Living abroad; my enemy, my ally. Don’t believe what they tell you, it’s all a lie.
Expectation: It’s all fun and games
You’re abroad right? And as we all know, that means that life is oh-so-easy.
Reality: You drown in paperwork
You are officially an expat and have to trawl through the bureaucracy that goes with it, just to make it possible for you to live / work /go to the doctor’s… or anything really!
Expectation: You party and explore all the time
You’re in a new place with exotic people, places, and norms; time to live it up and fill every moment!
Reality: You still sleep all weekend, just as you do at home
Yep. Your bed is still the number one spot.
Expectation: You’re having far too much fun to think about home
The whirlwind of your new life is just too exhilarating!
Reality: You’ll have terrible homesick pangs in unexpected situations
Yes, your life abroad is exciting and new, but you just never knew how much you depended on the small, everyday normalities of your home country, and the proximity of those you love.
Expectation: Having a foreign accent makes you attractive
You’ll pick the language up soon enough, and I mean, at home foreign accents are cute, so why shouldn’t yours be too?
Reality: You are a stuttering mess
As much as you’d like to have mastered the language by now, you can’t help feeling like a fool on a regular basis trying to string a sentence together in the native language of your location. At least when people from home come to visit, they’ll take your garbled attempts as fluency!
Expectation: You have to pack everything
You’ll miss that thing you always use, you couldn’t possibly spend months without it, or without all of these other things that you have now packed into 5 suitcases of various sizes…
Reality: A toothbrush and your passport will do
You live differently, you adapt, and you travel. You tired of carrying around so many belongings long ago.
Whatever you expectations were, or whatever others think your life abroad is like, you know that you’re gaining invaluable experience, and having a whale of a time!
Are you living abroad? What still surprises your friends and family back home?