31 Important Things You Learn When You Move Across The World
"Please provide a permanent address." *Cue panic attack*
You learn how much unnecessary stuff you own when you attempt to pack it into a reasonable, movable state.
And when you're forced to get rid of some of it, you realize what is truly important to you.
You learn that somehow, every country in the world gathers to play football for a month, but we can't all agree on one type of electrical plug.
So your entire home is littered with adapters, which are your new life support system.
You realize that while you thought you possessed a general understanding of money, you actually only understand value in your currency.
So, depending on where you've moved from and to, your constant conversions teach you how rich or poor you actually are.
As much as you may have cursed and loathed it in the past, you learn that Google Maps is a godsend in an unfamiliar city.
In fact, the internet in its entirety is a lifeline.
You learn that absence makes the heart grow self-aware.
To keep up the former kind, you get really, really good at constantly doing time-zone calculations.
And you learn, quickly, that conventional sleep schedules are a luxury afforded by people whose loved ones all live in one time zone.
All the mundane things you take for granted about a place become the things you miss the most.
Even if you've never, ever realized it before, you're suddenly aware 24/7 that you have an accent.
And a couple of months after moving, you learn that it's subject to change.
The things that stay constant from place to place – even if you didn't love them before – are now havens of comfort.
You learn that a house is not a home until it has Wi-Fi that automatically connects.
And a bed you look forward to sleeping in.
You learn about the universe of free international calling/messaging apps that exist for vagabonds like you.
And, very soon after, you learn their limitations.
You learn that the most important words to learn in any language are "I don't know how to speak this language."
And, tied for a close second, are: who, what, when, where, and fuck you.
You learn that your passport is as important to you as most of your loved ones.
You learn that forms that ask for a "permanent address" are evil, and didn't account for people like you.
You learn that the most acceptable and innocent acts in one culture are punishably offensive in others.
You learn that "where are you from?" is an incredibly difficult question.
You soon memorize a short answer and a longer, more honest one.
And it takes a long, long time, but you eventually get pretty good at figuring out who wants which.
Most importantly, you learn that to drop everything and move somewhere new is as rewarding as it is terrifying.
And you wouldn't be half as brave, thoughtful, or self-aware if you hadn't done it.
You learn that "home" isn't a place – it's the people you come to love there.
And you learn that the world is a huge, thrilling adventure just waiting to happen.
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