Lifestyle, Living abroad

Lessons learned from living abroad for 7 years


It has been over 7 years now that I live abroad. I still remember myself at the age of 19, moving abroad for few months. Those few months changed for few years. Sometimes when I think about myself from before those huge steps, I hardly recognize myself. My life changed a lot during those crazy seven years, so did I. I’ve learned a lot, about life but mostly about myself. And I am still discovering new things.

1 . It is not about luck and money
It is not luck that brought me to the place I am now. For a long time, I believed that it is all about luck, that I cannot achieve something just because I am not lucky enough. And the other way round. I thought everything I achieved, it was just the matter of luck. Now I know it is not true. Luck goes to people who dare, work hard and never give up. People whose life we so envy, they work hard to get where they are now and even further. They dare to catch coming opportunities. I always thought I wasn’t lucky enough and those amazing things never happen to me. But then I decided to create those opportunities. I worked out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be (for some period of time), I worked for it and it started happening.


2. The right people will always be there
While traveling and living abroad, either you leave people behind or they are leaving you, and finally you even get used to it because you know that they are always going to be there no matter how many miles are between you. I am lucky that I have met some great people who became my friends and my family and even if we do not see each other for months, years, nothing changes. We do not need to talk every day to know what is going on with the other person. And those are the people you should stick around. They will push you when you will be down. They will give you the best pieces of advice and there will be sincerely happy for you when your life will take the right direction. I don’t have to talk to my best friends, sometimes the feeling that there are some people who wish me the best and keep their fingers crossed for me, it is enough to encourage me to go further and don’t give up.


3. The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself
If you want to be happy you need to accept yourself. With everything that comes along. You may work on your flaws, but you need to accept the whole picture of you. You cannot have a full relationship with other people if you don’t have a good relationship with yourself. I could live in the greatest places in the world but still, I was not happy. The happiness came when I accepted myself. And it was the moment when I started to have better relationships with my friends. I learned how to spend time with myself. I value a quality time with my friends, but I really enjoy being on my own too. Traveling solo, going to movie/theater.


4. Home is where you feel so
For a long time, I had one home, the place where I grew up. Now I feel like I have so many homes. Places, where I’ve lived, became small homes for me. I left a piece of me in all those places. I have memories that come along whenever I think about some spots. If you ask me now where my home is, the answer will not be easy. Every place became a shelter and brings some memories.


5. Changes are good.
I embrace changes. They bring something new to our lives, not good or bad, just different. We prefer to be stuck in unhappy and miserable life because we are afraid to change something. The fear of leaving our comfort zone stops us from accepting changes, from reaching for them. But they could bring more joy to our lives. Don’t be afraid to change something: your job, place where you live. You have nothing to loose. And still everything to win. This shitty job will always be there, your dream might not.


6. Different means interesting
Places are different. People are different. And this is the best part of life. Cause different means interesting. It’s a real richness to be able to discover those different faces of the world. I do not judge, instead, I try to understand. When it comes to people, I keep in mind that everybody has a story that made him or her that way. And who we are to judge? As for the places – the cultures are different, traditions are different and who we are to judge which one is better?


7. Waiting is your enemy
We keep waiting for a weekend, next month, next year, for somebody to come and change our life. But there is the only thing that is happening – our life is passing by. We are literally killing time. Still, time is the most value thing we have, and that is given us for free. There is no use of waiting for something, that will change our life. We can only do it ourselves. There will be no better time than right now to do the things we always wanted to do.


8. The littlest things matter
I’ve learned to be grateful for everything that happens, the good and the bad things, cause they contributed to the process of building myself. How could I not appreciate small things before? I’m healthy, I can travel, I’m in my twenties and I can do whatever I want with my life. I got to live in different countries, in the cities, people dream to visit. Your life is unique. There is no reason to compare yourself with others.


9. I don’t know all the answers
I don’t know all the answers. I don’t know what I want to do later in my life, where I want to live. I stopped making those long-term plans. Before I was investing myself, loosing my time and worrying about knowing all the answers. Now I know that some things will sort themselves out. And not knowing all the answer is fine, and looking for them is a life journey, that gives a chance to discover ourselves.


I know, you think it is not true and I don’t know what I am talking about. But I’ve been there. I didn’t believe it too. I preferred to stick with what I got and had no courage to change it. Then I decided that I am done with waiting. And I am gonna live my life the way I want. Not comparing myself to others. Not racing with others. Listening to what I feel. Appreciate the littlest things.

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  • Reply Diane

    Reall well-done post, Agnieszka! I feel the same way about so much of what you wrote. I think #3 is really important because we need to be strong and if we don’t have a strong foundation and way of dealing with things, we’ll crack under pressure. Life abroad can be really hard and making sure we’re confident and sure of ourselves really goes a long way!

    2017-07-09 at 6:12 pm
    • Reply Agnieszka

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad you like my post!

      2017-07-27 at 2:53 pm

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