Things I have learned since moving abroad

Packing up your belongings, saying goodbye to everybody you know and moving to the other side of the world is both wildly exciting and terrifying in equal measures. The first few months have been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, and woah – they’ve gone just as fast as a rollercoaster too! I can’t believe we have been in Melbourne for nearly six months already. Putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation outside of your usual comfort zone kind’ve forces you into being a bit bolder and braver, and you learn things about yourself that you didn’t know you could do. To mark the six month-iversary of our move, I thought I’d reflect a few things that I’ve learned on the journey so far…

I am totally OK with going to the cinema or eating out in a restaurant alone. I would never have done that in the UK, nor would I have needed to, but it’s actually kind of liberating when you don’t know anybody in a big city. Besides, it really beat sitting in the hotel room alone when we first moved here (cue the violins!). Which leads me nicely into my next point…

I’m quite happy doing my own thing. You are who you are, you can’t win ’em all and if you try to you’ll only hold yourself back and be forever apologising. AMEN.

I actually enjoy keeping fit. I’ll quite happily spend my day trotting about in yoga pants and trainers (Jesus, I never thought those words would come out of my mouth).

I am capable of catching a flight alone. The sky is the limit and I reached it, in an aeroplane, on my own, without getting lost.

All you have to do is try. From the little things like catching a flight all the way up to the big things, if it doesn’t work out, most of the time it’s not the end of the world.

I can survive without loads of unnecessary familiar stuff around me. Because it’s just stuff at the end of the day (disclaimer: I may not necessarily be happy without those ridiculously high heels I never really wore, but I can survive).

If I say yes, good things happen (within the obvious limits). Cliche alert! I know this has been said a million times but it’s true: letting your inhibitions go and being more spontaneous opens doors to exciting adventures and new friends.

I am more resourceful than I thought. I can take myself out in a completely unknown country, work out the public transport network and make it home in one piece. Who knew?

England doesn’t actually have the worst weather in the world. Wait until you’ve been lured into a false sense of security with blue skies and sunshine in Melbourne: that’s when the torrential rain and knock-you-off-your-feet-gales will take you by pleasant surprise.

My friends and family are a hugely important part of my life. Obviously I knew this before but I probably didn’t realise just how much the people around me enriched my life. For example, having your mum within driving distance for a chat is a luxury that I took for granted before – it’s only when it’s not an option any more that I realise how great that was.

The internet is a wonderful thing. I can’t imagine having moved to the other side of the world without having the option of Skype, Facetime and Whatsapp et al to stay in touch with everybody back home. You don’t feel like you’re missing out so much when you can have instant communication and video calls.

It’s OK to tread a different path. Another total cliche I know, but as I’ve got older I’ve realised that it’s OK to defer from the set paths you had in mind, as life just isn’t that black and white. Sometimes a door of curiosity will open (one for the Stranger Things fans) and you just have to walk through it – the path may be different, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worse. In fact, it can be quite the opposite!

I have expanded my vocabulary. I have loads of awesome new words up my sleeve, inc. hoon (a hooligan), bogan (a bit of a rough chav), snag (a sausage) and pashing (snogging. I have it on good authority that you can pash a snag, so make of that what you will). And there’s more where those came from, so I hope y’all are looking forward to me casually dropping a few when I get back home…


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