My first experience with living abroad on my own was when I moved to France and more precisely to Paris in 2009 to continue my studies in Interior design.
It is surely a tempting and at the same time a scary experience especially if you are moving to a place where you do not know anyone and have to begin everything from zero.
Nevertheless, after many years of living abroad on my own, I found out that this experience had taught me a lot and helped me in developing new skills I did not they were so important. This is why, in my opinion, every person should at least live for 6 months in a country different than his own, in order to discover his true abilities and widen his knowledge if the world.
Living Abroad: Friendships
When you move into a new city, it is clear that you should meet new people who will, later on, become your friends.
Friendships are important especially when living abroad. It is always nice to have a group of friends with whom you can talk, party, have some drinks and share your new life.
When I first moved to Bordeaux and settled down in my apartment, I decided it was time to meet new friends. I began hanging out at different cultural and linguistic events. These meetings are very interesting as I got to meet people from different nationalities practicing different languages. With social media, it has become very easy to find such events in whichever city you live in!
Through the discussions I had with many of the attendees, I found out that we had many things in common and that there are many, just like me, searching for new friends.
Since I am also a member of Couchsurfing and Internations, I decided to join many events organized by these two communities. Participating in such events made me meet new people from different backgrounds.
As I am a food lover, and since my friends are from different nationalities, I got to try a bug number of worldwide delicious cuisines that I have never heard of!
This is one of the beautiful things while living abroad. You get to meet people that have different ways of thinking, traditions, and cultures which is very enriching!
“Living abroad opens your eyes to the amazing diversity this world is made of“
Learning To Cook: A must when living abroad!
I guess this was the hardest part for me when I decided to live abroad on my own. I was always used to the food my mother prepares every day!
Arriving in Bordeaux, I was forced to begin to learn to cook small and simple dishes. It is surely very tempting to eat a Burger King every day or have a sushi plate delivered to my place, but as a student with a low budget, that was not an option.
At first, I used to prepare the simplest of all dishes, like omelets, steaks, cordons blue, which basically only need cooking for a few minutes. With time passing, I began preparing more complicated meals.
It is surely a great feeling! in the beginning, I did not have the energy or the motivation to keep preparing food. However, with every successful meal, I was proud of myself and anxious to keep trying and test new ones.
Sometimes I used to just mix different ingredients together, as an experiment, to try and see if I can come up with something new.
I used many websites, where there are recipes for university or work. Seriously, they were very helpful! whenever I have no idea what to prepare, I would surf online and choose among thousands of recipes present!
I cannot say that I have become a great cook, but after a year and a half of living alone, I am sure I learned a lot about preparing everyday meals!
However, usually on weekends, I allow my self some fast food as a present to myself 😉
Activities and Leisure
When living abroad it is imperative that you need fun activities to enjoy your time and nake the best out of your stay.
It is very possible that the country and city you move it doesn’t have the same sort of activities you used to participate in while in your home country.
What is sure however is that it is your chance to discover new leisure events you haven’t heard of. Consider it as an adventure at the end of which you will certainly have enjoyed your time.
If you used to play laser tag or paintball in your city, check out the escape rooms and hiking events in the city you moved to.
There is always something special to be done in every corner of the world, All you have to do is to discover it!
Since I moved to Bordeaux, I have participated in many fun activities such as pub crawls, house parties that I was not really used to back in Lebanon. I have made amazing memories from these activities and met awesome new people who became new friends!
Independence and Responsibility
Living independently is one of the most amazing feelings there is. It is very tempting to be in your own apartment, doing whatever you want, staying up late, watching movies, listening to music, inviting whoever you want over…
I have tried it, and still am, I can also confirm that it is a very beautiful experience.
However, this independence comes with responsibility. You are in charge of your life and apartment. You will have to learn to do all the necessary to sustain your living. Should it be paperwork, tax-paying, cleaning, buying furniture… it’s all your responsibility.
At first, It was difficult for me to adapt, especially in a new country with new laws and new ways of life. But, with time, all became clear and found that being responsible for my own apartment gave me more self-confidence. It is always a beautiful feeling when you achieve something on your own you never thought you could before!
Living abroad on my own is one of the most beautiful experiences I had in my life. It has opened to my eyes to new skills I did not know I have and to a new amazing world rich with different cultures and backgrounds.
“Don’t ve afraid to move out of your comfort zone
Consider it an adventure. A way to discover new ways of life“
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