Once we move abroad, a comfort zone of our home town suddenly transforms into a “war zone” in which we are scared to even exist. It is extremely tiring to adjust to a new life abroad, mainly because many of our habits are being challenged.
It is not until you actually leave your comfort zone that you realize it exists. When we are abroad, our way of life is challenged, and we need to change our habits accordingly. And for the most part, it is annoyingly difficult to do so.
Things which we did not have to think about as they just came to us when needed, have to be done consciously now. Food shopping is one example of a run-of-the-mill thing that suddenly feels like an existential threat. The ingredients we were used to no longer exist, the shop assistants are not the most helpful people, the shops want us to pay for shopping bags, etc.
A way forward consists of finding ways to be comfortable again. A common approach is to search for something or someone familiar – other expats, for example. However, we cannot stay with them all the time; we need to leave the comfort zone of familiar surroundings and face new challenges.
Once upon a time, we have developed abilities that help us to cope with life. When we leave our comfort zone, those abilities are challenged. Once we stop seeing getting out of our comfort zone as a burden and start perceiving it as a self-development process, our life will become somewhat easier.
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