Many a times in the past, I have talked/written about how living abroad, away from family and familiarity, has been a point of difficulty personally. One has to deal with the culture shock, strange food, strange people and strange languages (among many other things) without relying on any immediate support. Quite daunting, I think you’d agree.
Now, a year later, I still have strong feelings of attachment to home (after all, home is where the heart is). But something in me has changed. Something in me has realised that, to make it in today’s world, I need to stand on my own two feet and really make good of what I’ve got. It was a slow realisation, mind, but it has brought me to the position where I have somewhat learnt to enjoy living alone, abroad.
While it sounds as if I have resigned to my fate, that is not the case. I still wish to build a life in my home city. But for now, I am here, in Stockholm. So let’s count the good things in this life.
- Fabulous university. I love going to school for the first time in my life. The students and teachers are all from different backgrounds, countries and cultures, making every interaction filled with rich conversations.
- Freedom. I can rest when I want to, I can run when I want to. There is nobody here questioning my actions. This is a two-sided coin- I am free yet I’m responsible for myself. Win-win, in my book.
- Peace and quiet. Living here is expensive, but easy. It’s easy to make a routine and follow through with it without the annoyances and interruptions I’m used to. I love how the busy shopping and commercial centres of the city are interspersed with parks, green spaces and forests, like oases of calm in an otherwise heaving and bustling beehive.
- The anticipation of vacations. I very much enjoy counting down the days to my next vacation- my next opportunity to go home. I book tickets well I advance and just lie in anxious anticipatory wait. The last few days till the trip, I’m practically giddy. Of course, it is sad to come back at the end, but this routine keeps me rooted to my culture and country like nothing else.
I can count many more, less significant things, but I presume one can get the gist from the above. All in all, I think this is an experience worth having. 2-4 years of my life away from home isn’t going to harm anyone.