7 lessons that living abroad has taught me

#1 My own country is not that bad

I wonder who came up with the idea that things abroad are better. Back at home, I always hear funny things like: ‘European chocolate is healthier’, ‘Everyone is very polite in Europe’, ‘Streets are cleaner in Europe’, and so on. No, no, and no.

Not everything is so bad in my home country as I used to think. Food quality is the same as in Europe, water is better than in Germany (German water in BW has too much of calcium), medical care system is still free back at home. So, the grass is definitely not greener on the other side.

#2 Family and true friends are the most precious things in life

I have missed my friends and family. Chatting with my family online always lightens up my mood. Distance makes you to appreciate the friendship more. Not everyone is going to remember you when you live abroad. Some friends are there only as long as you have time to hang out with them and as long as you can be easily reached. True friends will stay in contact with you no matter what. It takes two people to keep in touch though. You have to be active yourself and do not forget old friends back at home.

#3 You shall not underestimate cultural diversity

There are certain things I do not like about German society and there are things Germans do not like about my views. When it comes to topics such as politeness vs weakness, marriage vs cohabiting , freedom of speech vs bullying, etc. my point of view could be very different from an average German due to contrasting cultural backgrounds.

#4 You do not need to show your language skills all the time

Sometimes, it is better to pretend you do not speak the local language. In this case, there will be less trouble for you when someone tries to scam you or take an advantage of you.

#5 You shall take the best from both countries

Mistakenly, I thought that once you move abroad you should try to adjust to the local life quickly and kind of forget about food, household products, and so on back at home. I see now that it shall not be the case. A friend of mine  gets huge packages back from home almost every month. Snacks, clothes, postcards from her home country make her happy. There are products I used to have back at home, but I cannot find here. I have realised that instead of trying to find a good alternative, I can just buy them back at home.

I see that going back home once per year is completely fine and actually extremely beneficial. You can bring your family and friends wonderful presents from abroad (because they still believe the grass is greener on the other side) and get everything you need (very often cheaper and better).

#6 You shall take the most of your stay abroad

Of course, it all depends on money (sadly to say), but even if you do not earn much while staying abroad you shall not miss the opportunity to see all the local attractions, to try various cuisine (I have recently tried Mett in Germany, for example) and to travel. I believe the best thing about Europe is the possibility to travel without additional visas and long distance flights. Hopefully, I still can see more of Europe before my husband and I will move away from Germany.

#7 You shall always try to stay positive

My time in Germany was not that easy, but in the end, I have realised that the more I think about it, the more problems I have. Sometimes, it is better to think less and live day by day. Occupy yourself, try to find new hobbies, learn something new. At the same time, plan for the future. Your future depends on you only. Life is valuable and we shall not waste our time being sad. 🙂





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