When you decide to live abroad, either for a semester or working in a completely new country, you start writing a new chapter. This is a very adventurous and challenging thing to do because you have to embrace new cultures and get used to new traditions.
“You will never be completely at home again, because, part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you have to pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” - Miriam Adeney
And maybe you’re going to have mixed feelings the first time you make this step. When it comes to moving abroad, you might get scared and insecure and a million thoughts run through your mind in the beginning. But you have to embrace the process of adjusting to changes, because in the end you’re going to be grateful for everything, and this is the price you have to pay in the end for living abroad:
1. You will never be the same
The person you thought you knew before, the person you were, will change over time. The challenges and situations you face will make you evolve, grow as a person. Some might leave scars that will never go away, but all these will make you bloom. Living abroad will make you get out of your comfort zone and try new things while discovering yourself at the same time. And in the end, you realize you’re not the same person anymore. You’ll become more creative as you’ll be learning ways of living and handling situations from different cultures and you might as well become a risker and a more adventurous person.
2. You won’t belong home anymore
The moment you surround yourself with new people and new cultures you lose a piece of your roots and get more, more distant from your real home. The room or apartment abroad will become your home and the people you meet will become your family in this new country. You might feel lost in your host country while you're trying to get used to new cultures and traditions, but then, the connection happens and you feel like you're part of the country. You distance yourself from what’s happening in your home country, in a way that when you get back, you don’t feel like you belong there anymore at first, until you adjust to your old home again. There will probably be moments when you miss your time abroad - your friends, the city, the way of living, and that's the emotional part kicking in.
3. You will have to let go of people
One of the hardest things to do when you live abroad is to make friends, but the hardest thing to do is to leave them afterwards. Day by day you become closer to these people and you don’t even realize it at that moment. You just wake up one day and get to understand that these people are more important to you than you ever thought they would be and it’s just hard to let them go. You create and collect moments that will always linger in your memory – it’s the laughs, the cries that make these moments special. But the good thing about this “goodbye” is the fact that you know you’ll always have friends in different parts of the world and they will be there to say “hello” to you when you visit them.
4. You won’t be able to stop
The moment you do it once, it will become an addiction and you’ll want more. After one experience abroad your perspective will change and you’ll be more opened towards moving to a whole different place. You’ll be packing your bags with dreams, goals and hopes for new adventures. You’ll be more confident and will have the courage to embrace new opportunities. Your way of thinking will change and you might find yourself traveling from country to country to experience new cultures, meet new people and maybe settle somewhere in the end. You don't know where you might end in a few years, it might be your home country or it might be any other place on Earth.
But there’s a good thing about what living abroad teaches and changes you, and that, is the fact that you’ll be moving on as a better, fulfilled person towards your new journey. You leave a piece of you wherever you go, but at the same time you’re going to grow even more through people, places and memories.
And home? Home is where the heart it, as they say.
Feb 4, 2019 by Charlotte
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