I feel like I keep repeating myself with this post. I’ve written one here and here recently (the latter is in Portuguese). But it’s a subject I’ve been getting such amazing and positive feedback, that I thought one more wouldn’t hurt. Mainly because I want to talk about the feedback I got, especially here – scroll down for the comments. More often than not, we think that we are alone in the way we experience things. But reading other people’s experiences on living abroad and how they’ve moved… It’s just fulfilling.
I always thought that my experience was so unique. Going to Dubai back in 2012, then here. It turns out, a lot of other people have been through the same experience. Sometimes moving even more often. Overall, I feel like living abroad expands your horizons, makes you a more tolerant person, helps you realize who you are and where you come from.
When your journey is just beginning, you don’t realize how incredible and tough it’s going to be. You just think about moving to a new place and how you’re going to feel. Which is as important. But then come those hard moments when you think to yourself, why am I here? Why did I come here? I should be back home. I used to have those a lot. Especially when I was living in Dubai. Never had I ever experienced such harsh panic attacks like, waking up in the middle of the night and thinking I was going to die. Walking around our building area at 3 in the morning trying to breathe. I honestly had the hardest times there.
But it made me realize something. Human beings aren’t made to be doing something they don’t want to. Or be stuck in a place they shouldn’t. Here in New York, not once did I have a panic or anxiety attack. Everything seems to come easier and, even though I’ve felt lonely, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
When you’re living abroad, your life takes on a whole new take. People start to have more meaning. Places you used to go every day seem like the first time. Moments get carved and you hold on to them a lot more. I don’t live in the past or in the times I’m back home. But I live it more intensively every time I’m there. I have this wave of satisfaction being back there and how easy we have it at home.
Then I come back to our reality, our actual home, and feel like I have a purpose and I’m here to do something. You discover a lot of things about yourself when you’re a foreigner. You realize you’re more resilient than you think. You toughen up and small things don’t matter anymore. Like petty arguments you used to have or small feuds don’t don’t have space in your life.
That’s also why, over the course of living abroad, some of your friends are bound to pull away. And you will pull away from them. It doesn’t mean you don’t love each other, but maybe it stopped making sense and the reasons you used to hang out, aren’t there anymore. You have to come to peace with that and eventually be okay. I had the hardest time with this issue in the beginning. But then you move on to more important things like, staying afloat. Keeping your shit together. Realizing that your life is happening now and not when you’re back home.
I started to enjoy a lot more my life abroad. The last year has been amazing and this past month, I don’t remember a single day where I didn’t feel like I was home. You’re never going to be the same person you were when you left. But you’re certainly going to be better at facing your problems, at being alone, at valuing the moments you spend with your loved ones.
Always grab opportunities like this by the hands and make sure you learn with them. They will make you a more understanding and rich person, for sure. I would also love to know about your experience. Have you ever lived abroad? Tell me everything!