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20.4.16

10 Things I've learned moving abroad

Hey there,

Exactly one year ago I moved to Ireland to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies specialized in Marketing at the Independent College in Dublin. It was truly a great experience, I'm so glad I had the opportunity to move to a different country, I've learned so much and today I wanted to share the things I've learned with you. 

Those things are very personal since they are related to my own experience living away from home at 20 while having anxiety. It might sound weird to people but for me 20 years old is quite a young age to move away from everything you know, your family, basically your life, and it was quite hard for me in the beginning. But it depends for everybody, and everybody learns different things and has different experiences. 


1) First of all, some people don't know how to live in community. 

Aka, living with other people, completely different than you, is really hard. When I was searching for a place to live, I knew that, being the person that I am, I wanted to live in a very calm and peaceful place. I literally would rather share an apartment with a 50 years old lady than with 20 years old student, just because I act like a 50 years old, sometimes. So I was sharing a lovely apartment with a lovely middle-aged lady. Everything was fine until a few months later when I came home from my Christmas break... Basically, I won't get into details, but she made my life a living hell... But at some point you just have to understand that people are different, and there are people who are disrespectful but you just have to live with it 'cause you can't change them or make them like you no matter how hard you try. You just have to accept it and ignore it.


2) You feel alone, a lot... but you survive.

You feel alone a lot, because you miss everything you left behind, and nobody understands how hard it gets sometimes. Some people think that just because "you're living the dream" so far from home in a cool place, you're not allowed to complain. But you are! Even for small things! You miss the country you left, you miss your family, your friends, every silly little things. And having anxiety I had a hard time making friends, so sometimes I felt very alone because I felt a little bit low and I felt like I couldn't talk to anyone. But in the end, you survive, because it's just a phase every one goes through. You just need to look at all the things that make you happy when you're away and all the things you're gonna miss once you move out.

3) You find your true self, grow up, and other people do too.  

Being the youngest one is not always easy because everyone wants to protect you, and once you move out, you don't know how to do anything since you're so used for everybody to do everything for you... I've learnt to be who I truly was, an happy person, happy to go to school, to walk out of the apartment in the morning, and just enjoy life, talking to random people in stores... Don't get me wrong, there were some times when I just felt down, I didn't want to talk to anybody, go out.  But I did grow up, eventually, I changed like everyone else. I learnt to be independent, and have my own little life as an adult. An experience like this changes everyone, the way they work, study or just live their life daily. 


4) The Shopping Diet. 

When you move away, you are alone! Alone, alone. There's no one to pay for your grocery shopping or the electricity and internet bills every month (Thank God water was free!!!!!). You learn to shop differently... No more shopping. No more buying things you don't really need! You find your priority and you allow yourself to get crazy one day a month for what's left on your budget. So yeah... I did a shopping detox. I didn't buy anything for weeks until I had payed everything I had to pay, I would allow myself some goodies one day a month with a small budget, like going to get a haircut...  


5) Learn more about your friends

You met people who are sometimes in the same situation as you are, being away from home, and you realize that they are just like you and sometimes they get sick of everything and want to drop everything out. You met the kind of persons you'll never forget, and you realized who your true friends are. In fact, there's nothing as good as moving far (far) away from home to finally see who your honest friends and "Best Friends Forever" are; who will be there for you no matter what.


6) Just because you can't cook, doesn't mean you have to eat pasta every night! 

In the beginning I ate a lot of pasta I admit... But at some point I just got tired of it and I wanted to cook real meal with vegetables! I thought that living away was the best occasion to learn how to cook nice dinner for when I would come back. So I learnt to appreciate things I wouldn't normally eat, but when you're broke and want to be healthy you stop being picky! 

I remember buying a lot of soups at first... That's a good start, trust me! But move to something more consistent, you can't eat soup for the rest of your life. Eating vegetables and "real meal" doesn't necessarily mean it has to be expensive food. Plus, money is made to be spent, you don't take your money to paradise or wherever. Would you rather have nice clothes or things you don't really need, and not eat, or eat real and good  diner and stay with the huge closet you already have? Uh? (Good question...) 


7) Packing is hard...

Moving in, moving hard, same deal... PACKING IS HARD. When you move to a different country you don't know what to bring so you bring everything.. Clothes you know you're not going to wear but need anyway, books you're never going to read etc. But as long as everything fit in the 4 suitcases, it's okay. You want to bring all your life with you, things you know are going to comfort you when you're away, especially if you're a girl. DON'T! It's okay, accept the fact that you don't need to bring your whole closet, and just be more objective over the things you're taking, do you really need those ? No I mean really? Do you?! Plus, think that the more you bring and pack, the less you can buy and bring back... (Not true, you can still buy a suitcase and have additional charges with the airline you're flying with... just saying...) 


8) It's time to face your fears... 

You're alone... you have to learn to kill a spider when you have to because no one's gonna do it for you. You have to learn to clean your entire apartment because it's infected with mold because unless you hire a maid, no one's going to do it for you...


9) Be independent but to some extent... 

Congratulations you have now learnt how to cook 3 meals a day, run your errands, do your laundry, clean your home, make your bed, decorate, pay for bills, run out of money... all of this while still attending school! I loved being independent, having my own life, my own habits and rituals. I miss it... so much. I just miss my life in Dublin actually...But there are some times when you still need your parents to help you out and it's okay! We all do. Especially when you still have 15 days to go before the end of the month and your credit card is not working... or when for some reason your wifi connection is not working... or you have no idea how to make the washing machine work... or your oven... 


10) Be open-minded, adapt, just live the experience! 

Living the experience in Dublin doesn't necessarily mean get drunk in Pubs or go out every night. I'm not that person. Living the experience for me was about talking to people, learning about their life, visiting a lot, discovering places that no one thinks of going, forget everything about stereotypes and prejudices, and having little rituals on Saturday afternoon in the city, or not, with my boyfriend. It's about creating your own habits, creating your own experience and not let anybody influence of affect you and the way you want to live your life away. It's about becoming or being the person you really want to be. 


Bonus: 
- It's okay not knowing the name of the streets of the small city you're living in, and to get lost sometimes. We don't get lost anyway, we wander in places we don't know. The best memories are the ones where you got lost and ended up having a great time.

- It's okay to spend hours at Starbuck and spent your whole shopping budget in hot chocolates, just 'cause it feels like home. 

- It's okay to ask for a student discount everywhere you go even though they only have 10% discount at Topshop and you know it. In the end, you're always broke so it doesn't hurt to ask... 

- It's okay to buy things you don't really need but comfort you... Mine were crazy looking socks witgjDonuts and other food, lots of Oreo Cupcakes and Hot Chocolate.... Candy on Halloween... Lots and lots of Nutella... For those days you feel depressed (but well dressed) but do not want to die of hunger. 

- It's okay not knowing what you're doing. Who does? I'm thinking about that time I had no internet connection, and did some stuff on the modem and I ended up getting internet connection (yes I'm truly a genius...).


Hope you like this post, don't forget to follow me on Blog Lovin if you want to stay tune when my future posts are live on Lipstick Road.

See you soon,

Love,

Elsa

PS: I'm reposting this post because I did some modifications. This post was originally posted on the 12th of September 2015! 

1 commentaire

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