How living abroad for the first time changes your life

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How living abroad for the first time changes your life

I still remember the date, October 23, 2010, and although I have a fish memory, I remember it because it marked a before and an after in my life. I had always liked traveling, but let’s just say that over there I realized that this was my true passion in this world. My first experience living abroad was in my beloved Ireland, a country which I didn’t feel a lot of attraction for before going there, but eventually I fell for it due to the beauty of its landscapes and its friendly people. Anyone who has ever decided to leave his comfort zone to live abroad will agree with me that it’s an experience that changes your life forever and these are the reasons why:

You meet people from all over the world so you learn to swear and say stupid things in an endless amount of languages, you try real typical meals from a lot of different countries and find out that there are many ways of seeing life and that (almost) all of them are valid, you realize how big and how small the world can be at the same time and you begin to downplay the silly little things of everyday life.

It wakes up the adventurer you have inside. Your desire to know and investigate the little hideouts of each place are going to increase, until a day you even find yourself in your hometown doing so, you start to see beauty in places where you didn’t see it before.

living abroad

You become more sociable. You arrive to a new place and don’t know anyone so you don’t have other choice than making new friends. Sometimes you meet people in the most unexpected way possible, like when you are waiting in the bus stop, which never would happen in your hometown.

Your definition of normal becomes wider. Basically, living abroad opens your mind. I remember the first time someone told me that he was going solo travel, I thought he was crazy and that I would be completely unable to do so and look at me now, this is practically my lifestyle.

You become a very independent person. You’re thousands of kilometers away from your loved ones, you don’t know anyone who can help you, so when you have a problem, you have no choice but to fix everything on your own.

living abroad

Every time you have less material things and find it easier to get rid of them. You realize that you need little to be happy and honestly, you’re not willing to pay the extra kilos in your luggage.

If you are moving to a country with a different language than your own, you’ll realize that there are words that have no translation or are simply better explaining certain terms so you start to incorporate them into your vocabulary even when you talk in your own language.

You become more adaptable. Your life plans can change 500 times in a very short time and you have no other choice but to adapt to these changes, so you learn to go with the flow.

living abroad

You get used to say goodbye. This is one of the hardest things for me about this kind of life. You meet amazing people with whom you share a very intense period of your life, but there comes a time to say goodbye without even knowing if someday you are ever going to see them again. Still, you love knowing that you have friends all over the world (free accommodation, yeiii!!) and maybe years will pass until you see them again, but the day you meet again, it will be as if time had never passed. Do you know what is the good thing about farewells? The reunions!

You’ll never feel at home again because you don’t know where that place is. Wherever you go you’ll miss people, places, flavors and sensations. This is probably the most bittersweet feeling of all. When you are abroad, you can not help but missing your hometown, every time you go home you are happy to see your family and friends and for a few days all are good moments, but soon you begin to feel overwhelmed and you just want to pack again and leave. If you have ever felt this, I’m very sorry to tell you that there is no turning back, but you have to be happy because it means you’ve had an experience that I think everyone should live at least once in a life, as not all the books in the world are ever going to teach you what you have learnt during that period of time. For me, this is the best school of life.

Ana Marco