Wednesday 10 August 2016

So as I'm writing this I've come to the realisation that I have just 20 days left in London before returning home to Gibraltar for a week and then back to Bournemouth for my final year of University, hectic huh? So this gives me the perfect time to reflect on what living away from home for the majority of 3 years has been like, and to share with you guys some of the feelings and experienced I've had throughout!

1. You realise how expensive life is when you're the one paying for everything. Well if you're still at university/completing an internship chances are you're still getting a helping hand from your #fam or a student grant/loan, but that doesn't change the fact you're still learning how to budget buying food, alcohol, covering transport, paying bills and still having enough left over to buy a lit outfit from ASOS for this weekend. I've always been so bad at budgeting because I buy bits and bobs (and 100 cups of Bubble Tea) but then it all adds up. Living in London has meant I've had to cut back on things I did too often like eating out and bubble tea and have had to settle for some less adventurous days since just heading into central is already a tenner less in my bank account, but it makes treating myself all that more guilt free!

2. Distance makes the heart go fonder...or lazier. This goes for both friendships and relationships, moving away for a while makes you realise what friendships are worth keeping and who simply doesn't have time in their lives for a simple "Hey hope all is well gurl miss you x". It's always a two way street but when someone isn't pulling their weight, some friendships just aren't worth stressing about. On the other hand, there's people who I've been friends with for years and even if we don't speak everyday or only communicate via group chat, nothing ever changes when we reunite and we can pick up where we left off, doing some crazy shit at 3am on a Friday night. 

3. You'll learn to find new favourites. You'll find a new breakfast spot, late night pizza joint and even friends to replace your old ones! (kidding). It can be hard adapting to living in a new city and not knowing the ins and outs or severely lacking street savoir faire, but it will all become second nature once you've settled. Or there's always an app, Pinterest list or local ready to give you a helping hand. I can't tell you how much I miss mac n cheese from Panera bread or some friend chicken from Publix. 

4. You learn to appreciate the little things that your city had to offer. I'm the first to admit that I couldn't wait to leave Gibraltar, I was determined to go even if I didn't get into University, but whenever I talk to people I meet about what Gibraltar is like I realise how great we actually have it there and how much I miss walking to the beach, popping into Spain for lunch and being able to meet up with all my friends at once. Heck I miss certain foods so much my mum filled my suitcase with some frozen home cooked meals and sun tops. 

5. You become more independent without even realising it. Whether it's making your own appointments or being the one in charge of sorting out the bills, it's a step up from what you were probably doing at home! You also realise that It's completely OK to go to the cinema solo (before 7pm, that's my rule anyway), sit down for coffee with your own company & a good book and even take a day trip to another city if you fancy it. 

6. You might miss your pets more than your friends and family. I mean this isn't the case for me because sadly I have no pets aside from my brothers goldfish that died last month, but for a lot of my friends living elsewhere they ask for their pets on skype more than their siblings! I have to say even my sister has grown more fond of me and makes the effort to FaceTime me now and again, perhaps distance does make the heart grow fonder!

7. Your sense of wanderlust probably doubles. Once you've lived away for a while you probably won't want to stop exploring, especially if it's a lot easier and cheaper to travel to other cities and continents from where you're currently living! Living in London is interesting because it's probably a lot cheaper to go for a weekend in Budapest than to travel up to Newcastle, not to mention the abundance of airports that are a stone throw away. 

8. Your first few weeks away might be quite dull, but that doesn't mean you should regret leaving. After my family left me for my semester abroad in America, I probably spent the next two weeks either chilling by the pool or binge watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S on Netflix. There was a point where I felt really homesick and thought this was all I was going to be doing, and hell no did I travel all this way to do exactly what I was doing before. So I decided to be more involved in things, made an effort to speak to new people and soon started having the best time of my life. 

9.You're going to need more than one Birthday celebration, or in my case 3! With every city you live in comes a new bunch of friends and celebrations. It's honestly so great meeting people from all walks of life and during my year in London I've probably met more Australians, Kiwis and South Africans than English people - and boy do they know how to party! It's always great living with different people and trying new cuisines and hearing about their lives, and if there comes a time that you have to say goodbye, at least you'll always have a place to stay when you visit! 

10. You realise how grateful you are for modern technology. Have you guys seen the film Brooklyn? Imagine our generation having to write letters to keep in touch with someone! I probably wouldn't hear from 80% of my friends again. It's great that all we have to do is click a little video button to talk to our friends and family and the creation of group chats means you're never really missing out on anything and when you eventually see them again, it doesn't actually feel like it's been that long. 

11. Pretty soon you'll start to call this place home too. It might take a while before you start referring to your new house as home, but there'll come a point where even being away from your second home feels strange and coming back feels like homecoming. I for once cannot wait to be back in Bournemouth and taking the smelly M1 bus to town and going to quiz nights on Tuesdays and spending all my money on Sprinkles. 

12. You miss the luxury of having a fully stocked fridge, and loo roll and bin bags and washing up liquid. There's nothing better than returning home and not having to worry about any of these things and being able to raid your kitchen when you've got cravings in the middle of the night, unless of course your younger sister has already beat you to it. 

13. You learn to fit your whole life into the back of a car, or in my case my friends car and a bunch of suitcases. Every time I move to a new place it's always hard to buy large things because my first thought is, "What the hell am I going to do with this when I have to move house again?" Hence why my Crosley record player is still sitting on Urban Outfitters waiting for me. You learn to travel light and let go of things that you don't really need and leave them back at home home, although I still carry my treasure memory folder with my everywhere! 

14. You love when people come to visit and for once you're not the tourist anymore. Nothing feels better than being able to conquer the underground tube or local transport system and showcasing to your friends how you're now part of the furniture and know all the hottest spots and clubs. That being said seeing Big Ben can get a little boring after the 10th time. 

15. After being home for 5 minutes, it will feel like you never left. Seeing the Rock of Gibraltar from the plane window always puts a smile on my face, especially when I came home in July after not seeing it for 7 months! But after eventually making my way home greeting all my friends and family and having a night out, you realise nothing's changed and it pretty much feels like you've been here the whole time. 

I hope this was an interesting read for you guys and that most of you felt you could relate, and for those of you who are heading off to university this September, I hope I haven't scared you too much! 

♡ GS ♡

Post a Comment

© TEA WITH GI. Design by FCD.