Side effects of moving to a new country
I used to live in different countries during my teenage years and a couple of years ago I decided to return home where all my friends are.
Now looking at all the experiences with distance there are some words of wisdom I want to share with people who plan to move abroad.
During the first month you will hate everything
The first time I moved to a foreign country, I stepped off the plane, updated my facebook status and went to experience the new city.
Ten minutes later I was crying out about how different and complicated everything was there.
I didn’t know where the grocery store was, how to make a sign for the taxi to stop, which cell phone company use, what neighborhood select to live…
Its incredible how quickly you flip from being happy at the hotel room playing with all the free stuff to the kind of bitterness that makes you hate almost everything in that city.
You are literally under some sort of culture shock, you don’t have any friends, you fear about everything, you don’t know anybody and you don’t trust anybody.
Even the tiniest detail of routinely life is different, from the road signs to the way they eat breakfast.
Before leaving your country you prepare yourself to be far from friends and neighbors but you completely forget to mentally prepare yourself to live in a world where plants, buildings, animals, smells and tastes are absolutely different.
At any time of day you are surrounded by things that remember you don’t belong there.
Consequently you immediately start hating very much everybody and everything there; the flowers are beautiful but stinky; the food is cheap but fatty, your new neighbors are friendly but annoying.
You miss things you never cared about
I’m a very flexible person and I guessed that adaptability would serve me to live far from home.
I was wrong.
Another side effect of living in a new country is that you mistake ‘familiar’ for ‘superior’.
There are lots of little details you’re so used to in your country, that you assume are part of the way the world works and you get exhausted from having to learn how to rebuild the entire structure from zero.
You get super patriotic
When I lived at my home country I never paid attention to national holidays or patriotic celebrations, I didn’t even see the point of patriotism.
Likewise now that I’m back home.
But during my years abroad every national holiday from my country I told everyone about it and defended my culture as I was an ambassador there.
Every immigrant you meet becomes your soul mate
I find very easy to make friends, I make new friends almost every day but when you are an immigrant is very hard to make friends.
You don’t have almost anything in common with the people you live with.
So every time you find another immigrant you became an insta-friend.
Of course that friendships never last because once you come back to your country you realize you don’t have anything in common with that people either.
And last but not least
All the same things happen to you in reverse when you move back home
I decided to move back to my country looking forward to be again part of a culture that I feel comfortable and familiar with.
I got every single symptom described on this article, backwards.
the world must know the truth!