Since I moved to the States I’ve heard many people telling me how much they were jealous of me. That they wished they had the same opportunity because the world is beautiful and how I was able to do that.
Well I believe that the perfect word is sacrifice. Traveling and/or living abroad for a long period of time is not as easy as you think.
You need to be ready to do it. It is very tough and it is not only my opinion. Every time I speak with a friend who is living the same kind of experience we agree on the same things.
Here 6 common feelings:
- FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Luckily in this century we have plenty of ways to skype or text with our friends or relatives even when we are miles away. The thing is that sometimes you would really like to share experiences and events with them, in person. See them in the eyes and listen to their voice. But unfortunately this can’t happen.
- FOOD. After some times you start missing your food. Like a pregnant woman you start having weird cravings. Every single dish you haven’t taste in a long time start coming back to your memory and there is no way you can have it.
On the other hand people come to you with their local or weird dishes, and try to sell them to you like one of the best things in the world. So, you excited take a bite and here comes the delusion. 90% of the time.
Even worst when they try to convince you that their sausages or their pizza are better than the original Italian one. Like, shut up!
- PRIVATE LIFE. when you move abroad you can almost say goodbye to any sort of sexual activity and relationship. Yes, everybody think that once you move abroad you are gonna have a long line of guys waiting for you. Many people ask me: so??? Do you have anything to tell me?? How about guys?? Well this is not how it works. So unless you are very lucky or a slut, searching for a night stand, the cultural difference really plays an important role and it is hard to get over it.
The way people date is different, the ideal man/girl standards are different, the every day routines are different. Plus most of the people just wanna have sex with you and nothing more. What a sad world.
- LONELINESS. No matter what people say, it is hard to fit in a new environment and in a new group of friends. You really have to work on your social skills, especially if you wanna fit with locals. Personally, I didn’t have any problems during my first year. I met awesome people that I will bring forever in my heart and I would never forget, but things change, and just like you did, people move. I don’t wanna say my second year is miserable, but I very often have moments in which I feel lonely. My friends came back to Germany, Mexico, moved to Boston, Philly and some others are planning to move in the next few months. So maybe, it is because I live far away from a big city, but this year it is tougher and I’m running out ideas to meet new people.
- COMFORT. Everybody think that just because you are traveling a lot you are making a lot of money. Wrong again. It is true I’m traveling a lot, but there are so many behind the scene. Like I traveled on some of the shittiest buses you can never imagine, I slept in many dirty places, skipped many meals. So yes, amazing experiences, but everything comes with a price. You don’t know how much, every time, I would like to stay in a hotel with a nice comfy bed and a clean hot shower.
- CULTURE. Very often happen that you will miss your traditions or somebody that have the same habits you do. Of course that’s the beauty of exchanging a culture, but I think it is normal that sometimes you would like to have someone like you. I think it is very funny when me and my expat friends “complain” and agree about the same things, but during tough moments this makes you a little bit homesick.
Saying that, I don’t regret any of my choices. I can write pages of positive things. I have a wonderful host family, I grew and I learnt so much, so much, I met awesome people, but you know, not everything that shine is gold. And people need to know that too.
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