Living abroad has opened a world of opportunity to me that I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. Opportunities such as meeting people from all over world, learning about new cultures, learning new daily life routines and understanding the fundamentals of supporting yourself in a foreign country. But not only does living abroad open you up to new possibilities, it allows you to grow a newfound appreciation for your homeland.
Before I left to study in the UK for six months, I was itching to leave Australia and didn’t think twice about the country I was leaving. To me, Australia had always been home, but I always saw it as just the country I was born into. It wasn’t until I spent a sufficient amount of time in England that I began to realise that Australia is a tropical, foreign, breathtaking and bucket-list destination to absolutely every single person I met. If someone asks me where I am from and I say Australia, their eyes widen and they immediately start talking about the weather: “It must be an adjustment for you then, eh?”
Travelling abroad before, I never missed Australia, and I don’t miss it now. I have, however, gained a newfound appreciation for it, an appreciation that I would possibly never had gained unless I lived abroad. When I find myself in conversations with people from Canada, America, England and Europe they admire my backyard and my way of life, a way of life that I took for granted when I was home, and a way of life that I will never take for granted again. They comment on the surrounding ocean and how it outlines the country, they comment on the hot weather and long days, they mention Australian animals like koalas and kookaburras, and they admire our abundance of fruit. I suppose I always knew these things, and I always knew how lucky Australia really is, but never fully until now.
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