It’s almost five months since I packed a suitcase and headed on my one way ticket flight onto a Ryanair plane. I haven’t always been the person who embraces change. In fact, in certain cases, I still am the total opposite of that. I’m the type of person who will probably order the same meal at the same restaurant, every single time, because well, it was good so why should I risk something that is not? But I’ve slowly and truly started to believe that getting out of your comfort zone is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever gift yourself.
That being said, living alone in another country, away from family and friends, is definitely not easy. I come from a very close knit family, so parting with loved ones was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Skype calls ease the burden but it’s not the same as giving your mum a hug after having a bad day or laughing all together at a family meal.
Living alone also comes with a set of financial responsibilities. I finally felt like an adult when I forked out my first big bank transfer to pay for my rent. I’ve also never thought I would say I hated shopping but I can assure you that carrying a full bag of groceries for approximately 15 mins because you don’t have a car, is no fun. Having a low financial income and spending money on adult responsibilities can really put things into perspective. Maybe I don’t need a new jumper after all. I probably can do without that new charcoal mask. But it can take time for you to adjust to this change in lifestyle and mindset. I know it took me a while to realise that I can’t step into Urban Outfitters everyday and buy whatever I like.
So here are a few tips I’ve learnt along the way on how to learn to be happy with what you have.
Be grateful. Whenever you find yourself getting upset over something you can’t have, think of all the things and people that you do have in your life. We are unhappy about so many materialistic things that it’s so refreshing to take a step back and focus on what we do have rather than on what we don’t.
Treasure people. Stop and think about the people who love you and take the time to really appreciate them. I’ve learnt that the most important thing in life is to be surrounded by the people you love, whether that’s a whole army or a select few. Also, make sure you like the person you look at in the mirror, not just physically but also intrinsically.
Stop comparing. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post (here) but it’s honestly one of the main reasons how you can maintain your happiness. Stop looking at what other people have and focus on YOU. Social media is a glorious thing but it can also be a horrible showcase of what you think you might want so that you can be happy. Take a few days off to remind yourself of what’s important in life.
Enjoy the simple things. Learn to enjoy the ‘cheaper’ stuff instead of obsessively browsing through the ‘New In’ section on Asos. Go on long walks in the countryside, get into fitness, enjoy a coffee with a loved one. You’ll be surprised at how happy these will make you feel.