Have you ever thought about living abroad for a year? Or maybe even if it was something that crossed your mind? I mean who can pass on the thought of living in Italy for a year. Or how about a year or two in Thailand living that exotic adventure life? It’s most definitely an intriguing thing especially when you’re in your 20s when your down to do shit. For me… this was always something I wanted to do in my life. On top of my “achievable” bucket list… compared to the other crazy things I have on there haha!! And after two years of backpacking, I just knew it was time to do it. Australia was where I landed for a year.

I feel like it’s common to have this romantic fantasy of the thoughts of “running away” for a year living in a new country. I mean it totally is, very romantic. But it also very crazy… full on… extreme… how do I put it… life changing. And it’s definitely not for some people I can guarantee that. I definitely underestimated what I was signing up for… I thought I’d fly by easy peasy because I’ve backpacked so much, wouldn’t it be the same?

If your thinking of living abroad for a year, I say do it. It is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done up to the age of 23. But here are a couple things you should know before living abroad:

1) Time Zone’s Fuck With All Your Messaging

As Much as You say “Don’t Worry, our Friendship/Relationship/Whatever will still be the same even when I’m gone” don’t lie to yourself it ain’t gonna be the SAME. The biggest sacrifice I feel like I have made while travelling abroad was my inability to maintain my friendships back at home. I’m not blaming the time zone, but it does fuck with you ALOT.

I mean I’m talking about 1 am chat for me would be the perfect time for them or vice versa. And of course, you find time to make it work but let’s be real honest – YOUR FRIENDSHIPS ARE NOT GONNA BE THE SAME. You are not going to be able to run over to your best friends house which was a stone’s throw away to have a pizza party and film weird remakes of movies. No. Instead, you have to wait till it’s 2am in the morning when you’re out of your mind to have a conversation with no hugs. I know… it’s as miserable as it sounds!

There is nothing in the world that can beat physical face to face connection. Especially living in a world with technology being a platform where people live their lives off of, it’s not cutting it for me. I know that my friends and family back at home understand that I’m not able to be there for them as much as I’d like to, when your friend is going thru shit a virtual hug simply isn’t as good as a warm bear hug in real life, when you want to burst into tears and cry to your sister – you cant because now in the moment shes fast asleep in another country while your fingers rampage to narrate what had happened. Yes, technology is great for I’d like to call it temporary connection like skype, face time, messaging, but it can never replace a human connection in real life. With that being said, it also strengthens you as an individual, independence, self-discipline, emerging yourself with fully being on your own and being okay, and appreciating the positive friendships and relationships you DO have in your life… it’s not something you experience as a daily thing.

3) You are 100 Times more Stressed about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING

Living abroad means literally starting your life from ground 0. I’m talking like all the things that were your foundation in your life is stripped away from you. Like you’re a table and all the legs were knocked off and now your the flat piece of wood that has to get your ass back up on your own… legit girl.

No family or friends as a means of support, no money (well I had no money lol), no plans/ idea what the actual fuck you’re doing in the other part of the world, no job/income maybe, new environment, new culture, etc

When you are in a place in your life where you have absolutely nothing and no support system, even the littlest thing can put you off or have you in an emotional wreck with tears downpouring like a waterfall. And you ask yourself WTF WHY AM I CRYING OVER FUCKING BEING LATE FOR 5 MINUTES, OR WHY AM I CRYING BECAUSE MY FRIENDS HAVEN’T REPLIED TO YET OR WHY AM I CRYING BECAUSE ALMOND COCONUT MILK IS $6 IN AUSTRALIA???

It’s because these little tiny things are just the surface of what you may be really feeling deep down. It could be insecurity with a job, unable to maintain friendships back at home, questioning if you made the right choices to live abroad. There are deep reasons as to why you get so freaking emotional and when your living in another country by yourself it just feels intensified 1000 times… if you’re a drama queen like me then it’s 2000 times. On another hand, these experiences will make you financially smarter, ambitious and driven to survive, and helps you to face situations you’d never face in your comfort zone.

4) Being the New Girl/New Boy in Town Isn’t as Cool as you Think.

Moving to a new town and knowing absolutely nobody, having that fresh start like you can be anybody in the world seems like a pretty attractive idea, doesn’t it? Well, think again – cause you still gunna be that chick that laughs at her own jokes, blog writing nerd, animal noise making weirdo (no shame).

I certainly had the thoughts that I would just like transform into a cool person and have cool friends and have a super cool squad to hang out with to do super cool things. HA – dream on sucka. Oh shit wait that stings lol

Making friends abroad, and I mean REAL friends is the hardest thing ever. If anything I feel like living in Byron for the past 6 months I never missed my friends back at home more… and I hope they never felt like I’ve taken them for granted. It’s first of all extremely hard to meet friends in our generation in the first place, let alone genuine ride or die friends. It almost feels like its nearly impossible.

So yeah, my point is… be prepared to be lonely and friendless. Obviously, you’ll meet friends but don’t have the expectation that everything is just gunna be rainbows and butterflies easy peasy while you’re away. And also please don’t romanticize about being another person, like EVER!!! Because being you is fucking awesome, at home, in another country, wherever… even in another planet.

5) You Won’t Have Enough Time for Everything – Time Managment is a Double Pain in the Ass.

I already suck at time management to begin with and when your in another country there is a couple factors that take up your time, I mean ALL 24 hours in your daytime. #1 most likely you want to explore that country while your there, meaning getting to know your local bars, hitting up all the cutest coffee shops in your 500km radius, finidng events to attend to meet new friends, staying active cause you still need time for that, oh and don’t forget getting use to the food culture + buying food to cook for yourself and healthly too!!! Because getting sick in another country would just be fantastical wouldn’t it (a travelers worse nightmare). Oh wait… and finding work while maintaining work plus excelling in work cause if you don’t you’ll literally be a broke potentially homeless in another country you don’t know a thing about. Going back to #1 in my fucked me up list maintaining my friendships in a country WHILE finding time to make new friends to maintain where you live, and remember to factor in the time you think about the no time you have :,,,) faccccccckin’ hell lmfao.

Although time is a huge struggle for EVERYBODY, it feels like its on fast forward mode all the time. But with this, you learn a lot about your values and how to spend your time effectively on what matters to you. I am DEFINITELY still struggling with this time management thing but I’m aware of it and that’s the first step in conquering the problem.

Please note that all these points are not facts, it’s simply my own experiences I have (and having) while living abroad. Some might relate some might agree or disagree. In conclusion humans of the world, I hope I didn’t scare you off from living abroad because that was totally not the intention of this blog post. Like this has been the most challenging/hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life yet it has been the best thing I’ve ever done. If I could go back in a time machine and remake the decision to drop everything I ever knew to jump on a plane to come to Australia… I would have still chosen the same. No doubt.

It’s not for everyone that is for sure, but if you have it in you to live somewhere new, do it. Fuck ya do it. Just be aware that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies the whole time and there are hardships, just like with everything in life. But I can say it’s worth every bit if you know it’s the road for you and you’ll come out a stronger person. What can I say, the struggle makes it a whole lot sweeter…pceeee xx