Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Don't count the days - make the days count!

by : 
Rachel Lewis

Will you live in a different country in the future? Spending time across the continents provides opportunities you may never have considered, whether it’s learning the history of Italy, living in a small community in Québec, or jumping out of a plane with only a parachute to keep you alive so that you can enjoy the views of the French Pyrenees. The saying “there is more than one way to skin a cat” is relevant, as everybody who travels will do so differently, and that’s the beauty of it.

The word “life” means uncertainty, exposure and change. Deciding to live somewhere new, with people you don’t know and in an area you may never have even visited before, is brave. The locals will stare at you and you will probably make a fool of yourself in public, but it is somehow just worth it. Why? After all, “strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet”.

Firstly, you get to experience a new culture. You’ll become familiar with a new currency. You’ll spend your weekends trying new things. You’ll work your way through what feels like a mountain of bureaucracy, in order to be officially resident in your new community. If you can keep a smile on your face, and open your imagination to your new environment, you will look back with fond memories for years to come.

What about experiencing an exotic summer, or a winter crammed with snow sports? Would you enjoy spotting new animals? No matter how large or small (or even isolated) your community is, you can be sure that it offers different experiences to your life at home, and where your friends and family are concerned, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, right?

Of course, it’s hard to be any distance from home. It might be the first time the sea has separated you from your parents, and transport may not be easy. But globalisation is improving our planes, boats and buses, making a 2,000-mile journey not just possible, but positively easy. This will make your English (or any language) learning experience all the more comfortable.

Even better, what about your personal learning experience? Growing in independence, leading a varied life and having unlimited opportunities are worth more than words can really describe. You will go home feeling in tune with the real world, and “as free as a bird”.

Having fun and being happy is part of being human, as is having difficulty in accepting change. Whatever the experience, it’s definitely memorable, leaving you with new pastimes and a better understanding of what you like. What’s not to love?

Discussion

Would you like to travel around the world? Which countries would you most like to visit and why?