Moving to England is one of the best things I have ever done. At the time, I was almost done with school and I had no real purpose or direction. No idea what I wanted to do with my life (I still don’t). A feeling many 20-somethings have because the world feels full of potential but you also suddenly have all of these responsibilities. And then there is the relentless pressure that you have to figure things out.
Making the decision to move to England was both spontaneous and a long-time coming. I’ve always wanted to live here but never really did anything to fulfil that dream. It wasn’t until I started to really hate the job I had that I decided to jump.
Living abroad is challenging. But it’s so worth it. It can be tiring to live in a different country, where they speak a different language. But it also opens up aspects of life that you never even realised were there.
One language isn’t enough
Living abroad, sometimes you will be trying to find a word for something and realize you can only express what you are trying to say in a different language. I notice this mostly when I’m visiting my parents back home and I actually wrote a post about forgetting your native language while living abroad, which is the strangest feeling.
Courage is important – but it isn’t everything
Whenever I talk to someone new, they tell me how brave it is to move abroad on my own. I don’t consider myself a particularly brave person. But I am determined. And there is a big difference between being brave and really wanting something.
You learn how to say goodbye
You’re saying goodbye because you’re moving to a new location or because you’re losing friends. Being an expat comes with a lot of goodbyes. But just because relationships are temporary, this doesn’t make them any less meaningful. And if your friends are from different countries, just think of all the travel opportunities this gives you!
You’ll learn to talk to strangers
After moving abroad, it’s much easier to meet new people. Whether it’s because you just need someone to talk to or because you feel invincible because you’re living somewhere where no one knows you. It’s also easier to go out for dinner by yourself or to talk to strangers on the bus.
Going home will never be the same
It’s weird to go home after living abroad. Because while you were off exploring the world, things at home haven’t changed. At all. Life continued as normal for your family and friends. And while this is obvious, it can be shocking when you yourself have changed so much as a person.
Your old beliefs will change
After seeing how people do things differently in different places, it becomes hard to cast any sort of judgement on how people choose to live their lives. You will begin to see beauty in people and things for different reasons than before. You might begin to question your old values and believes (I definitely did).