Sunday, December 6, 2015

9 Things That I Learned While Living Abroad

An opportunity like this comes once in a life time. I knew that I was going to learn a lot on this trip, but I think I learned more than I thought. I learned a lot about different cultures, customs, people and also what kind of person I want to be. There were times of extreme difficulty, but there were also quiet moments of complete bliss and happiness. The Philippines will always have this strange little happy place in my heart. Since my flight leaves in a matter of a few hours, I've been reflecting on all the lessons I've learned while I've been here...

I'm Very Low Maintenance
One of the many blessings in disguise I would say that I have, is that I am very low maintenance and it is very easy to please me. I look at the positive in any given situation. I don't need many things to be happy. I can pack an entire weekend in one bag, bringing the minimum amount possible. I like trying new foods, even if the food is looking back at me. I like not knowing what will happen next, I like that feeling of letting go. A feeling that I used to not like, has turned me into someone who just waits to see what happens next!

Humans Are Very Similar, Humans Are Very Different
Even in a third world country, you'd be surprised at the things you could have in common with people. No matter where you are from, or how you grew up, you can find people that are just like you. Even though we can have major differences, you can also find similarities. Generosity and honesty can go a long way, no matter where you are from. No matter the different beliefs, values, religions, opinions, and everything in between... people are just people. Be the kind of person that you think is good.

Good People + Bad People
There are good people that are religious. There are bad people that are religious. There are bad people who are not religious. There are good people who are not religious. They are everywhere, the world is filled with all kinds of people. Don't ever allow yourself to assume anyone is anything. Open your heart, always be kind, you can't fully understand anyone until you take the time to truly get to know them. 

Life Is Too Short To Be Anything But Happy
Don't let anything anyone says affect your day. Don't stay angry, it's a waste of time and energy. Just get out and do what you love. Do something crazy or silly. Fill up every single day of your life with joy, great people and good food. 

Forgive People and Love Them
Shit happens. People get hurt. But move on from it. Forgive them. It's more time wasted if you don't. Never let one defining moment make you forget all of the good memories you've had with someone. If it's someone that you truly care about, just talk things out, listen and reach a level of peace. Let it go and keep living. Now, if it is someone that is toxic to your life, or you know will bring you nothing but grief or sadness or pain, then be strong enough to let them go for good. It's okay to be selfish in that regards, you should look after yourself. You don't have to be cruel, just let them be, without any hateful words.

Voice Your Opinion
If you feel like you should say something, say it. If you know what you're talking about, say it. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Don't let anybody make you feel little. I don't ever want to feel little. If you give me respect, then I will respect you. I'm someone who has big dreams and opinions, but sometimes I shy away from speaking aloud, but after this trip, that's not going to happen very often anymore.

Push Your Comfort Zone - You Won't Regret It
Traveling around, trying strange foods, living with strangers and meeting unique people has pushed me completely out of what shyness I had left. Talking to people who spoke little English and trying to teach them, proved to be extremely difficult. People stopped, stared, yelled out to us and would sometimes even stop to pull me into them, not letting go of my hand. I stood my ground, I yanked my hand away and I kept moving. People won't mess with you if you show confidence and composure. Be aware of you're surroundings and what you're doing. Be brave and get out in the world. It's too boring and lonely behind 4 walls. 

Stop. Being. Afraid.
Encompassing almost everything that I've talked about could be in this part. Stop. Being. Afraid. Fear does absolutely nothing for you. It hinders you. Fear comes from things that are out of your control, or fearing what may happen. The truth is, nothing is certain and anything could happen. Take things one day at a time. Don't be afraid to say what you think. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Don't be afraid to try something new!

Keep Your Family Close
This one I already knew, but it's always good to reiterate. I love my family. I couldn't have gone through the rough nights without them. I appreciate their constant encouraging words giving me hope and the boost I needed to wipe my face, get my head on straight and focus on what I needed to get done. I love them so much. I can't describe the feeling I have of seeing my family again, that will make everything so worth it!

Thanks for Reading!
Love, Nick

Looking for more travel related articles?
Packing lists, travel tips and everything you can think of!
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Let's start at the very beginning!
I kept a weekly journal while I was in Manila!
Click Here for my series I call Nicole Goes To The Philippines!

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