5 depressing side effects of moving abroad
I wrote an answer to the question on Quora this morning. It made me reflect upon the side effects of moving abroad that not many people talk about. If you have been living abroad, I am sure you would be able to correlate to the points I would be making. If you have not yet moved abroad and planning to do so soon, I hope this blog would give you a new perspective.
While you have seen your friends who have moved abroad sharing their pictures with beautiful backdrops of the places you have always dreamed of visiting, there is a distant and contradicting lifestyle that never makes it to the facebook or Instagram.
Integration – The feeling of being an outsider
You are a stranger to everyone you meet. They know very little about you and where you come from. You are a part of the minority now. You would see how stereotypes are the result of limited knowledge and the majority of your time you would be correcting them instead of reflecting on and being who you are as an individual.
Depending on where you come from and where you have moved people can either be cold and distant or too nosy. However, with time, this would change. Once you have understood and abide by the law of the land, it would be a tad bit easier to understand people around you.
Cultural dilemma – What is right?
If you are moving from a conservative culture to a liberal one, it would bring forth the dilemma of what is right and what is wrong? The conservative culture promotes the feeling of belonging to where you come from. The liberal culture promotes individuality.
This contrast will make you question a lot of things. For example, if you come from a conservative culture, you would be really glad to see the gender equality and a less judgemental society, while you would question if allowing smoking and drinking in public places is really a good idea for public health?
Identity crisis – Who am I?
You will be oblivious to how you are changing while you integrate into the new culture until you head back home. People around you point out to you how much moving abroad has changed you. You feel that you have changed enough to not fit into your old culture, while you have not changed enough to belong to the new culture.
Loneliness – The feeling of being left out
You are no more there. The family that you grew up with, the friends you lit up your first cigarette with and the people who saw you growing up. All you have now is a life where it is easy to afford things but no more people to share it with. It will take time till you finally settle into the new place and make friends. Till then the loneliness will take you apart, one emotion at a time. It is always scary to start from zero, isn’t it?
You loved ones will be devastated – and you will never know about it!
No matter how you sugar coat it, moving abroad is always a selfish choice. It is ‘your dreams, your goals, your life’. You are not making anyone happy but yourself. If you are blessed with a wonderful family, they will do their best to keep their fears hidden from you. Your parents would be constantly wondering about if you are doing well and if you had your food properly today.
While you are on an adventure of a lifetime, your parents are growing old and worrying if you are happy.
SEE ALSO: 7 Myths about studying abroad
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