It’s been more than a year and a half that I moved into this amazing, vibrating city of (almost) endless options. Some things turned out better than I hoped, some thing didn’t. In any case, living here has left a mark on me and I’ve changed. I was thinking about these changes recently and got to several things that I have learned by living in London, UK and by living on my own thousands kilometres from my family and friends.
So what are the things that life in London taught me?
1. Appreciate sun in the sky and a nice, sunny day.
2. Everything’s better with a smile on your (or everyone’s) face.
3. Good design really makes people’s lives better.
4. Eating well and don’t be okay with low quality food.
5. Also, that you don’t have to be okay with poor customer service.
6. When you really want something, you have to work hard. When you really work hard, there’s a big chance you’ll get it eventually.
7. Excuses won’t help you (or anyone) in anything.
8. Being polite doesn’t mean it must be fake or unnatural, it can be more of a lifestyle.
9. Commuting 30 minutes to work isn’t the end of the world, not even by far.
10. You can have a lot more in common with people from all corners of the world than you’d think.
11. Smart and skilful people can get a (good) job anywhere, regardless of their nationality.
12. Language that people speak (not the specific language but semantics, word choice etc) can hugely affect the way they act and think (e.g people who talk more positively are more positive and successful/happier in their lives).
13. Just because someone’s culture and traditions are different, it doesn’t mean he’s “weird” or wrong or even “bad.” If I think that someone’s habits and traditions are weird, how he must think of me and my manners?
14. It’s okay to not try to integrate into society completely and try to act as I were born here – my thinking and my personality will always be shaped by my past and experiences gained in my previous life (in a different country). Accepting who I am and trying to take the best from all cultures I meet along my way is a far better decision with better results for me.
15. Respecting every culture and all nationalities I encounter and try to know them better instead of judging or comparing to my culture.
16. There’s no need to be afraid to ask for help, advice or further explanation. If there’s laughter or mockery on the other side, it’s not the right type of people you want to deal with nor the type of people you want to spend any time being upset about.
17. World is big enough just for any product, service, or idea – there always will be someone supporting you in what you are doing or want to do.
18. There will be always people who are far more skilled and experienced than you and contrary, many people whom you beat easily – so it’s important to stop comparing yourself and go your own way.
19. Don’t say I don’t like it until you try it – you really never know!
20. Time is too precious to spend it with negative people, doing things you really don’t want to do or to be upset about others.
What about you – do you have similar experiences from living as an expat somewhere in the world? Or any other surprising experiences you could share?