THE HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
When you travel abroad, you join a special club: you will have two addresses, you will speak two languages and you will carry two types of currency in your wallet. Neither do you have to get to the point of saying that you will have two personalities, but you will always be part of two worlds, your new home and the old one. The two worlds may fade more and more over time, but probably part of your mail will still be sent to your parents’ house or you’ll have a lot of boxes stored in a friend’s basement.
2. PACKAGES WITH PROVISIONS ARE VERY IMPORTANT
Although today almost anything can be purchased online, receiving a package of groceries (a box of food from home) is better than wearing the perfect hair on your birthday. Of course, everything in that package will taste a million times better than another meal that has not traveled around the world. At that point, you will also have to choose a strategy for the supply packages: either you devour everything at once without leaving a trace, or you master the art of rationing and do magic tricks with the expiration dates to last you as much time as possible.
3. THE FAREWELLS MAKE IT MORE EASY (IN A CERTAIN WAY)
Although almost nobody is good at saying goodbye, farewells become somewhat easier over time. Maybe it’s because you know you can go home and cuddle on a couch that has a familiar smell, regardless of the journey. Maybe you have also found a way to disconnect all your emotional organs, and you know that after a goodbye there is always a hello.
4. FRIENDSHIP IS INTENSIFY
Moving away and putting a lot of water or dirt between you and the people you love is hard. You’ll see right away who gets out of the way to stay in touch or who uses their vacation days to pay a visit. There will be people who distance themselves, others will come closer. It is practically a sentimental version of when you check your wardrobe and try to find out what to stay and what you should throw away because it is no longer worth it.
5. THE DIFFICULTIES SEEM DIFFERENT
Of course, living next to the ocean is incredible. But you will still have to pay bills, unblock toilets and recover from unpleasant colds. That you live in another country -which may or may not resemble paradise- does not mean that your problems disappear and that everything is going to be a path of roses. The honeymoon phase will end and it will not matter where you are. Even if your friends envy you for living abroad, they may not realize that things are not better on the other side.
6. THE GUILT PERFORMS
Remember your mother’s face when she found out you could not go out to dinner on Sunday night, but you promised to go the next week? Imagine your face now when you try to explain that you will not go home for Christmas because you could not get days off (or because it was impossible to say no to that trip with friends). Oh, and you probably will not have time to visit until the following summer. There will be reproaches and you will have to focus on quality instead of quantity.
7. THE FUNCTION WILL CONTINUE (AND YOU WILL ACCUSTOMED IT)
Firm love: exciting things will happen without you being present, friends will be married, children will be born and mythical parties will be made. Surely you miss a lot of that and you will only enjoy certain moments in social networks. It is really hard to accept, but – and this may or may not be a positive aspect – it will also be difficult for your friends, who will miss all the fantastic things you will experience.
8. YOU WILL SEE YOUR HOME IN A FULLY DIFFERENT WAY
It is possible that you have moved abroad because of the weather or the crowded or boring streets. However, if you explain to people from another country where you live, they will usually be interested or fascinated by your photos or descriptions. This external perception may cause you to have more appreciation for those streets and bad weather than you usually complain about. Absence fuels affection and may patriotism, especially when you are encouraging your country, even if you do not even like it (insert a sport here).
9. DO LIKE THE LOCAL
Little by little, you will become a local. You start by learning the local language , but it consists of much more than understanding conversations. In the end, you will know when to go to the market to get the best deals, you will find a cafeteria in which you will know what you take before you ask and you will have passionate discussions on the bus about the local elections. Although it is possible that you never get to be as there as someone who has grown up in that place, you will integrate and you will realize that “you do what locals do”, being part of a different culture is something fantastic.
10. HOME? HOME!
It is difficult to answer the question of where is your home, since it usually implies a long explanation (see point 1). Sometimes, there really is where the heart is (or maybe that boyfriend you’re madly in love with). Sometimes, it is in the place where you spent your childhood or where you lived when an important event happened in your life. For me, the home is the place where my laptop is and where the wifi connects automatically.