Come July, I’ve technically been living in Georgia for a year. Except for a few trips home and to some other regions here, I haven’t left Tbilisi. I thought I’d be stir crazy by now but I have to admit I’ve noticed a change in my perspective since Spring started.
Maybe it’s the seasons, maybe it’s my hormones, or maybe I’m actually growing up. I did turn 21 in Spring and have noticed increasing grey hairs and weird urges since, which might have something to do with it.
I’ve recently come to find the annoying things amusing, which is crazy for me as an irritable Aries. I guess I’ve come to understand the people and mentality enough to anticipate things, which of course could lead to boredom anywhere else, but here there’s always something surprising.
When I chat to my friends and family back home it throws me back into perspective. Things that I experience on a daily basis are completely absurd in the UK, and I’ve got used to it.
One of the main things that encouraged me to come here is the fact that I can leave whenever I want, if needs be. I haven’t felt the need and I’m always reminded of how bored I get back home, as much as I miss hearing conversations in English.
So enough babbling, here’s a few things that I’ve learnt living in a foreign country that have kept me relatively sane!
1: Focus on the little things.
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed in a new place, especially in places so different and opposite to where you come from. Rather than try and cope with everything at once, look at the details and find that little sparrow that’s fluffed himself up into a ball, or the floral patterns engraved into a door frame. You’ll become more mindful and it will be hard to break your zen when you remember those cats who decided you were a friend.
2: Stay in touch with your loved ones.
Now, I’m a worrier and wish I could be with my favourite people all the time, but life doesn’t work that way. I’m forever worried that something bad will happen and I won’t be there or hadn’t talked properly with them or told them that I love them, so I make sure to always make time for my nearest and dearest. In fact, since being abroad, my dad and I are even closer than before, and we chat more like friends than we did when I was back home. I think he realises that I’m in a foreign country and doing my own thing and he can only support from there. Besides, it’s always nice to be reminded of the home comforts, no matter how emotional you might get over chocolate diggy biscuits and awful real estate TV…
3: Don’t be afraid to leap out of your comfort zone!
You’re in a foreign place, it’s not all going to be easy sailing. Why did you go there if you’re not willing to try new things? You can’t live off roast dinners and Victoria sponge your whole life. I always think back to that Terrence McKenna quote where he says:
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”
Maybe decapitated pig heads and fist fights aren’t you thing but embrace it, you’ll learn something, I promise.
4: Learn the language.
Says the girl who can barely piece together a sentence in Georgian.. ვაიმე დედა… What better way to understand the people than to speak the way they speak? They’ll love you for it too. People still squeal and swoon when I spout a few words of broken Georgian, but it shows respect more than anything. Just don’t be the ignorant person who yells in English and points at things.
5: Make time for yourself
After a while the novelty will wear off and you won’t feel like you’re on holiday. Responsibilities overwhelm and life can get a bit routine, so make sure you take some time to relax and rewind to set your clock back to zero. My time alone here is vital to me, even more so than when I lived back home. As much as I love my boyfriend I need this time to reflect, and maybe some people won’t understand that because of their culture. Be patient with them and they will be with you. Do something that relaxes you to unwind, and definitely try to keep notes or a diary of what you notice or how your days pass here – it’s something amazing to look back on no matter how mundane it might seem today!
If you like this let me know, I condensed it this time but could write so much more on this if you find it useful! Have a beautiful day.