It’s a strange feeling when you are introducing your new world to the people who gave you life and raised you and taught you pretty much everything you know.
You show them the place you live, the food you eat, the new family around you, your pet, your school, your room, your favourite sights of the city.
Things that, had you still been a child, they would have known before you. For they bought the home, the clothes, the food and the family pet. They were there on your first day of school, they were your first friends and they introduced you to your favourite places.
But now they have no experience of all the things which compose your life. And in this unfamiliar setting, it is you who has to guide the people who have instructed you for the last two decades. It is you who advises where to eat and what to do and which bus to get and where to shop. It is you who has the stories to tell of life in this city. It is you who passes people you know in the street and stops to hold conversations in supermarkets whilst your parents stand idly by.
Things flip on their head and it is an interesting thing to experience.
I have already lived alone for two years but there is something about living in a different country from your parents which instills a whole new level of independence in your conscience. You cannot just hop on a train home when things get hard. You have to figure things out for yourself; a different healthcare system, budgeting with an unfamiliar currency, strange public transport, taxes on goods, and basically not screwing up when it comes to major and everyday life decisions.
But above all, I am grateful for the life that I have created here. I made this life happen (with the help and support from friends and family) and it is incredible. With all it’s ups and downs, drawbacks and regrets, the issues and the difficult decisions, the good and bad moments, I treasure them all. Because I have the freedom to choose which way my life goes.
So far, living abroad has taught me the most about free will and it is continuing to teach me that I am the compass in this journey of life. I choose where I go, what I do and who I do these things with. This is my life and I am eternally grateful towards my parents; for giving me the tools to guide myself, respecting and encouraging the decisions I make and for letting go with such grace and love.
I love you Mum and Dad 🙂
And I love all my readers out there too, Jill.