So you’ve packed up your life, bid farewell to friends, family and everyone in between and taken that relatively big jump to taking a break from what you call home and getting a job abroad. Whether this be teaching English in a deprived country, working in a hotel on some paradisaical beach setting, or – like I was – working in a kitchen in the middle of an Alpine ski resort, you never really expect find yourself two months in and semi-stranded in a foreign place, jobless, homeless and almost penniless…
But it happens. As I found out a few days ago with a rather abrupt end to my employment with a chalet company in France, working abroad can sometimes take a turn for the worst, and can be a pretty scary experience. I fully expected to be working with the same company for the entire ski season, and my dismissal came – understandably – as a bit of a blow. One minute I’m baking cakes for the weeks impending guests, and the next my ski pass, skis and lovely chef clothes (…) have been taken off me and I have one night to find a new place to say – whaaaaaaaaaaat?!
It’s a difficult situation, but one that – like anything in life – needs to be dealt with in the most positive way possible, and with a decent dose of perspective. Okay, so it’s very inconvenient that I had to leave my accommodation and the room with my crazy roommate that I loved dearly all within 24 hours of dismissal, but is it the end of the world? Well, no. Due to some incredibly sound friends around the resort, I managed to bag a spare bed in an apartment up the road for a few days, giving me enough time to figure out what I was going to do.
Anybody in this situation has two options: wallow in self pity and accept that it’s home time, or start looking for a new job. I’m not ready to return to the UK. I want to ski for the next two months and finish the season like I intended, so after an hour or so of the former, I shook it off and fully embraced the latter.
Three days into the job hunt and there’s a couple of things in the pipe line, but nothing solid as yet. I feel like I’m on a coffee tour of the area, spending my time trekking around different resorts with a fistful of CV’s in tow and bumming around in coffee shops with wifi, furiously sending emails to anybody I can find. But again, is this the end of the world? No. I like coffee quite a lot. I also like walking around the places that, until now, I’ve only seen from the chair lifts. Although I’ll enjoy having the security of a job a whole lot more, it’s nothing to cry about.
It does make me sick with jealousy seeing people on the slopes whilst sitting in my converse and other distinctly non-ski attire on the pedestrian lift heading towards hours of job hunting, but everything will turn out for the best in the end. It will, it will, it will.