10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad

Categories: Travel | World

Living abroad is, of course, in some way a reward. Even if it was short-lived, this experience can completely change you. For the better.

Kimberlynn Boyce, author of a popular blog for expats, talks about what life in exile usually looks like. From this issue you will learn about ten things that inevitably change if you start living abroad. At least a month or two.

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 1. You are constantly learning a new language. And you forget the old one.

I'm not an expert on how human brains work, but something tells me that if you stop speaking your native language, sooner or later you'll forget it. At first, you will begin to understand more and more often and better what new compatriots are telling you on the streets. Then you will rejoice at how quickly you learned a foreign language. It will take another couple of months, and you will already start thinking on it! From here — a direct road to the oblivion of the native language.

You will not forget, and when you get back into the Russian-speaking environment, you will again speak your native language perfectly, but without the constant support of the environment, you will make very stupid mistakes, you will say wild things like "take the bus" (not by storm, but sit on it, in the sense) and constantly stumble:

— They did... what's that in Russian? Radio? No, not the radio…

— Television?

— You're television yourself! Ah! X-ray!

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 2. The suitcase will become not just a convenient bag for things.

I thought that after I moved, my suitcases with things collected for the move would gather dust on the far shelf. I even thought: "What am I going to do with all these suitcases when I get settled?" But I continue to use them even after years of living in exile.

The fact is that emigration seems to have freed me. I began to travel more and more often. And enjoy it. I think the same thing will happen to most of those who decide to change their place of residence: once they get out of the cage, they want to continue doing it again and again. And yes, I am not sure that I will live the rest of my days in Brazil, where I live today.

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 3. This is not a trip. This is your life!

You can live abroad for five years, then come home to visit your family, and your friends, meeting you in a pub, will ask: "How was your trip?" Sometimes I want to shout: "I'm not on a trip! I live there!" But they won't understand anyway.

Therefore, I always answer this question according to a polite template: "So much has happened in these three years… We can have lunch together sometime, and I'll tell you about my most vivid impressions!"

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 4. You will always keep the exchange rate in mind.

You can live in another country for ten years, but you will still remember about the exchange rate of currencies. You will visit stores at home and in your new homeland and constantly compare prices. Now this habit is a part of you that you will never get rid of, no matter how much you want to.

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 5. The line between "normal" and "strange" from now on and forever will be a little blurred.

Despite the fact that many believe that the world today is one global McDonald's, this is not so. And every culture, even neighboring cultures, may have their own ideas about what is acceptable and what is not. Somewhere it is normal when young people kiss on the street, somewhere it is not. In some places, ordinary people are calm about smoking marijuana, in some places they are not.

I left America at the age of 23. Then I thought it was wrong when someone was picking his nose on the street. At the same time, I myself always used a toothpick after lunch. And now imagine that where I am today, everything is exactly the OPPOSITE. I can safely brush my nose here in a public place. But I never got used to the fact that the public use of chopsticks for brushing teeth is not normal.

But what's really great is that understanding this difference makes you a much freer and more tolerant person.

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 6. Time is measured differently in different countries.

In America, you can't invite anyone to a cafe right now. People live there according to the calendar. And they get mad every time they have to wait for someone for more than five minutes.

Now imagine that where I am now, it's OK to be late even by 30 minutes. And at first it didn't please me at all: it was like I was stuck in glue, everything happens in slow motion, you don't have time for anything…

But then you get used to it and adapt. Although you continue to be amazed at how some people are fixated on time, while others do not think about it at all.

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 7. The word "routine" will disappear from your vocabulary.

Regardless of whether your life in a new place will turn out the way you planned or not, you will never be bored and "ordinary" there. A miracle will happen every day.

Once I devoted a WHOLE DAY to paying only two utility bills. Now I am not sure that tomorrow I will have electricity and water. It's so unpredictable... I just always have a "backup plan" — in case the working day goes to waste because of the irresponsibility of local electricians.

In general, unexpected things abroad will happen to you ten times more often than at home anyway.

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 8. You will lose everything, but it won't matter much.

And here is the main argument against emigration, which is often mentioned in propaganda: no one needs you there. It's the truth. But I'll tell you a little secret: nobody needs you anywhere at all. You need only yourself. In fact, people are often afraid to move somewhere because "they will be nobody there" or because they are afraid of losing their usual job and familiar social circle.

I'll say more. When you move, you will lose everything (except the MacBook and clothes) that you had. Familiar walking routes. Family gatherings. Favorite stores. Favorite foods (if it's not Coca-Cola). And also smells, colors, weather and tastes.

On the other hand, it won't bother you. You will get the opportunity at least for a while (often a couple of years) not to think about your social status or what you are used to at home. The new world will engulf you completely. And you will understand that material success is not everything.

Before you go to live in another country, it will never occur to you that everything you want to take with you fits in a couple of suitcases. You won't even remember half of the things that seemed to be very important.

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 9. Now it will seem: "Anything is possible."

Now you know for sure: you can get ready and get out of anywhere and anywhere in one day.

Start life with a clean slate? This thought now not only inspires me, but also comforts me. I know you can always start over. Anything.

10 things that change as soon as you start living abroad 10. Everything will be different.

At first, you will often feel humiliated… You will have to ask people (often strangers) for help in the simplest situations. Every day everything will seem so complicated and unusual that sometimes it will even be scary.

But it will take a couple of months, and you will get used to it. And your heart will be filled with the feeling that you are capable of something much more than you thought.

"If you are brave enough to throw away everything decently cozy, and it can be anything: a house, old grievances, and go on a journey for the truth, to look for the truth in yourself or in the world around you, if you are sincerely ready to consider everything that happens on the way as a hint, if you accept as a teacher everyone you meet, and most importantly — if you are ready to accept and forgive the difficult truth about yourself, then the truth will be revealed to you" (Elizabeth Gilbert).

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