Starting Over: 8 Things Moving To A New Country Teaches You

Studying abroad for a semester is exciting but in a way, you’re also just temporarily living somewhere for a determined amount of time. Moving to a new place? That’s scary. While moving is exciting, no matter how far or close you move from your previous location, it is scary as f*ck. It’s even scarier to leave all that you’ve known to move to a new country permanently. Whether it’s a move where the languages are the same, or across to the other side of the world, moving to a new country brings lots of new changes.

  1. Language Barriers Will Always Exist.
    You would think that moving to an English-speaking country would mean that language would be the least of your worries. Wrong. Even if you are moving from a country that speaks English to a new one that speaks English – language barriers still exist. Slang and dialects of English vary all around the world, it’ll take a while to get used to the area’s form of speaking.
  2. You Will Miss Home A LOT.
    You will probably miss the town that you always complained about, and “couldn’t wait to get out of”. You’ll miss the familiarity, your friends, family, or the local feel of your home. You’re bound to make many comparisons, and will feel like you’re betraying your home when you start to get comfortable. It’s okay to leave your heart in multiple places. At the end, you’ll probably call more than one place home and that’s okay.
  3. Starting Over Sucks.
    No matter how excited you are, one thing is constant – starting over kind of sucks. It’s nice to be able to start over (if you need to), but it’s hard. People already have their friends, and it’s hard to put yourself out there sometimes. Don’t let that discourage you! Think of it as the first day of high school and own it.
  4. It’s a New Adventure.
    While your new friends may not understand why you love to hit the tourist spots, you do. Moving is a new adventure, and it’s best if you take advantage of that new move feeling before you get stuck in your daily routine.
  5. You Don’t Need Many Things.
    It is terrifying when you see all the things in your possession and wonder how to pack them all. So, you choose to take only the most important ones and hit the road. In several weeks it will strike you that you don’t really need what has been left behind. Moving, especially between countries, helps you to realize which things are a waste of money and space.
  6. People Are Different And It Is Okay.
    Even if you are moving to another city in the same country, people will differ. They will talk, dress or behave in ways you are not used to. You will be confused at first, but later you will learn how to tolerate differences. Behaviour that you might find weird and unacceptable, will feel normal in a few months.
  7. Talking to Strangers Is Easy.
    A new city means new environments, which are not yet known. The best way to learn how to navigate it, is to ask people who live there. You will find yourself speaking with strangers on streets and in shops, seeking advice. You will also have to make friends with strangers since all of your friends are left at home.
  8. There Are More Places to Explore.
    Once you have moved to a new place and gotten used to it, chances are your inner adventurer will be awake and need new goals. You will want to explore new cafés, parks, galleries, go for vacation to other cities or countries, or even move again. It may even start to seem impossible to spend your entire life in just one place.

Yes, moving is terrifying. While you may move without any friends, family, or any familiarity – this also means adventures, which will allow you to grow in ways you’ve never imagined. You will learn not to fear change, but rather thrive on it. Moving to another place is an eye opener as it allows you to see the world from another perspective. Life is about exploration, so why not take a chance?

Collaboration with Alena Pak

Featured Image via Janni Delér


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