I come from India, where the perception of living abroad sums down to earning a lot of money and having an easy life. Having lived in Germany for about five years now, I can testify that the perception of people in India is nothing but overestimation of expectations.
Here is what people who have never ‘lived’ (not visited as a tourist) will never be able to tell you about living abroad:
Yeah, you are on your own. You can do whatever you fancy with no one to judge you. Freedom is enchanting. However, it comes with a cost. If you have never been on your own before, moving abroad can be intimidating. After the honeymoon period is over and the excitement wears off the loneliness can leave you questioning your decision of moving abroad.
Bollywood/ Hollywood movies excel showing the grandeur of the western countries. The attractive lifestyle is shown off as a thing to desire. The false expectations are drilled deep into people’s mind. However, when you do actually live abroad you realize that the conjecture is based on the lifestyle of the top 2–5% of the population. It would take years of hard work and ton of luck for you have a life like that.
Moving abroad usually means you are going to a country where you have no roots. It is like being a grown up and being born again with a little maturity and internet. Yes, it has gotten quite a bit easier to move abroad in this day and age. However, the challenges of integrating into a culture very different than your own are aplenty. From food to etiquettes a lot of things need to be learned and adapted. If you are stubborn and conservative you quickly realize that you become an outsider. That is not a very good feeling to have.
It is very possible that after living abroad for a while your point of view towards many things would change drastically. Sometimes, you feel like you haven’t changed enough to completely integrate into the culture of the new country you have moved to. While when you go back to your home country you feel like you have changed too much to fit back into the culture.
No matter how much you deny it, every person living abroad feels this at one stage or another. You are in a remote place away from your family. You miss out on lots of happy and sad times with your family living abroad. However, we all are chasing a better and happy life. Some come too far to realize the true happiness was back home. Gauge your priorities first before making a decision to move abroad.
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