Here are 13 amazing things you learn when going abroad
“The best things you learn aren’t the ones you learned in a classroom.”
1. First of all: Your life does NOT fit in one suitcase! 😉
It is one of the most common mistakes of going abroad. I mean, you will be going away for a while, but still… You can try bringing one or two suitcases with you but you cannot take your whole room or even your whole life with you.
So before leaving, you will need to try to eliminate things (what’s important and what’s not?).
2. You’re so much more capable than you think
With a suitcase of 30 kilos or even two suitcases of 20 kilos each, an overstuffed backpack and a too heavy laptop bag crossing the whole city just because you cannot find your accommodation?…
YES, YOU CAN!
*At least, if I managed to do it, so can you!* 😉
3. You develop an immense gratitude for the inventors of SKYPE, WhatsApp and/or Facebook Messenger
It’s because of those inventors, that it’s now so easy to talk to your family and friends and we’ll never feel that far away from home anymore. Plus, we can use those apps all for FREE 😀
4. You learn to cook your own meals…
You will try and try… and try and maybe on the way you’ll also learn that oil in a hot pan can cause severe burns.
Don’t worry, eventually the food you tried to make and burned so many times will be perfect and delicious. Or you just give up and buy yourself a pizza.
But you will try it again next time, because what else can you do during your time abroad? 🙂
*What is it they say? Oh yes! Don’t give up because you’re trying repeatedly, because without trying you won’t have any successes. Right?*
5. … And that red laundry + white laundry = pink is NOT a myth!
So be careful when you do your laundry. Even when in doubt just google until you find the right answer or try calling your parents, they will know what to do. 😉
6. Contrary to what your Mom always claimed or said, you will NOT get sick if you eat pizzas, burgers and ice creams every day.
Meh… How else will you be able to stick to your budget?
It’s literally the cheapest and easiest food in the world and soooo delicious!
*Except for pizza’s in Ireland. Man, how can they be so expensive?* 😮
7. You discover that people are friendly creatures somewhere deep inside and that taxi drivers are also one of the most wonderful people on earth
Strangers are willing to go very far to help you, as long as you ask friendly. 🙂
And taxi drivers are wonderful, not only because whatever you have to tell: they stay super interested, BUT because they are the ones that ensure you, that for once you arrived (indeed) at the right spot.
8. You realize how phenomenal blessed we are, because everywhere in Europe we pay with the same currency…
No messing around with extremely difficult calculations or banknotes which requires a Master in Cryptology…
Or in my case when both are too difficult: walking around with a list, you made in excel (before leaving), with the standard digits such as 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, …. 100, 200, 300, … 1000 :p
LIFE IS AWESOME!
*When it’s easier.* :p
9. … and that your town or city is far from being the centre of the world
There are still billions of other people living on this planet! And they live a totally different life than we do!
Well, getting the chance to be a part of their world (even for a little while) is PRICELESS.
Going abroad and living in a different culture, even for a short amount of time, gives you a different perspective of life. It’s interesting to see other cultures and to be a part of it just for the experience and/or your future! 🙂
*If not for the experience or for your future it’s also very interesting to know things as some kind of a hobby or to make friends around the world.*
10. You will discover how handy it is to have supermarkets which are open until 22 pm or later (!) …
Or even better: 24h/24h! 7 days a week!
In some countries supermarkets close at 8 pm, right after all the working people had their time doing groceries after work. But sometimes you need something urgently or you just forgot something because of being a bit hasty. What happens then? Here in Ireland for example you can just go back to the supermarket and buy whatever you need because the stores are still open!
In Belgium for example nowadays supermarkets are open until 8 pm but only during the week from Mondays to Thursdays. On Friday and Saturday, they will be open until 9 pm or 10 pm. But this all depends on the supermarket.
We also have some “night shops” which are small supermarkets that are open 24h/24h and 7 days a week but they are a lot more expensive, so we try to avoid them…
Even shopping malls or clothing stores close very early in Belgium. Even at the touristic cities you won’t find a lot of stores which are still open in the evenings. In Belgium, they all tend to be open around 9 am and closed around 6 pm and this from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is a closing day so no stores are open except for some big shopping malls because they have their closing day on Mondays (so they kind of switched their day).
11. … And how many amazing stores exist abroad but they don’t have any establishment (yet) in your country
Helloooo exclusive goodies! And hello beautiful gifts for home!
And goodbyeeee money… :p
I don’t know if it’s the same for you but every time I see a store with beautiful clothes or even beautiful accessories or gifts I want to buy them all… which is not so good for my budget and for my suitcase. I mean how in earth will I bring all those stuff back with me without paying for the extra kilos… !
*Maybe I can buy an extra suitcase?*
12. But most importantly you get to know friends for life…
13. … and you go home with a backpack full of unforgettable experiences!
Which you want to share as quickly as possible with all of your friends and family, whom you may have been missing for a little bit somewhere deep down… 🙂