I get asked a lot why I left Portugal. Not many people are able to move away from home, nevermind moving to another country. It’s quite scary and it takes a lot of courage. Especially if you move alone. Afterall, you’re leaving everything you’ve ever known behind. So, as you can imagine it’s a very hard decision to make. One that I made five years ago and I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
This week it marks five years since I moved to Liverpool, the place I now call home.
Making the decision of moving wasn’t easy. I lived with just my mum and I’m very close to my family, but there were a few things in my life that didn’t feel right either and I needed a change. Having completed my bachelor’s degree the year before and knowing I wanted to work in Marketing, I decided to take this opportunity and apply for a Masters degree in the UK: I’d be able to experience another culture and improve my English.
So when I got accepted for my Master’s degree I was so happy and scared. I never had been abroad on my own. The furthest and the longest I had been from home was a week in Paris and I was with my auntie. So moving to another country, on my own was very scary. But within a few days of being here, I felt good. Like this was the place I should be. It felt like home.
During these 5 years of ups and downs (mostly ups), I’ve learned more about myself that I could ever think. I realised I am actually stronger than I thought I was. I’ve realised everyone has got weaknesses and that’s ok. I grew to become the person I am now and I’m proud of. This city, full of amazing and welcoming people has never let me down. Never have I felt insecure, threatened or unwelcome. No matter how much of a bad day I may have, there’s always something in this city that cheers me up.
From the Albert Docks, the Liver Building, St Georges Hall to Sefton Park, this city is full of beautiful gems. I feel like I still don’t know this place completely and every week I find something new: either a new coffee shop, a restaurant, a park, or something fun to do.
Sometimes I still struggle to understand someone who has a really strong accent, or scouser’s sense of humor, but one thing I know is that they are brilliant people, super friendly and always up for a laugh.
I’ve been to a few other places in the UK just to visit, and there’s no other place like Liverpool. I don’t know what it is that makes this city so special, but there’s something about it I could never find anywhere else. And I truly feel like this is my home and where I am supposed to be.
And I’m hoping it stays this way. Here’s to another five years in Liverpool!