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You’ll Understand These 10 Things If You Grew Up Abroad

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You’ll Understand These 10 Things If You Grew Up Abroad

Growing up abroad not only gives you entertaining stories to tell your friends, but it also allows you to have a unique perspective on the world. You are also better at adapting to different situations and have an open mind toward cultural differences. Here are some other things that you may identify with as someone who has grown up abroad.

1. You have a hard time pinpointing home

Living in multiple places around the world, you are attached to each place. Your native country has your family and your culture, while your adopted country has friends that feel like family and comfort foods that make you nostalgic for “home.” You have the best of both worlds, where you consider not one, but two (or more) places significant parts of your personal history.

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2. You are good with languages

Living abroad often requires you to learn a new language out of necessity to communicate well with locals. You were eager to learn this new language and quickly picked it up. Even if you moved to a country that has the same native language as your own, there was a whole different set of local slang that you needed to learn in order to understand what everyone was referring to.

3. You always though that living abroad was quite normal

For most children, the idea of moving to another country seemed like something straight out of an adventure storybook, but for you it quickly became second nature. At first it took some time to adjust, but soon your new neighborhood felt familiar and you adapted to the new routines like you had been practicing them all your life.

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4. You are influenced by a blend of cultures

Greeting people can be confusing, especially if you kiss people on the check in your adopted country, but give a handshake in your native one. The way you conduct yourself and your body language is a mix of both cultures and you only realize that you are different when someone points it out.

5. You have an accent that is hard to pinpoint

Influenced by different languages, your accent is unique and often confuses others, but you embrace it as a benefit of growing up abroad.

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6. You know your geography

You have a pretty solid grasp on where things are located in the world and it is not because of your world history classes in school. Living abroad has inspired you to be curious about the world. Through this, you have a good understanding of where countries are in relation to one another.

7. You have friends from all over the world

Growing up abroad meant that you had friends from many different countries, especially if you attended an international school. Lunch time was the best, because you got to sample different cuisines from your friend’s lunches.

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8. You were bitten by the travel bug

Moving abroad made you realize how much you enjoyed learning about a new culture. Now, you try to travel as much as possible, whether with friends and family, by yourself, by studying abroad, or by teaching English. Any chance you get to explore a new country, you welcome it with open arms.

9. You have a minimalist view on life

Moving abroad, you realized that it was realistic to only take your most prized possessions. At a young age, you became a master at minimizing your material possessions and instead found value in experiences.

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10. You have a wide appreciation for different cultural delicacies

You do not turn your nose up for tripe and have a soft spot for durian. You are definitely adventurous when it comes to trying new foods in a country, because for you a major part of the whole experience is trying out the local cuisine.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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