Millennials are the biggest nomads ever. How many people do you know who have gone abroad to finish a semester of college, or who have permanently moved with a new job? Nowadays it’s easier than ever, because in a way it’s easy to stay connected to everything you’ve left behind: there’s no need to wait a letter for weeks, and if you’re lucky, you might find a great deal for a plane ticket and have an impromptu vacation! But when you find out that you really got a scholarship to spend a year in Japan, or a position in Australia or some other remote corner of the world, it might frighten you. How will you maintain the quality of your friendships and relationship with the significant other, once you face time difference and the lack of possibilities to sit down and have a coffee?
We’ll be frank. It’s difficult – but it’s not impossible. Where there’s will, there’s a way. Actually, you can be grateful for what the opportunity can do to your relationships.
Moving to a place where people don’t speak your language or don’t share your daily habits is the textbook example of stepping outside of your comfort zone. All of a sudden, you have to communicate using your arms and facial expressions, get used to different foods and different routines – and you don’t get to whine. Even if you’re still in an English speaking area, or an area that’s not drastically different from your home, it can be difficult to adapt when you’re on your own. But you will probably succeed – and learn so much about yourself in the process. You will grow as a person and have a clearer idea of what you want from others. In a quality relationship it can only be a good thing.
Of course, sharing is crucial in a relationship. You share everything, from meals and time, to how your day was and what you want to achieve together. But now you will share your life that doesn’t involve the other person – with them. Remember how exciting it was in your first semester in college. Now you will experience new things every day. Some of them will be interesting and exciting, others will annoy you to bits. But in both cases you will want to share them with people back home and keep them updated. It can make them feel that they are still part of your everyday life, and you’ll want to do them all the time.
Maintaining balance has always been challenging, and as most people, you’ve probably never achieved that stage where you tick off every item on your to-do lists on time. Now imagine taking an advanced course of life! Apart from working or studying, you will want to get to know the new place and all its cool coffeehouses and restaurants, as well as meet new people and make new friends. And on top of everything, you will want and need to make time for the family, friends and the significant other left behind. Days will never feel this short! But this will inevitably lead to a new super-organized you, because you will have to be one. In no time you will fit skype calls in your schedule no matter what.
It’s a well-known cliché, but a true one: you only appreciate what you’ve had once you’ve lost it. Or, in this case, once you’ve moved away from it for a certain period. Missing someone can be really hard and devastating, but that also means counting the days to the next meeting with an utter excitement and joy. Distance makes you more aware of the role someone has in your life. Plus, once you do meet, there will be less chance of those common quarrels. They’re normal and usual, but then again, they’re never enjoyable. Yay to the peace!
We constantly make effort in a relationship every day. Even if you live with someone, it doesn’t mean you don’t work hard to make it work – quite the contrary! You try to overcome the differences in habits and views on cleaning; you learn from each other day after day, and in general you keep on pushing because you love that someone and want them in your life. But once you move away, the effort becomes a real hard work that will even make you want to quit once in a while. If you’re determined to make a relationship work, you’ll make it work, and by you we mean both of you, as every relationship, be it with a partner, friend or a relative, is a two-way street.
In no time you will download all the apps, make a schedule, keep texting while commuting to work, share your struggles and happy moments. Look at the time apart as a way to strengthen the relationships you have, because you can do it: you can beat the distance and make it work for you.
Have fun abroad!
Photo credit: Demetrius Washington