The Truth About How Hard It Is To Leave Home And Live Somewhere New

seats on a plane
Annie Spratt

Leaving your home is not easy. Most of the times when I tell people I’m from a different country, they open their mouths in amazement and tell me “Omg that’s so cool ”. Other times they look at me in disbelief, a hand over their lips “Omg you’re so brave. I could never do it”.

I never thought of myself as someone brave, I guess because I have lots of fears and sometimes I am unable to step up for myself. But lately I started giving myself a little more credit for what I did.

I left my family for the first time when I was sixteen years old to go to an unknown country so far away from my home. I didn’t know what I was doing, what to expect and I didn’t even know the language. But I stayed there for 10 months, going through a new challenge each day, struggling to even communicate the simplest thing, but I did it. And once I went back home I kept being told how lucky I had been, how jealous everybody had been by looking at the instagram pictures I had posted over that amount of time and even that I had had a year long vacation basically. And that pissed me off so badly. Yes, I had been lucky in the sense that my parents had let me “spread my wings” and fly over an ocean but living in a foreign country is not always sunshine and rainbows.

Three years later I am living in another different country, I still struggle with the language at times, especially since I am quite a sarcastic person and it’s hard to be subtle if what you’re speaking is not your mother tongue. And man, not being able to say what you want to say it’s so frustrating. I carry my accent around like a burden and every time I meet new people I know that the next question after what’s your name (which probably will be misheard), is where are you from, no matter how hard I try to hide it.

I’m proud of where I am from, but if you are living in a different country all you want to do is blend in. Adopt its languages, culture, costumes and so on. The scared, naϊve sixteen years old is not there anymore, I have grown, became wiser and stronger but what hasn’t gone away is the constant need to explore more, learn more and live more. But I still find it hard at times, it’s hard not to feel lonely when home is thousands of miles away from where you are. No matter how old you are, all you want at times is your mum stroking your hair, hugging you and whispering to you that everything will work out.

That even if you are not sure what your purpose in life is, one day you will figure that out and that everything can be fixed. Being alone in a foreign country definitely quickens your growth. You have to do everything by yourself, like taking decisions, pulling yourself together after a bad day and most importantly, you have to delete “fear” from your vocabulary and replace it with “jump”.

Jump into every opportunity life throws at you, jump into making new friends even if not everyone will be willing to be friends with you, and some will judge you less “cool” just for being foreign. Jump into taking new jobs, joining a new society, even jump into relationships because you could get hurt and it could not work out but why not try. I will never regret leaving my home country because finding myself in the position of having to toughen up, just taught me how to live for each day and appreciate what’s and who’s around me so much more. TC mark

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