Photo by Kamila Maciejewska

My First Week Ever Living in Another Country was Harder Than I Thought

A vulnerable take on what it really looks like to start living the life of your dreams.

Jordin James
5 min readJan 21, 2020

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I’ve lived in Medellin, Colombia for one week as part of a group of digital nomads called Unsettled. So far it’s been great, but also pretty damn hard on me.

The other day I literally wrote in my journal:

I’m kind tired of it here already like I want to go fucking home. And I just spent $85 on a goddamn swimsuit and I wish my body looked better and I wish I had a better mindset about everything but I just fucking don’t. I feel like such a baby. I am so far out of my comfort zone and I’m not having any fucking fun.

Why can’t I have fun? Why can’t I just be super chill about everything? Why can’t I just be super chill about everything? Why haven’t I written a goddamned thing? Why did I just spent $85 on a fucking swimsuit? I am so FUCKING FRUSTRATED. Where is the fucking grace?

I’ve read Eat Pray Love and What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding (affiliated links) and other travel-y, self-discovery books and they all seem to make it look easy.

Maybe it’s because Elizabeth Gilbert and Kristin Newman are more extroverted than I am.

Maybe it’s because my cheating ex-husband decided to beat me to Colombia (even though I booked my trip first, goddamn it!) and then find himself a fancy new Colombian girlfriend and now I have to stare at all these beautiful Colombian women and keep a smile on my face while I choke down all my past trauma.

Or, you know what, maybe it’s just because traveling to a foreign county that speaks a language I barely know, living with people I’ve never met, living in an apartment that is not my own, and trying to balance working and vacationing is just fucking hard for pretty much anyone.

Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone is inherently hard and I think I underestimated how much I would have to process in such a short time. At times, it felt like too much.

At times, I just stayed cloistered in my room because just walking down the street or going to the grocery store brought me so much anxiety.

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Jordin James

Parts work coach, writer, tender lil human. Replacing loneliness with belonging, one part at a time. Find more: Jordinjames.com // Socials: @justjordinjames