Thursday, 15 January 2015

25 Lessons I learnt while living alone in a new country

Having lived in Mumbai all my life, moving to the US was an experience.. These are some of lessons life taught me.

  1. Develop a hobby. Preferably something you can do alone. (photography, running, swimming, sketching, yoga, etc)
  2. Take on life’s ‘surprises’ with the attitude that there will be something positive for you in the whole experience. (either way you don’t have anyone to crib about it to!)
  3. Invest in good underwear.
  4. Learn to love your own self.
  5. Stop being afraid of being alone. Learn to eat by yourself in restaurants and go to the movies alone. It’ll generally make you less dependent on others and also help you appreciate good company better.
  6. Girls – always keep a fake story prepared in your head to fend off unwanted advances.
  7. Its totally okay to cry. No one’s life is as perfect as seen on facebook or instagram.
  8. Don’t be afraid to tell your family how much you love them and how much you miss them.
  9. At the same time, don’t be afraid to share with them how much you enjoy the independence.
  10. Wake up for the sun rise once in a while. Try to see the sun set sometime too.
  11. Taking the public transport helps you understand the city and its people better.
  12. Once in a while, read / write in your native language. It will touch a part of you that people in that place may not see often.
  13. Not having a shower once a week is okay!
  14. If you think you deserve something, ask for it. Tell the other party why you actually deserve it. Realize that you are most likely alone in your fight.
  15. Take good care of your own health. There wouldn’t really be anyone to take time off for taking care of you.
  16. Occasionally, go for long relaxing walks by yourself.
  17. Make at least one real friend – one you can call in case of an emergency, a shoulder to cry on, someone you can trust.
  18. Its okay to not be in love with someone. If and when it has to come, it will. Don’t let that affect the way you decide to live your life.
  19. Indulge when you feel like you’ve earned it. That time, that moment, those feelings will never come back.
  20. However, make sure you save money for a ‘rainy day’.
  21. Stay in touch with your old friends. They know a big part of you and appreciate it too.
  22. Learn to smile, say ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’ a lot more. It makes you come across as polite and courteous.
  23. Once in a while, stay off electronics. Go to a park or the beach or for a hike.. and let go of all your electronics in the car. Play, run, get a tan (without a selfie on facebook!).. make a real connection!
  24. Find a place in the city where you feel peaceful.
  25. Be a tourist once and explore the city. That way, when someone visits you, you can actually give an opinion. Also, you would have then explored the city as a tourist and as a local.

Living alone and independent in a new country is challenging, rewarding and a life changing experience. Make it count well.

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