5 Things You Should Learn When You Live in Another Country
Living in another country is an eye-opening and life changing experience. It is certainly not for everyone, but if you take it upon yourself to live abroad, you will return a changed person. Living abroad involves new cultures and traditions, foods, rituals, time zones, languages, historical perspectives, education, and much more. As a result, there are several things you should know when it comes to living in another country. In this blog post, we discuss the five things you should learn while you are living abroad. Enjoy your travels!
Number One: Their Historical Perspective on Major World Events
When you live abroad, you are going to be faced with an entirely different story on the timeline and significance of major world events. This is because every country has their own ideas and perspective of what happened. Be prepared to let go of your own biases and preconceived notions in order to learn more about the country you are now calling home.
Living in another country and learning their take on world history can make you a more open-minded person, or even fill you with doubt and confusion. While you are learning all about the other side, it is best to let go of any fears and voices that are holding you back from trusting the other story. Truth rings loud and clear through all of us, and in order to truly grow and integrate into the other country, you must take down your guard. You should also share your own perspective because, in accordance with AIA Migration, that is how cultures, societies, and civilizations grow closer together.
Number Two: Their Language
This is a no-brainer, but when you live abroad, you should definitely learn the language. Learning the language not only gives you a perspective on how language affects thinking and analyzing, but also creates an entirely new world. Not to mention, learning another language increases your capacity to connect with others and become fully immersed in the country’s culture and traditions.
It becomes easier to order food, have conversations with new friends, share your own story, and learn new things. In addition, when you come home, you will have a new talent to share with your friends and family.
Number Three: How to Make and Eat Their Food
One of the best parts about living abroad is eating the food. You will probably miss the food when you return to your home country, so be sure to get the traditional recipes to some of your favorite dishes. No doubt, it will taste different when you make it at home, but at least you will have the know-how to make your comfort food from your home away from home.
While you are living abroad, it is also sometimes crucially important to learn how to eat their food. For instance, eating with your hands, or on the floor, or with chopsticks, or outside, all provide very different dining experiences. Eating is a social activity and is rich with cultural values and traditions. Learning how to eat can help you navigate accidental inappropriate behavior, and can also make you further appreciate the food within the context of the country’s cultural practices.
Number Four: How to Let Go of Material Things and Unhealthy Mindsets
When you live abroad, you are bound to leave behind many things that seem of value to you. This is because of limited packing space, but also because objects turn out to be way less significant than we think. When you live abroad, you may find that physical objects can take away from more personal and intimate connections that could form between your relationships with people, animals, and nature. Living abroad also fills your world with new material objects, most of which will be completely foreign to you. Letting go of your attachment to material things can help you move closer to those who surround you, and appreciate the more important things in life, like empathy, love, and compassion.
Unhealthy mindsets can also get in the way of adapting and thriving during your time living in a foreign country. Whether you realize it or not, you are arriving in the foreign land with preconceived notions as to how to live, act, and interact with your surroundings. When you live abroad, you should focus on releasing any negative energy that keeps you distanced from other human beings. After all, when you return home, you will have an entirely new perspective on your own country, some of which could have the tendency to be unhealthy as well.
Number Five: How to Move Back Home
Whether you decide to live in another country permanently, or just for a few short months, you are bound to return to your native land at some point in time. When you do, you may find that nothing changed. Your family and friends will have their same routines and same attitudes towards life, politics, and even the country that you lived in. It is important to remember that they did not share in your experiences, and while they may try to appreciate what you have learned, they can never fully understand your new perspective. This is okay.
On the other hand, everything might have changed while you were away. This is okay too because life happens. No matter the changes or continuities that took place while you were away, remember to face every day with an open mind, a warm heart, and a deep understanding that humankind always strives to do the right thing.
Living abroad will probably change you as a person in ways that nobody else might ever understand. That is why it is important to be yourself and be open to new experiences both when you are abroad, and especially when you return home. After all, your home country may seem just as foreign as the country you were just living in.