I would like to think of myself as a fairly well-travelled and self-sufficient individual who is always up for adventure and a good time. However, every now and then life and routine get in the way and suddenly the four walls of your room and Netflix become so much more appealing than anything else. This is especially true when the outside world speaks in another language that makes communication harder, life more frustrating and jokes less funny.
There are good days when those foreign words simply roll off the tongue and other days where I feel like my brain has turned to sludge and cannot keep up with the pace of the local language. It feels like those dreams where you run and run but don’t move anywhere. It’s those bad days that give you that 'I’ll do it another time' attitude. Sometimes you just need to listen to Nike and just do it. Go to that party you’ve been invited to. Take that dance class you’ve signed up for. Make the most of the time you’ve been given, particularly when it is the wonderful experience that is living abroad.
I have experienced the negativity of not wanting to do something because I could not be bothered or because communicating in a foreign language was too much effort. Yet, the moments when I forced myself to do something and take the opportunity I had been given turned out to be my best moments. I have found that self-improvement in all forms comes from the small changes and the positive attitude we adopt in life. Do something every day that brings you closer to your goals and don’t sit on the sidelines. If you want to become more fluent in a language, listen to the radio more. If you want to finish that novel you started, read a page. If you want to lose weight, take the stairs. If you want to make the most of your time abroad then seize every opportunity you can and don’t be put off by a language or cultural barrier. The expression 'you reap what you sow' is a perfect for anyone living in a new environment and learning a new language because you will only improve with effort, time and practice.