Tell-tale signs that you’ve moved abroad

Whether you’re moving abroad for study or business, you’re sure to find a number of differences between your hometown and your new city. A different currency, climate, language… a completely different way of life. One thing you might not expect is the way that living abroad changes you as a person, both in the way you think and the way you behave. Call it culture shock but it happens.

Nearly everyone at nestpick has lived abroad. Here’s a list of things we’ve all found to be true after moving away.

You mix up your languages

Wherever you’ve moved to, however good your language skills are, you still manage to mix up your mother tongue and local lingo. This continues when you go home too – you might go for a meal in Amsterdam and try to order in Italian, or wish your French colleague Gesundheit when they sneeze.

You find yourself pining for foods you never thought you’d miss

No matter how great the local cuisine is in your new city, you’ll long for random foods you never knew you valued so much. And the worst bit is you might not be able to get hold of them as easily as you could at home – which means you’ll end trips home filling your suitcase with food instead of clothes.

You’re used to having two of everything. And we mean everything.

Two bank cards for your home and foreign accounts, two travel cards, two sets of keys, two library cards, two sim cards or even phones…Your possessions float between two homes, your finances between two currencies and your conversations between two groups of friends. You basically live two lives!

You’ve no shame in asking for help

Because you’ve had to in the past – it’s an inevitable part of living abroad. You’ve realised that it’s actually something we should do more!

Sometimes you get homesick…

The smallest thing might set you off – a song on the radio, a text from your best friend, a photo of your family. Homesickness can strike at any time, but you’ll probably have a coping mechanism in place already – you’ll know that Skyping home can lift your mood immensely and that this feeling is only temporary. But remember, it is ok to be homesick, just don´t get living abroad sick.

 …but you’ve learnt to be resilient too

You’ll look back and be proud of how you’ve dealt with difficult situations over the course of living abroad. From language barriers to bureaucratic processes, you’ll realise that you can deal with issues a lot better than when you first arrived in your new country as you’ve learnt to be more independent and patient. Go you!

You’ll have a greater understanding of yourself

It’s a cliché that travelling makes you grow as a person, but it’s a cliché for a reason – it’s true! The culture shock of moving away will have made you realise what you like and dislike about life in your home country and what you value in living abroad – which in turn teaches you a lot about yourself.

Header image: Craig Sunter under Flickr creative commons license. Changes made.

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