Living abroad whether for studies or job or any other reason puts you up for alot of great experiences. It includes the people you meet, the half broken languages that you speak.
These experiences you get shape your personality, beliefs and general views about the world. You will experience the good, the bad and the ugly but you will never stop learning. Here are some of the things that living abroad teaches you:
1.Appreciation & Acceptance
Meeting people and experiencing a different culture teaches you just how different things are in your country. People are usually living under dire circumstances. You then being privileged enough to travel fills your heart with a general appreciation. You also develop a higher level of acceptance for things and people as you have seen quite a lot. Things that might not be acceptable in your country are completely normal in another country and will help you shift gears quite smoothly. Your tolerance goes up.
2.Adapt to change quickly
Wherever you go out of curiosity and to avoid getting robbed because you seem like a tourist, you tend to adapt quickly. Like saying hello and thank you in their language to dressing like them. Not only do the people of that place love it but also creates a judgement free open space in bothyou gain their genuine care while trying to blend in. This effort of blending in with them, connects you to them on a psychological level which turns the events in your favor. You make friends that treat you like family and offer you their homes and food and what not.
During your stay or travel abroad you will be faced with situations where you are forced to step outside of your comfort zone. It can be little things like trying to order something off a restaurant in a foriegn language, trying to find your way back to the hotel or talking to a stranger etc. These little things will be the collective sum of your confidence. The more these experiences, the more confident you become. Moreover, when in a foriegn country you always show confidence around strangers, you never know who might be eyeing to rob you thinking you are a first timer or a foreigner who knows nothing. Scammers are everywhere in the world.
4.Experience over things
As you begin to go on this journey of traveling or living abroad, your priorities over the years will significantly change. This usually comes with age but can also be a fruit of your travel experience. You will learn to value experiences more than things. You would want to spend your money on going deep sea diving, or going to the town nearby, or exploring the other side of the country rather than that super cute handbag or the stunning watch. These memories of travel will be cherished by you for the rest of your life including the people you will meet.
Last but certainly not the least, living abroad teaches you how to get rid of stuff, whether its things, feelings or people. When packing and taking the minimum to survive becomes your way of life, it manifests itself in your daily routine and daily thoughts as well. It’s very convenient to get rid of that broken appliance or those pieces of clothing you no longer wear. The hard part is throwing away that t-shirt someone in a forieng country gave you as a gift, or that teddy you won at a carnival in thailand etc. But once you gather all of these things and muster up the courage to give them away, you will realize the things aren’t as important as the stories. Write those stories down somewhere with a picture of the “ something to remember me by”. Reading them will make you feel great and will make it easier to get rid of the stuff while traveling or moving again.
Living abroad can be one of the best and worst experiences of one’s life but it will teach you things either way. Being better prepared and having an “I will deal with this” mindset, can and will save you alot of stress and trouble in the longer run. Remember to celebrate your stupid as well as your achievements while roaming around the planet. We wish you the best of luck for your endeavours. Let us know in the comments, what lessons has living abroad taught you?