Deciding to relocate and build a new life from scratch is one of the most difficult decisions a person can make because it means leaving your friends, the place you know like the palm of your hand, sometimes even your family and stepping into a relatively or completely unknown territory. It’s kind of scary and interesting in the same time and, yes, there is a lot of adapting, learning and socializing you’ll need to do in order to feel at home. Here’s a few things that might seem hard to overcome or cope with:
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You can spend a year or more learning the language spoken in the country of your future residence only to realize that, once you finally get there, everything people say still remains “all Greek” to you. You will have to update your vocabulary, practice your pronunciation and learn slang and non-scholar terms. Some people have the ability to adapt and soak in new things very quickly, almost like a super sponge and some never fully adapt. Some say it has to do with age and that young people learn new languages faster but I honestly think it has more to do with the desire to learn.
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Now, let me be clear on this one – there is a difference between being a stranger and being a foreigner. You’ll stop being a stranger eventually but you will always be a foreigner. This doesn’t mean people will not love you or look at you strange, that just means you will practically have two homes. Some people chose to look at this as a limiting factor, a sign that you will never fit in completely, but I see this as the chance to have more holidays, learn to cook different traditional meals and speak at least two languages perfectly. So what if I’m not born there? We can’t all be born in the same place. What would happen if I had been born in a train or a plane for example? Would that mean I don’t belong anywhere? Of course not! Home is where you decide to make it.
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I’m sure the most of the people will be very supportive but don’t get depressed if you run into a few bad ones either. Negative comments could come from both, the residents of the country you have relocated to and the residents of your country of birth. “Why didn’t you stay where you belong?” “How can you dare to celebrate different holidays?” “You have betrayed your country.” “You have forgotten who you are. “ “You will change if you leave.” Don’t get me wrong, the world is full of evil people and the ones who like to stick their nose everywhere! They will always find your life interesting and worth of discussion and that shouldn’t make you reevaluate your decisions. Tell them that you have plenty of friends to turn to if you ever need a good advice and that they should keep their well-intended comments for themselves. THE END.
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This can be a very tricky subject, especially if you are about to discuss an ongoing issue the people are very sensitive of. If you go with the popular opinion everything will be cool but if you by any chance have a different one, be careful of where and how you share it. I’m not trying to scare you or give lectures on what to say and how to behave, after all, we all have equal rights and nobody can stop you from expressing your own opinion. Why am I listing this as a disadvantage? Because I’ve seen this with my own eyes and I didn’t like the end result. Maybe I’ve just ran into a bad conversation partner.
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Yup, you’ll miss them all. I still don’t have the chance to experience this in full because I often make trips home to see my family and finish up a few of the last exams I have left. But, when I’m not with them, I’m often sad. When something good happens I think, “Oh, I wish my mom was here to see this.” I often dream about my sister and me just having coffee and chatting. It’s kind of strange and I hope it gets easier with time although I somehow doubt it does.
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This is hard even if you’re moving from one city to another not to mention two different countries. Different lifestyle, different customs, different behavior and, of course, different surroundings. Let me tell you what happened to a friend of mine – her family moved to my country a long time ago and, when she was about to celebrate her birthday, her mom prepared everything and they just waited. Nobody came! You know why? Because they haven’t invited anybody. In their country people were supposed to remember it’s your birthday and come, inviting them was considered rude. While, in my country, coming without an invitation was considered rude.
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When I have a child, will I be able to teach him both languages so he could communicate with his grandparents? Will he/she be interested to know about my country? Will he/she like visiting my side of the family or see them as strangers that live far away? I hope you understand why I ask myself these things. And I hope there is somebody out there that has gone through this and can give me a good advice or tell me I shouldn’t worry because it will all fit in place.
So, foreigners, natives and all the wonderful people all around the world, tell me how do you like the country you are living in? If you are living outside your birthplace too, tell me what made you decide to move there? And, if you are not, could you ever imagine just packing your things and relocating?
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