I get asked a lot about which city has been my preference to live in, what the best part was, what the worst part was.
In reality I have loved them all, and the friends and memories I have from each city are different but equally cherished (lol lame). But the best thing I got, came from living abroad in general because it teaches you A LOT.
Here are the some of the things you learn when you live abroad.
- Friends become family
- I love my Edinburgh friends more than anything, but there’s something about the friendships you build when you’re thousands of miles from home. Those people become your family. You spend birthdays and christmases with them. You rely on each other. They help you move (and vice versa).
- The world is so much bigger than your bubble
- Your perspective of the world changes. You realise it’s much bigger than your hometown and uni town – there’s more to experience. And then weirdly, it also becomes smaller because you realise that actually living abroad isn’t a mythical fantasy but something that you can just get on a plane and do.
- Home will always be home – but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel at home elsewhere
- Obviously home will always be Edinburgh for me, but now I feel at home in a couple of other places too. I have friends and memories and old door keys (I like to keep them, sue me) that give me as much nostalgia as driving past my old school does. Its a pretty great feeling actually, that when I get on a plane to New York or Sydney (or even Leeds), I still feel like I’m going home.
- You’re more competent than you think
- Yes, I definitely called my parents when I thought my landlord was going to kick me out in Sydney, and when I thought I was being taxed too much at my job. But there were a lot of times I didn’t call them too, and I figured it out. Sure it might have been because of time difference, but it definitely made me realise I’m capable of solving my own problems…most of the time.
- You get comfortable with being alone
- This sounds a little sad, but when you move to a new city where you don’t have many friends, at the beginning sometimes a Saturday consists of getting coffee and going to the park by yourself. That’s okay though, and I actually found that I didn’t mind it – especially when it involves reading a book and eating dumplings at Bondi Beach.
- Stepping outside of your comfort zone can have unbelievable rewards
- It’s scary but that’s part of the thrill. Every time I’ve decided to move somewhere new, the night before I always question why the hell I’m doing it (four moves and counting and this feeling has only gotten stronger). As soon as you get past that, the excitement of an adventure awaiting hits. I’m not saying it’s all amazing – there are definitely times you are homesick and sad that you have missed birthday parties and weddings. Those pass, and you get the incredible times that you would never have had if you’d stayed at home. Like the time when you get invited to a secret Kanye West album release at MSG in the middle of the working day, or when you end up in an incredible apartment overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge for NYE after having no plans 2 hours prior, or being gifted a free 4th July weekend in the Hamptons by your friend’s boss. Those make it all worth it. They become the stories of your life.
Take a browse around more of my posts if you’re interested about living abroad!