For some people the imagination to live abroad is linked to the fear of not being able to organise everything, the loss of time, money issues and the loss of your social environment you have at home. For others it is the main achievement in life, something they always wanted and the best thing that could happen to them. Not everyone is equal, of course not, and not everyone will have the best time of his life abroad (even though I heard from most of the people, that they had the best time of their life abroad), but you should try at least.
And I don’t tell you this, because it is now really hip and cool or because you have to do it to get a better job (which is actually a fact) and because at the moment everyone seems to go abroad, I just tell you this, because it is a huge enrichment for yourself as a human being and especially for your personality.
And I am convinced that if more people would live abroad for a certain time, especially in countries which may be completely different to the one they grew up in, the world would be more peaceful because the tolerance, the mutual comprehension and the acceptance would rise.
This is how a shower can look like. Thailand.
People who upset me the most, are people, who are talking about the world and certain countries only looking at them with their own eyes.
Eyes who where in the little face of a little kid who never experienced, what it really means to starve, never had to sleep outside because his house was destroyed, never lost a family member unexpected in a brutal way, never had to escape to another country because his family was persecuted. Maybe playing football every Sunday, being able to go to school, but hating it – because that’s what everyone does. Starting to work directly after school, saving money, maybe for a future house with future kids, raising them with the same close-minded, ignorant view towards the problems in the world.
Just living life how we think, we are supposed to.
And then every Friday, in their local bar, after two beers it starts: The discussion about the problems in the world. Everyone knows it better than the others, ideas become more and more crazy and unrealistic and in the end everyone goes home with a bad feeling somewhere inside that they actually don’t really know what the world and life is about and that they don’t like not to know…but what could they do?
Nothing, just living their life how they think, they are supposed to.
Or they could have lived abroad even once in their life.
And if they are somehow not able to, they could get in touch with people from other countries living in their region.
Trafalgar Square. London.
The best thing, I realised while living abroad, is to meet like-minded people, who made the same decision like I did. To meet like-minded people is one of the best things that can happen to you. When we were kids, we had like-minded people around us because we grew up with them. Everyone almost in the same way, going to the same school and living in the same region. But there will be a point in everyone’s life where he cuts the cord and suddenly experiences that there are also other ways of doing things and that nothing is the right way only because they always did it in a certain way.
For instance eating with your hands. Isn’t it really unnatural eating with cutlery? If you look from a evolutionary perspective it is. And in some regions of the world, people would think we are crazy, to eat with cutlery. And people, who are used to eat with cutlery think it is crazy to eat only with the hands. There is no right or wrong. The important thing is to be aware of the fact, that nothing is right only because you have always done it in a certain way.
To realise that there is more than the little world you grew up in is a very important point in everyone’s personal development.
Most of the time it happens when you start to live in a different city to study but some people never reach this point. And I don’t want to say that everyone who has never lived abroad is close minded – not at all. But the education you get through your stay, you’ll never learn from books and you’ll never learn in your anthropology lesson.
Buddhist ritual. Thailand.
Make your own experiences and share them.
You’ll get a different view on the world and you will experience things and situations that you would have never had at home.
I am here in England now and the UK is known for their international students. This is mostly because of the English language, so people from all over the world come here. I got to know people from over 24 different countries. And realised that a lot of them think the same way I do, even though I thought we were so different. That really took away every fear I had to go abroad and not getting along with something.
Recently I wondered where my home actually is, because I didn’t really feel at home everywhere I was. But I realised that the world is my home and especially that my home is where I am.
Thinking without borders that is what the experiences abroad does with you.
And of course that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel very cosy in the little village where I grew up, but the feeling of actually not fitting somewhere or not being supposed to be somewhere is gone. That really broadens my horizon and makes me feel very free.
Street vendor. Tessaloniki.
Another thing I realised abroad is that people from my home country, which is Germany, tend to be afraid of an uncertainty in life. Being one of the strongest economies worldwide, the word “Zukunftsangst” which means the fear of the future, appears very often. We are the last country in the world who should be afraid of the future compared to others. Germans are champions in the amount of insurances offered, we save money like crazy, we get our first building loan contract on the day our mum is pregnant with us. Our career should be either in medicine, law or economics because everything else is too uncertain.
And I mean Germany wouldn’t be at the economic point where it is right now, if there weren’t people thinking like that but is that really what makes us happy? Not for me and I am happy to have learned that you can achieve your goals with a little bit more relaxing and positive view on the future. I have never been to Australia but I heard, that people there would be the most chilled ever and they do quite well in terms of economic success, don’t they?
Being passionate. London.
You might now say, well I am happy where I am I don’t need to go somewhere else. I tell you, that your happiness is nothing compared to the one you will experience abroad 😉
What are your experiences abroad? How did your time abroad enrich you?
Share your thoughts with us and stay curious!