What moving countries taught me..
Updated: Nov 9, 2018
I've always been an adventurer; never one to stay in the same place for long periods of time and constantly looking for the next exciting moment. I’ve also always been fascinated by the different cultures around the world and their varying way of life. From a young age I was extremely fortunate to be able to go on many holidays and adventures, this gave me my first introduction to these different cultures, opening my eyes to the fascinating world we live in. When the opportunity arose for me to move to the other side of the world it was of course an easy decision and within 5 weeks I had packed my bags and left the country. However, having always lived in the U.K I was torn between being excited and nervous of how I would feel and what the outcome of this move would be. Turns out it was one of the best decisions I have made and here is what it taught me.
Who your true friends really are.
Possibly the main concern of mine when making the big move away was loosing contact with those close to me and potentially loosing friendships I cared about. I wasted a lot of my time and energy worrying about this and when I look back now I realise how ridiculous this mindset was. Obviously I should have realised that I wasn’t going to speak to my friends at home as often as I thought, life takes over and with the time difference it certainly did prove difficult. However, since my return I have learnt the simple fact that the ones that really care for you and love you will be there for you regardless of how far around the world you are or how long you go without speaking. They will just be happy that you are doing whats best for you and like any true friends, they will be there when you need them.
Always say yes (Within reason).
We as humans love to stay within our comfort zone, where we stick with what we know and what we are comfortable with. In doing this I have quickly realised we miss out on so many experiences, restricting our ability to have a good time and not allowing us to live life to its fullest. Its so important to try and say yes to every opportunity given to you, even the smallest things. Whether it be an invite out with new friends for a drink or really pushing your limits by saying yes to throwing yourself out of a plane (skydiving for anyone that was concerned). Agreeing to these and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will give the feeling of complete freedom, you’ll find yourself with a new bunch of friends and maybe even a new hobby or passion you never knew you had. This mindset helped me from the moment I landed as a few days after arriving in New Zealand I was asked to go on a road trip with the one girl I knew out there. I only knew her out of the 7 people going so as expected I was very nervous and apprehensive but I am so glad I went. I made new and fun friends who I’ll have for life, I enjoyed experiences I’ll treasure forever and I even found myself learning how to surf!
It’s not wrong feel lonely.
How many times have you been sat awaiting a text or call from someone to fill your day while you sit there with an agonising feeling of loneliness? For me it happened more times than I’d like to admit but it’s something that I think is so important to talk about. Moving to a country where I hardly knew anyone this feeling of loneliness started to become a little bit too familiar, it’s a hard thing to have to cope with but inevitable in most cases. Having experienced this a lot more than anticipated I decided not to feel down about it but rather to embrace the feeling of being by myself. Soon I started enjoying my own company, a very difficult task to begin with. However, over time it gave me space to listen to myself and discover what my own likes and interests were without the influence of others. I spent many of my days going for walks and hikes in the mountains, reading books and other activities. This really helped in clearing my mind and giving me different outlook on life, I embrace the feeling of being alone and turned this usually negative subject into a positive one - a refreshing benchmark in my life for sure.
Learn what really matters.
I have never been and never will be a materialistic person but like everyone I do like to treat myself every now and then. Whether it be a shopping spree or getting my hair done they have always made me feel good. However my time away with limited funds meant I had to be very selective with what I spent my time and money on, I quickly learnt the aspects of life I may of thought were important back in London really didn’t matter here. I wanted to explore the beauty that New Zealand had to offer instead of spending my money on shopping sprees and other things. This did mean I had to budget myself strictly but it made my entire experience more fulfilling (from skydiving to river canyoning) and I wouldn’t change a thing. Along with managing my money I also realised that every hour in the day was just a precious as the next, getting up early to experience a magical sunrise and staying up late to chill with new friends under a sea of stars - whatever the adventure is, be sure to take advantage of every hour given to you, you'll soon regret it if you don't!
Always have your future in mind.
Whether you're living life on the road or working a 9-5 in your home town we sometimes fall into the trap of living life day by day and never planning for the future. I know that I never really had a future plan when I left for New Zealand which was a big worry for me and since returning back home to London I realised how I could have better planned my time out there by setting myself more goals and targets for both my time there and also for my return home. I didn't set myself up or have anything to fall back on so when I finally returned home there was a considerable amount of pressure on me to work out what I wanted to do, how I was going to get a job and how I was going to start getting paid again . Because of this I am now a strong believer in always having something to work towards, set yourself goals and set time limits to reach them. This will ensure you actively push towards something and everything you do will be with those goals in mind. If you have your future in the forefront of your mind you'll always be heading in the right direction.