Why do we move? Why do we leave everything behind and start fresh, in unknown land from scratch? What motivates us to make this huge change? Adventure, painful memories or hope for a better life?
I permanently moved to the U.S. 4 years ago. I had a particular life experience, and I was used to living on my own since the age of 18. I felt ready for a big move because I thought that living abroad can’t be much of a difference. Well, I was wrong. Taking my suitcase and migrating on the other side of the world was one of the biggest challenges I’ve dealt with so far but one of the most rewarding.
Since moving across the globe is becoming a huge trend all around the world and people are hungry for a better life and more opportunities, I decided to share with you a piece of my little wisdom. Here are 6 real life lessons I have the privilege to learn while building my new life in a foreign country.
1. You are on your own
That’s it. No childhood friends, no good neighbor right next door, no mom and dad who can save your butt. It’s all on you. Living abroad gives you a chance to become independent faster and learn how to deal with anything along the way.
In the beginning, it’s tough. New culture, new challenges and on the top of it, homesick. You feel lonely, missing that shitty hometown you wanted to leave so bad. And this is the time when you change and learn. You learn to handle all these challenges on your own, including your feelings.
2. You work twice as hard
I think we can all agree on a fact that living abroad means working twice as hard. Let’s face it, we are foreigners, and we need to prove ourselves. While some people aren’t willing to put up with it, I think that this is a great way how we can challenge ourselves to aim higher and become better.
Many of us move because we want a higher quality life, better education or more money. These are all positive changes, and you and I already know that nothing good comes easy. Working hard is a great way how you can build up your work ethic and learn to get what you want with your mind and two hands.
3. You grow up
Before I came to the U.S., I thought I am all grown up. It even makes me laugh to say that because the biggest growth of my life came when I moved here. Challenges I faced were new and unknown, and I had only myself.
Living on your own, working hard and taking responsibilities for every step you take will speed up your personal growth because you will learn from your errors.
4. You feel grateful
Many people I know moved abroad because of the higher quality life and better financial opportunities. And this is what makes an immigrant grateful. Sometimes I think that being an immigrant is a great privilege because we can recognize opportunities and take advantage of them.
I know so many people who wail every day that they have to go to work or complain working 3 days in a row.
I want to encourage you to work hard every day and understand how lucky you are. I know that life abroad can be tough but you are there for a reason so take advantage.
5. You gain more courage
In a new land, all you get or don’t get equal to your willingness to fight for it. Just the fact that you took your baggage and decided to go to a place you don’t know is a very courageous act. But this is just beginning. I am confident to say that it takes a few years until you somehow adjust and feel like at home.
Since you have to deal with everything by yourself and you need to learn how the system runs in a new country, it will take some awkward moments and courage to manage that. Courage is one of the most important things in your life you can develop. It will give you so much strength and self-respect, and it makes you understand your real value.
6. You learn how to understand people better
With new life come new customs and different mindsets of people. Even learning a new language makes you more tolerant towards others who do the same. By learning a new culture, you will become more open-minded because you understand that there isn’t only one way to think or believe in things.
I live in South Florida, and you probably know that this is the motherland of immigrants. I’ve met here many people from different parts of the world who’s thinking is very different from mine. Many things they believe in or live by isn’t something I will ever identify myself with, but this learning gave me a chance to open my mind and see the world from the other side.
What was your best experience from living abroad? Leave a comment below.