8 Things You’ll Learn When You Move Abroad

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1. You’ll never be the same person again

Travel changes you. Clichéd? Yes. But, even those who have done the shortest trips outside their comfort zone know this to be true. You’ll never learn more about humility and humanity than when you pack up your life, leave your little bubble, and throw yourself into the deep end of a new place or culture.

2. All that stuff you own? Yeah, you don’t need any of it

Accumulation of useless crap is human nature. We are living in a material world and we are material girls and/or boys. When you’re settled, buying shiny new homewares, electronics, and clothes seems like a fun, normal thing to do. However, once you try to fit your life in suitcase and carry it around with you, you’ll quickly realise how very little ‘stuff’ you actually need.
Side note: You’ll also realise just how useful one pair of black jeans can be.

3. You are your own best friend…

Look, I know this sounds hella lame, but when you find yourself on the other side of the world, completely alone without another human to call your friend or even acquaintance, you’ve got to be comfortable enough with yourself to be your own support network. The day you realise that you genuinely enjoy your own company is the day you’ve won life.

4. But making new friends is easy and, most times, instantaneous

Enjoying your own company is great, but meeting new friends from all over the world is really the icing on the travel cake. The good thing about moving abroad is that there are a lot of people who have ventured out on their own, and they are more than happy to strike up a conversation with someone new. You’ll soon discover just how easy it is to bond with a complete stranger over shared experiences.

5. You are a fully-fledged adult

There’s something incredibly rewarding about getting yourself out of a jam. Of course, there is no shame in asking for help when you need it, but when it’s 11pm in your new apartment, in a foreign city, and the tap falls off your kitchen sink, and there’s water gushing everywhere, you’ll find your brain instinctively switches to MacGyver-mode and you handle it. You’ll be surprised by what you can actually do when you have no other choice than to suck it up and get ‘er done. I think this whole phenomenon might be called “being an adult”.

6.  Home is a feeling, not a place

Most of the time when you think of “home” you think of your family and where you grew up. But, when you leave all of that behind, a new idea of “home” starts to take shape. You begin to realise that home is wherever you feel the most comfortable and the most yourself. Home is in the experiences you have and the friendships you make along the way.

7. It’s much easier than you ever thought it would be

The idea of leaving your comfort zone for the great unknown can definitely seem daunting. It will be scary, you will have doubts, and nerves will make your stomach feel like a pretzel. But, then you’ll find yourself exploring an exciting new part of the world, meeting awesome new people, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

8. The world is not that big

Yes, OK – geographically speaking, the world is pretty damn huge. But, with Wi-Fi being available almost everywhere now, having face-to-face conversations with your family and friends from the other side of the world is easier than ever. Although you may be a couple of thousand kilometres apart, when you regularly keep in touch with familiar faces from home, the distance almost never feels that far.

Brittany Herron

Brittany is an Australian painter of word pictures, currently wandering somewhere across Canada and the US. Follow her (somewhat sporadic posting of) adventures on Instagram @ http://www.instagram.com/brittanyherron/

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