So, you have decided to leave your country. Whether it be for study abroad, good old fashioned traveling, or you have decided to just live in a different area for a bit, (because who wants to live with Donald Trump as a presidential candidate? Not me...) leaving the country is an incredibly wild and exciting time filled with so many adventures that you aren't even aware of yet.
Except that, there are quite a few things about leaving country that no one really tells you about. After being out of the country for only a short span of one week, I have realized that quite a few things I didn't think much of have occurred way more than I assumed.
1. People are going to look at you a lot, mainly because of your accent.
Or in my case, my lack of an accent. Every time I say two words, I feel like everyone is looking at me. Of course, I'm sure they're not, but I do get a few longer looks from people I talk to than in America just because they weren't expecting an American accent.
2. Dealing without a phone is hard.
Like most of my generation, my phone is quite honestly my life. It holds everything I need in it and without it while I'm out and about, I'm not always sure what to do. If I get lost, I can't just pull up Maps and find my way around in 2 minutes.
3. Dealing with a new phone number is even harder.
I constantly forget that I have a new UK number so whenever I text people now I always forget to mention who I am because they obviously do not realize I have a new number unless I tell them. Which is probably really confusing for all the people on the other end because why is a +44 number texting them?
4. Not everything you could ever need is within a 5 minute drive (or walk) of you.
Good bye late night cravings because I definitely cannot walk 10 miles to the closest convenience store in order to get some cookie dough or chips like I could at home.
5. Jet lag sucks. Like really sucks.
One of the things I was the most surprised about was how much the jet lag affected me because whenever I talk to anyone about their study abroad experiences, they never mention the jet lag. But let me tell you, 4 hour sleep nights are not good for me. It's been a week and I am still not completely adjusted. RIP.
6. I never know what is expensive and what is not in the new currency.
Is 4 pounds expensive for a bagel? It doesn't sound like it but I know that 4 pounds costs more in the states which only ends up making me decide against buying anything.
7. Don't feel bad about taking pictures.
This one is obvious and I'm sure you already realize it, but take tons of pictures. When I first arrived, I didn't take as many pictures as I should have because I didn't want to look like a tourist, but you know what, I am a tourist. And I'm going to take ALL the pictures I want.
8. You will miss your friends and family at home.
Again, I'm sure you're saying duh, but homesickness is never really talked about amongst former students who studied abroad. They talk about their amazing adventures and the great friends they made, but homesickness is all too real. You're going to wish you were home at times to experience what your friends back home are. Or you're going to wish you could see your parents or your dog again.
After only a week of being abroad, I have realized that leaving the country can be hard but in the end, it's going to be an experience and adventure you will never forget. Take pictures, eat new foods, make new friends, and enjoy!