us living in a small house which I am pretty sure was illegal and our landlord was making good money from it but whatever, I made friends with one of my housemates and hated the rest. There was the loud one with terrible music, one that smelled and one that kept stealing my food. You know how it is in a shared house. (If you don't - lucky you!)

There was a lot of exploring done in the first weeks in Brighton and I was loving it all but I was also very stressed about finding a job. My English was great but I didn’t have much experience and was very ‘fresh’. I will always remember Megan, my supervisor who hired me for my first ever job for a big catering company. My first job title was ‘Catering Assistant’ for bus drivers in a canteen, I had to cook, take money, orders, clean and cash-up all this by myself. I was given all the evening shifts and earning minimum wage which back then was £6.30 but I have never had a real fulltime job before and I was so happy and even surprised how much I have earned in one month. I am smiling now thinking about it because you can imagine it wasn’t exactly a lot of money but I was able to pay my rent and buy food and even some clothes and that was all I wanted back then. I didn’t last very long in this job to be honest but I had another part-time work working for a digital agency as a Czech coordinator, it was a really interesting job in a multi-national environment but unfortunately I was made redundant together with maybe 15-20 more people and slowly but surely the company disappeared after two big clients didn’t want them anymore. That was sad. I managed to land a marketing job with a small company and I was super excited but after a month of working for this lady who seemed very nice I was paid £300 less than agreed. She was a foreigner as well and being exploited by another foreigner was tough. From then I remembered to always sign work contracts and never take anyone niceness and politeness too seriously. There are a lot of shady people around! 

I was unemployed for three long months and it was heartbreaking, I was applying for jobs all the time and I just wasn’t getting anywhere when finally I became a support worker in a care home looking after people with Aspergers and other mental heath difficulties. I have never done anything similar before but I think I was good at it. It was a great job in terms of friendships, I met some of my best friends there and made lots of memories but it was also tough. I had a skateboard and I was skating to work and back home five times a week along the seafront, it was beautiful and I must have been really fit because I don’t know if I could do that now! I was living in a small bedsit with a shared bathroom with neighbours that meant a few awkward encounters. I was finally able to become myself, do my own thing, party a little bit and have my privacy. I was loving my life. I went to Spain on my own and fell in love with Barcelona, how I feel about Barcelona is how I used to feel about England when I lived in Czech. Over the last five years I went to many other places, I went to Italy, Portugal, America, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Greece and to some of them more than once. 

I was diagnosed with Epilepsy two years after I moved to England and I ended up in a ambulance and hospital twice. I was robbed. I have also experienced depression which almost drove me away from the country. I was homesick a lot and thought about moving back quite a few times. There were periods when I didn’t like living in Brighton but it was usually due to my own circumstance and by that I mean I hated my job :). It wasn’t always skateboarding down the beach while watching sunset and eating icecream. It was often worrying about money and the next place to live, not having any savings or any friends to call. I often felt lonely and wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay but I am glad I did. It was all worth it.

All in all I have tried about 10 different jobs, some long-term, some temporary and I have moved nine times in those five years. NINE TIMES. I have lived with housemates who were eating my avocados, leaving angry post-it notes and also lived alone and with friends. Now I live with a great boyfriend in a one-bedroom flat with garden where I grow flowers and vegetables and I have an amazing flexible job working for my best friend. I can see my family in Czech every two months which is a luxury I used to dream about and I am happy. A lot can happen in five years. You just have to go with it, believe in yourself and hope for the best. Every bad period is just temporary. And if you have been reading my blog for the last five years thank you, it means a lot.

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  1. Replies
    1. Promin, ze ti odepisu takhle pozde :D, jen jsem ti chtela podekovat! <3

  2. uzasnej clanek, nasla jsem se v nem, prave dokoncuju stredni a uz minimalne 5 let mam sen ze se odstehuju do Anglie, ale strasne se bojim, ze to bude spatny krok. Ale tohle mi dodalo odvahu, kdyz to nezkusim nikdy se nic nedovim, dekuju :)

    1. Ahoj, moc Ti budu dryet palce. Taky jsem mela tenhle sen a dopadlo to dobre. Zkus to, kdyz to nevyjde, tak se prece vzdycky muzes vratit! :) Ale podle me to vyjde.

  3. Je super jak si to všechno zvládla, chybama se člověk učí :)

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