When East meets West — My Journey
It all began when I was ready to get married and move to the USA because my fiance lived there. I would say moving abroad to start a new life is a massive decision, one that requires a lot of thought and planning. The idea of leaving my family, my beloved community of friends, and the familiar surroundings of my neighborhood where I was brought up behind was tough, and I certainly didn’t make the decision lightly.
Since arriving, there have been many highs and lows, tears and laughter, but after a couple of months, I began to settle in. I have traveled around the world to many places but living away from home is very different than a holiday. This experience has been an emotional roller coaster but the university of life has been the best teacher.
I would say it has both pros and cons. Living in a new country can be a real adventure in terms of the culture and customs which are completely different from your own, eating food or visiting places that you have never eaten or seen before. One such experience I had here was when I first visited the salon. Back home we never really had what we would call an ideal tipping percentage but here there is a criteria where people usually tip a minimum of 15 to 20% on the minimum bill which was new to me and I learnt it only over time.
It also enables you to meet different kinds of people which will broaden your horizons. It teaches you to become more independent and do all your things yourself. I would cite an example here: I am from India a country where we have domestic help for all the errands and chores and therefore back home I never had to do my own dishes, cleaning the house, cooking, laundry, etc. We always had someone do things for us and when I moved here there was a huge difference as you do everything yourself here. It definitely gets you out of your comfort zone and challenges you all the time.
Having said that it is also difficult particularly to make new friends. If you are working at a company or at school it is easier as you would meet new people all the time. However, when I moved here I was having neither a job or going to school and hence the people I really met were limited to my husband’s friends.
For someone like me who has been very emotionally connected with family, extremely social and always had a huge set of friends, this was difficult. So, I decided to not let loneliness get to me and instead venture out. I decided to take up classes in something I was passionate about like dancing and other group fitness classes where I was sure to meet people who had similar interests as mine and trust me I actually made friends there. But it is a hussle. You really have to put yourself out there. You have to constantly say yes, be friendly and approachable and be ready for change. Networking is the key!
I would say it looks more difficult than you think! Locals are very curious and the expats there have also been in your situation before and are usually willing to help you get settled. It may take a little longer than you hoped but it is all a part of the experience and actually, make you independent and stronger in the end.
As I further began to settle down I thought it would be best to capture all my emotions, expressions, and experiences by the art of writing and I started blogging recently. I never knew I would write blogs before I actually moved here. Spending more time by myself actually helped me discover my hidden interests and motivated me to try penning them down.
Relocating to a new country for me has been a love hate relationship where on one side I know that there will be a city and people I once called home I”ll miss forever and on the other hand been an adventure, the unknown. Relocating indeed gets me nostalgic many times but I take it with a pinch of salt hoping for a better future and life ahead and the many experiences that the vast ocean has to offer me.