Moving back home after living abroad: Martyna’s story

Moving back home after living abroad: Martyna’s story

COVID-19 completely took over the world in early 2020. Some put their moving abroad dreams on hold. Others had to end their living abroad adventure abruptly. For Martyna, COVID-19 made her realize that she wanted to be back home in Poland, instead of continuing her Vancouver adventure. Read all about that decision and other things she learned in the last nine years of living abroad. 

Living Abroad Passport Martyna

Martyna, before we dive into the last nine years of your living abroad journey. Let’s talk about your recent move back home. Why did COVID-19 make you decide to move home? 

I wasn’t planning on leaving Vancouver. However, when they started to cancel flights to Europe, I started thinking, “Ok, do I really want to get stuck here for months?”. The answer was no. I was still fresh to Vancouver, and it didn’t feel like my place yet. So making the decision was relatively easy. 

Once we made the decision, we moved back within five days. I wasn’t prepared at all. I am fortunate to run my own business online, so the work aspects didn’t matter that much. It was more about closing down everything in Canada and peacefully making it through all airports. It was quite stressful. I was afraid that they would cancel our flights (which happened daily, back in early 2020). Once back in Poland, I spend the first two weeks in mandatory quarantine at home. It gave me a “soft landing” and time to plan how I wanted to run my life now. 

Wow, that must have been a strange couple of months. How is life back home now?

It was actually relatively easy. I think it’s because I’ve learned to be flexible and move fast from planning to executing. Within a few months back home, my husband and I were able to set up a woodworking business. 

I’ve narrowed down my focus to what’s important and what kind of life I want. I would say all these experiences abroad build-up great character qualities. So at some point, the place doesn’t matter that much. What matters is your ability to build your own world with your own rules, regardless of the country. 

Going back nine years, what made you decide to move abroad in the first place? 

I’ve been fascinated by books of authors like Ryszard Kapuściński, Oriana Fallaci, and Tiziano Terzina. They showed me different worlds, cultures, languages and everything I didn’t even know existed in the world. The urge to move abroad was kind of compounding with every book I read. The country and destination didn’t matter to me at all. I just wanted to go. That was nine years ago, and since then, I’ve lived and worked in Spain, Scotland, Indonesia, Australia, Portugal, and Canada. 

 People get to know you without knowing what shaped you that way.


What was your first time moving abroad like?

My first time abroad was a 3-month scholarship in Indonesia. I landed there with 50 people from around the world (one person from each country). The most exciting thing was sitting alone on the plane on the way to Indonesia. I felt like I was the happiest person in the world and felt so lucky to get this opportunity. 

The best thing was to learn from so many people of different cultures and discover such an exotic place like Indonesia. Being exposed to people from all over the world allowed me to create a very open and understanding mindset. 

The most challenging moments were the beginnings. You need to adjust to a new place, new culture, and living with other people from different cultures. It’s like you have nothing to hold on to. No one speaks your language. No one understands your tradition. People even eat different stuff for breakfast! In the beginning, that was crazy for me to adjust to. It’s a weird feeling: you have nothing to hold on to and, at the same time, the most liberating thing in the world. Because you just have to start to be you, only you. People get to know you without knowing what shaped you that way.

I know I’ll always find a way and figure things out, no matter what country or situation life throws at me.


After Indonesia, you moved to several other countries. How do you start planning a move?

My first time was way different than the last time. You’re definitely getting more experienced with each move. However, I always do finances the same way. I calculate the cost of renting, food, and basics like transportation. Then I calculate how much I need to save to stay in the country without work for 1, 2, and 3 months. Then I know my “safety net.” It gives me peace of mind, which I think it’s important when moving abroad. 

When it comes to personal belongings, I’ve learned to simplify everything. I only take one suitcase and a backpack. The rest, you can figure out in your new place. 

Visa is a tricky thing that requires planning ahead, especially for countries like Australia and Canada. It’s a good idea to check government sites for the latest information.

How did your living abroad experience change you?

There are some amazing things I learned from being on this journey. The most important one is building up confidence in myself. I know I’ll always find a way and figure things out, no matter what country or situation life throws at me. 

We always conclude our interview with your advice to other people who are dreaming of moving abroad. What is yours?

You’ll never be more ready than you’re now. Just do it. It’ll be beautiful. 


Inspired by Martyna’s living abroad journey and keen to get yours started? Get a copy of the Let’s Move Abroad Book today and go! For more stories of people from all over the world, continue browsing.

About Let's Move Abroad

At let’s move abroad we are passionate about helping you achieve your living-abroad-dream and make your living abroad journey an experience you’ll never forget. 

Explore the guides

Our guides are the ultimate handbook for everyone who is dreaming of moving abroad. 

Check them here >

Content ideas?

Can’t find what you are looking for? Or have a unique living-abroad-story that you want to share?

Contact us for any content ideas and suggestions!

Related Articles