10 things you'll learn from living abroad

Living abroad is one of the greatest opportunities you could ever have in life. You're forced out of your comfort zone and learn many of life's lessons while adapting to new cultures. I learned very quickly how to be adaptable when I was a flight attendant but living in a foreign country, better yet, the Middle East, challenged every luxury that I was used to as an American. All those challenges taught me lessons that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. If you ever have the chance to to live abroad, do it. It's okay to be scared but don't let it stop you.
Here's the short list of things I learned while living abroad.

10 things you'll learn from living abroad:

  1. You'll learn to cook. When you move far away from your homeland and you're craving some familiar foods, you don't have a choice but to call mom and ask for recipes. You'll most likely have a desire to make some of the local dishes from your adopted country as well. Trust me, when you finally move back home, you'll be craving all the foods that you ate while abroad. But if you're still not willing to learn how to cook and you're craving food from home, eat Mcdonalds.... the most dependable food and bathrooms in the entire world.
  2. You'll learn to adapt quickly. Learning how to adapt is the most essential element to living in a foreign land. I've traveled quite extensively for the past 6 years and I think any hotel can feel like a home to me at this point. I'm not always a fan of change but I don't think I get too worked up over little things anymore. The other day my mom was complaining that she bought a pack of blueberries that weren't sweet enough. In Oman I was used to buying fruit and having to throw half of it away because it was growing mold. Bitter blueberries with no mold? Doesn't sound too bad to me! 
  3. You'll learn to be resourceful. This may apply mostly to people moving to a non western part of the world. Do you know how many times I've had to resort to google to find a substitute for an ingredient? 
  4. You'll become more courageous. I've learned to take advantage of every amazing opportunity that presents itself. I know what it's like to be scared or nervous but I've also learned how to suck it up and go for it. The "out of your comfort zone" moments in life are what you remember the most. 
  5. You'll learn not to believe everything you hear on mainstream news. 
  6. You'll learn about different beliefs and views and find truth within different religions. You can find some real beauty from different religions and ideas. It'll change your perspective and help shape the person you want to be. I was raised far from Buddhism but I think they have some amazing insight on life. 
  7. You'll learn to accept your natural beauty (maybe this is more for Americans who move abroad). American women have a tendency to go above and beyond to look "beautiful". I remember the first time I went to Paris and I was expecting to see all these beautiful, high fashion women but instead most of the French women, although they do dress very nice, were very natural with their makeup and hair and embraced their own unique beauty. I also was around a lot of Lebanese women and they leave their hair big and curly; completely natural and beautiful. Since I was constantly asked if I was Lebanese, I thought I too should embrace my curls. I get more compliments on my curly hair than I ever did when I used to spend hours straightening my hair.
  8. You'll learn how to travel confidently and smart. One thing I've learned throughout all my travels is that it doesn't matter where you are in the world, every country has an airport with a hotel right next door. As long as you have a credit card, you'll be fine... there's always a place to sleep, food to eat and a plane to take you home if necessary. I've also learned to be completely aware of my surroundings. I've been followed by creepy men in the malls in Oman and in random airports around the world... but I also know how to get rid of them!
  9. You'll be able to decipher and place each accent you hear. Can you hear the difference between a Scottish or Irish accent? Or a Kiwi and Aussie accent? I bet a person whose lived abroad can! 
  10. And lastly, you'll learn the importance of family. You'll always appreciate knowing that there is a place in this world that you can always call home filled with family and friends. A place where you can always go back to when needed. Having that safety net gives you the confidence and guts to do anything. 


  1. Loved this post. I found myself nodding my head in agreement to all these point... And I loved the point on learning to accept our natural beauty! Personally I think you beautiful!


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