by Maria Jose Salcedo
Once the decision of moving away from home is made, the changes in one’s life are endless. Spending a long time in a new country is quite a journey. At the beginning it can be challenging to adapt because of the cultural and linguistic barriers, but once you do, it is one of the most rewarding experience someone can have.
It is recommended to do research about your destination before you arrive, as well as learning the language so it’s easier to communicate with the locals. A part of living abroad means that you are on your own, away from your family, friends, and everything else that you know. There will be days where you will feel lonely, sad, and anxious. You’ll miss birthday parties and important events. You might also lose some friends… but these are changes that will broaden your horizons and will take you out of your comfort zone.
Create your home-away-from-home by communicating with new people, creating meaningful relationships, discovering new places and ways of thinking. Not to mention the gastronomy; every place offers their own variety of flavors and spices. You’ll be amazed at the many things out there to discover. Do the things you like and those you never imagined you could do.
In my opinion, going to college, university or joining a volunteering program abroad is a great way to get started. There you will find people with whom you share similar interests and with whom you’ll make unique memories.
The truth about living abroad is that it is a journey that will teach you about life, love and fear. It will help you grow as a person and will give you a sense of self-accomplishment. According to Manon De Heus, journalist and sociologist, going abroad will also help you “build a new existence far away from anything you know and believe in, [which] is the most powerful feeling in the world”.
Living abroad will change you in many ways and you will have to learn how to fully embrace it in order to make the most out of your experiences. While making this journey, keep in mind that with great sacrifice comes great reward.