Two years back, I shifted to Poland with my husband and infant daughters, little did I know then, what life had in store for me. I was set to fly to a country where I did not know anyone and where a language was spoken about which I barely had any knowledge. Moreover, I was nervous to be all by myself with two kids. I knew there won’t be any support system or domestic help so I had planned how to set up the things. However, when reality hit me, all plans seemed useless and I re-schemed everything from scratch. And this phase taught me many life lessons.
Back then, I did not know that I was boarding a flight to meet the best version of myself and to fly high. With all the fears and insecurities, when I landed in a new country, I had no idea that I will thank my husband for his decision to move abroad one day. And today, I am writing this article that how one journey changed my life completely. In the past two years, I have evolved as a person and learned a lot. So, here I am sharing my experience of staying abroad and how it helped me become a better human being:
The first thing I have learned here is to be grateful for the little things in life. Earlier, I used to take many things for granted but not anymore. I cherish the little joys around me. Now, I never forget to acknowledge and thank people who have helped me in smallest of the things, be it assisting me in boarding the stroller inside the tram/ buses, translating if I ever got stuck with a non-English speaker, halting the car on the road and let me pass first.
Though people respect the pedestrians here, follow the road rules and halt, it’s not that they are stopping just for me, but a gesture of thanks is always heartwarming. Isn’t it?
As you are away from the family and there are times, when you need a shoulder to rest upon or an ear for listening to your rants, I thank every single person who had been there for me in the last two years, be it my neighbor, friends, my kid’s babysitter or anyone who have facilitated my journey.
One thing I love here is that people will always greet you with a hello or bye with a smile even if they are strangers. Every morning when I go to drop my kids at their school, I meet many unknown people whose smiles and blessings to my kids always make my day. It leaves me thinking was he/she the messenger of God who came to bless my little ones.
Initially, when I came here, I find it weird when a stranger said hello to me and I looked back wondering whom he/she is talking to. Gradually, I get used to the culture and adapted it too. A beautiful gesture, indeed it is to embrace. Don’t you think so?
Exploring the world and the new culture:
As I love to travel, I get to experience altogether a new country, its rules, new people, the culture, language, and cuisines. I traveled a few more countries during the last 2 years, made many friends across the globe, and explored their culture. Meeting new people is always exciting, you learn something or the other from everyone’s life and their experiences and when you leave a place, you are surely a wiser and more learned person. Also, I discovered that Indians are loved by the people across the globe.
Discovering my capabilities:
I have been staying away from my family for the last 12 years and that made me an independent girl. Irrespective of this fact, I was dreading staying abroad with two infant kids without any help as it was not a joke in the initial few months. Few days passed by in settling down, struggling with the language barriers, adjusting to new climatic conditions, crying, and buying the necessary stuff to make a cozy shelter for ourselves.
It was difficult to manage all the household chores, kids, office all at the same time alone. But everything becomes possible when you have no choice.
Today, I feel accomplished and an overwhelming sense of euphoria radiates from my being when I find myself doing well. You explore yourself, stretch your abilities, and come out of your comfort zone while staying abroad. What seems impossible earlier, becomes doable and you get a sense of achievement juggling multiple roles.
My Indian company offered me to work from Poland, so I was operating from home, I was happy that I had something else to do except parenting and household. I had lost my father a week before relocating here, I was not at peace and gradually, while trying to cope up with my loss, I discovered my love for words and held a pen again. It was then I wrote my first ever blog here and since then, there was no looking back.
I am learning something every day and happy to find new happiness, new passion, new love. I am striving to be a better writer every day and hope I will meet my expectations one day.
Love for cooking:
Once one of my friends who had been settled in the US told me that staying abroad makes you a chef. I realize now how true she was. As you don’t get your local delicacies in another country, you are left with no choice but to google and experiment at home to satiate your gastronomical buds. I was no different. I discovered my love for cooking, especially baking.
Perception of life changed:
After coming here, my perception of life changed completely. Life is hectic, after finishing all the chores, the little time I get, I prefer to spend it with people whom I love and who love me back and not the ones who pretend to be at my side and talk honey-coated stuff. I no longer waste my time and energy into doing what does not give me happiness. I go out for walks with my husband, play with my kids, write, read, sing, dance, and feel refreshed.
Life is short to be with negative and fake people. If you have differences with anyone, now starting a food business is in my cards. don’t hold grudges, clear the air and move on, if you think it’s worth it. Not everyone, though, deserves a second chance, so be wise, be smart and decide, whom you want in life. And I am clear in my head towards my outlook in life.
Though it’s a different country altogether, a different culture and customs but one thing I found common were the people. Though they have different skin and looks but the hearts are the same. They think alike, want the same basic things in life, have the same emotions, same love for their kids and family. And hence, my perception to see people also changed. Now, I look at them as human beings and not an Indian or European or Britisher anymore.
So, these are life lessons I learned in the last two years living in a different country. I will be happy to hear about your experiences of staying abroad.