Living abroad might be a dream life for many people. The truth is living in dream life doesn’t always mean living happily.
There will be some times that you feel depressed and realize that living abroad is not as easy as you thought.
You will definitely gain many advantages from living abroad, but there is a price that you have to pay.
Here are some truths of the hardship about living abroad that no one to tell you.
It is normal when you adapt yourself to the new environment. Both cultural and language barriers become serious problems.
You will definitely make mistakes, and many of them will be awkward.
You wonder why it has to be that way, why do they treat you differently or, the worst case scenario, why don’t you fit in.
Somehow, it makes you feel like an outsider which is occasionally undeniable bitterness for every expat no matter how long have you been living abroad.
My suggestion is to be optimistic, open-minded, enjoy, and learn from being ‘an alien’.
When you try to learn and adapt yourself to locals, those problems eventually become smaller and smaller until it is not a problem anymore.
They say living abroad is the way to find yourself. Well, sometimes it could mean finding yourself getting lost somewhere in the world.
Even you have got the best map with you; with the new environment that you are facing, no map can help.
Moreover, as living abroad will change you, little by little, you will find yourself being a stranger that you have never met.
Being alone will tell who you really are, deconstruct your identity, belief, dignity and help you to create new meaning in life.
It is normal to get lost sometimes. But if you look closely, it is not losing yourself, you are just improving and bringing out the best in you.
Being Apart From Your Comfort Zone
‘No place like home’ is never out of date. That is true, as the place that you left has all your loving ones; while in your new home, nobody.
Your familiar environment doesn’t seem to exist anymore, no more well-prepared dinner, home cooked meal, a bedtime story or someone waiting for you to come home.
Only you and yourself. But do not forget, they also say ‘Home is not a place, it is a feeling’.
You can build up your environment and fill it up with a warm atmosphere in order to make your house home.
It takes time, a lot of time actually, but in the end of the day everyone wants to be home, right?
Even you made so many friends during your time abroad, bear in mind that those new friends haven’t shared a common background as much as those you have back home.
Some of the time you will find yourself in the middle of the crowd but feel lonely inside, especially when something goes wrong.
You will need a supportive network both from your family and friend, even you weren’t aware how important they were before.
Having new friend doesn’t seem helpful anymore. Well, no one can be a replacement for another person.
But why don’t you give your new friends a try by building up and sharing new experiences together, who’d know one of them could be your lasting friend.
There is no any better way to avoid the loneliness than having a good friend(s) beside you, trust me.
Nowadays, you might think the food is universal and more accessible.
Even the local food is super good and you love it, but you will miss your national dish (believe it or not, I am a big fan of Spanish food, but I was craving for Thai food all the time).
You may find some restaurant from your home country, but it may not as good as the one in your country or too expensive.
You can say that you know how to cook, but can you make sure that you are going to find all the ingredients that you need?
Even it is unfulfilled craving, but local food can surely substitute. Enjoy eating, you will miss it once you were home.
Saying Goodbye Is Hard
Don’t you dare to count how many time have you said goodbye? Separating from your loving one is hard, and it never gets easier no matter what.
When you look back, you will realize that it is not only the person that you miss but also the memory of the person in specific places and time.
Because sometimes going back to the place is not enough to stop missing it, those memories will be frozen deep down in your heart but never ever happen again.
At some point, you will admit the fact that people in your life just pass through. They come and go. They share specific time with you and leave.
Saying goodbye is not rare anymore, actually, it is quite normal for you actually. It doesn’t mean you have got a cold-heart, you just admit the universal rule ‘nothing lasts forever’.
Going Back Is Way Harder
Going back home sounds awesome, you will get a chance to meet up with all your beloved ones.
It sounds like you have many things to catch up, doesn’t it? What if returning home is not as sweet as you expected?
Do not forget that they also have their own life, and they keep changing just like yours. Everything has changed, at least, it is not the same.
Once again, you are a stranger at your home! You have many stories about your journey to tell but not everyone is interested in it.
You might get the eye-rolling in return. Get ready for that! Do not expect everything to be the same as it was.
And if you want to share your experience that you have gained, find someone with an international background, they are the one who you can exchange that kind of stories. Living abroad has both pros and cons. It is challenging. But life is always hard no matter where you are, isn’t it?
Your time there is just like a roller-coaster, it goes up and down. It goes fast and slow. At some point, you are happy to die.
Some point you wish it could last forever. Some point you think it is a big mistake. Some point you really want it to end as soon as possible.
You can see that living abroad take some part of you, at the same time fulfill you. There is always a consequence of doing something.
But if you want to have this lifetime experience, do not hesitate! It is surely not always happy, but worthy.