Tuesday, 18 April 2017
7 years abroad - what I have learnt
7 years abroad - how crazy this sounds!
7 years ago I left my comfort zone in Warsaw and moved to France. I was an excited student-to-be, open to whatever comes next. A lot of craziness happened in between, but I have never regretted my decision. Then I moved to Bratislava. Then I moved to London. I had 20 flats (roughly...), 3 best friends and a little more than 30 flights booked.
Here are the 5 (most important) things I have learnt:
- Don't get (too) emotionally attached to things/objects. You will lose 99% of them while moving to a new place. You will leave behind 20 apartments, 3 suitcases, 10 kettles, a lot of friends. You will keep ten times as much memories.
- Learn to be happy on your own. You will be alone. A lot. Learn to like yourself and believe in yourself. Other people will help you. May help you. Might help you. Or not. However difficult it may sound, always count on yourself alone.
- You will become schizo(cultu)phrenic. You will speak 2 foreign languages on a daily basis but never your own. You will have to constantly adapt to your new country, but also to your own. You will feel like a foreigner in your own city. You will not be able to define where exactly are you from (Am I Polish? Or French? If I have more than 1 passport, Am I both?) Deal with it!
- You will be more open-minded. You will learn to love new things or at least to accept them.
- You will have friends everywhere. You will meet barristers from Peru, researchers from Kiev, freelancers from Bermuda and surfers from Melbourne. Eventually you will fall in love with a lawyer from London.
Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's fun. I still dream in French, my Polish is not as good as in 2010, I don't understand some Polish jokes, sayings, memes. Sometimes I miss Paris 24/7, sometimes I'd like to rent a flat in Warsaw Old Town and delete my memory card. But not today.