ASK LUCY: I’m relocating for a dude, and that’s terrifying.


Dear Lucy,
To cut a relatively long story short: I live in America, my boyfriend lives in Sweden and I’m about to pick up and move so we can give whatever it is we are doing a red hot go. I feel pretty good about it, but I’m also fucking terrified. It feels like quite the commitment and as much as everything currently works…. I’m shitting myself.

I obviously don’t speak Swedish, I’ve never lived in a country where I’m the second language, and I’m stressed out.

I don’t really know what my question is here – but help me?



Hey Samantha,
You probably should be stressed out. Moving to a new country is fucking stressful (and exciting) – when you factor in all the things you will need upon arrival (bank account, visa, apartment, friends?!) and then spin that into not your own language – it’s can be mostly a nightmare. You have lots of positives – but one of the majors is you are moving to Sweden – English is their second-first language, so that makes life like 1000% easier.

The thing is with moving to new countries with sort of boyfriends, who you would like to continue to call your own – you need to harden up and lighten up (in a happy go lucky nature) at the very same time. I know it feels only natural to expect them to help you with things and for you to get frustrated – but the constant asking, and mental breakdown type states you will find yourself in is not hot – it’s scary.

Like always, I have a handful of things you should think about putting into motion, God knows I love to tell people how to run their shit. Here are your How To’s on properly relocating to a new country:

Hire a relocation person – It probably seems unnecessary because you have a boyfriend who likes you, and is happy to help – but save yourself the emotional stress and throw money at problems like bank accounts and visa’s. In the long run – it’s only money, and as a result you wont be nagging your mate who you associate with fun/ lighthearted times – to do really boring tasks like: figure out how to get a social security number, or register. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, anything to do with citizenship, government or general bureaucracy is fucking dull – even when you are love heart eyed.

Try to locate at least 7 friends, that aren’t his – As much as you want to hang out with old mate all the time – the time you have known each other, you have had your own friends. Now moving to a new city – you simply have old mate. This is nice, it’s exciting – it somehow feels grown up, but the novelty wears off and you will both find yourself feeling entirely claustrophobic. You only need 7 friends, one for each day of the week. And if you find really cool ones – then maybe only 4 because they want to hang out with you more than once a week. But the last thing you want to do is also smother your new mates (Europeans take a while to warm up, America – DON’T SMOTHER YOUR NEW MATES) – so I think 7 really is the magic number.

And on from this don’t just simply make friends with his friends because it’s easy. This is a terrible idea. You need your own things. Just say shit hits the fan – and you only have these friends who are his friends, they are now in a really difficult position. You need your own identity and associations with where you are and you also have to have people you can vent to that aren’t going to feel awkward or in a weird position when talking on certain content points. YOU NEED TO NOT LIVE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S SHADOW.. Got it?

Go to language school – To get 7 friends, a good place to start is language school. This is also ideal because it will kill about 3 hours of your day, and give you purpose. Moving to a new country is totally daunting and sometimes you just want to sit in bed for the whole day because it’s too much. Too much to organise, too much figure out – it’s hard. Starting with language school is excellent because you are likely surrounded by people in the exact same boat as you; you can figure all this nonsense out together and probably laugh about it like a bunch of idiots.

Don’t go out and get hammered, all the time – Hangovers equal days in bed. Which in turn equals all this time thinking about things which can probably make you pretty down, and it also equals you just being in bed, which is the least attractive thing for your other half. They’re probably not hammered all the time but going to work and being a real person. When you move to a new country it really is all about the little tiny wins – so when you are hungover in bed, practically dying, you will feel hopeless. And all these little wonderful wins like opening a bank account, or being able to order coffee in {insert language here} will feel like nonsense because do you know how many goals you can kick in your own language!? No. Stay off the booze, until you have a handle on life.

Phone home – We all have mothers and/or fathers, they often love us. Call them. Don’t sit there complaining to your mate about how hard your life is, or how annoying Swedish quirks are – phone your family. They will understand, as you are cut from the same cloth. They will probably enjoy hearing your voice even if you are whinging the whole time. And they might even be able to offer you some sort of a solution – or they’ll just tell you to harden the fuck up and you will – because Mum said so. The Internet makes life so easy. Phone the fuck home.

In hindsight, I wish I had a me when I first moved to Germany. I obviously didn’t – and I’m 95% sure I managed life all wrong. If you go rogue from this list – that’s cool, probably your shit will all work out. And even if it doesn’t – it still always works out, with an outcome that will at some point make you happy as a pig in shit.

Love Lucy

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About LUCY

Femme of sass, sometimes.