Living abroad is different from traveling abroad

Living abroad is different from traveling abroad. This is a thing that I learned from living in Australia for 3 months, in Italy for a year, and in Sweden for 1 year.

When I want to travel to a country, what I usually do before a trip is planning. Choose a place first. Then, choose the time that fits my schedule. Research the costs. Prepare the documents such as passport and visa. Search for deals. Book a flight ticket and accommodation. Pack and go! And while traveling, everything looks nice. I go to the attractive places, try local foods, see and learn culture and history of the country as much as I can.

But living abroad is another story. Everything does not look so nice. I do not go to the touristy places every day. Living is not traveling. Studying abroad is not just study (cooking, laundering, and cleaning are parts of my abroad student life). Applying Visa and extending residence permit always annoys me. Instead of enjoy trying local foods, I miss my home country foods. And soon I start seeing the dark side of the country I am living in, and in the same time see the bright side of the country I come from.

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Even if I said that, I still think that people should live abroad at least once in a lifetime. For me, after struggling living abroad, finally I am familiar with the new country and become more flexible and adaptable. I learn that people share a lot more in common than I think. I learn that in some countries I need a coat even in summer. I learn what my family and friends truly means to me. And, I learn that I love sitting alone next to a sea.

So, if you are going to live abroad, prepare yourself. Most important you have to prepare is your mind. Open up your mind, allow yourself to see things from others’ views, and enjoy living abroad!

Have you ever lived abroad? Do you think we should live abroad at least once in our lifetime? Share your experience with me in the comment!

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