I recently left home, and now I live approximately 8,900 miles away. I know from experience this kind of change takes a lot of adjusting. When I decided to take the job in Cincinnati, Ohio, I knew that I would be leaving my comfort zone. I grew up with my family around me all the time, and it is something I cherish. Being in a place where I know every twist and turn on the road is where I have always felt comfortable. Even simple things, like knowing what kind of temperature to expect, and what type of weather is normal at certain times of the year is something that I am accustomed to.
Making the decision to leave our comfort zone is a big choice that every person needs to really think about. I remember so many people were questioning why I would make such a drastic change, uproot my life and move to an entirely new country and culture. Now that I’ve been away from home for almost a month, I can say that I have learned some important lessons. I hope these can help those people who are in the process of either leaving home and going to a new land, or struggling with that big decision, which you know will certainly have a big impact on your life.
1. Technology can be your best friend – You may be far from home or adjusting to change, but knowing that you can communicate with family and friends anytime is comforting. In this day and age, having a mobile phone and internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
2. Focus on your goals – Being far from friends and family can be difficult sometimes, especially if you have gotten used to just being a stone’s throw away. I believe the best way to counter any feelings of sadness or loneliness is by focusing on our goals. There are so many reasons why people move out of their comfort zone, and it’s easy to get side tracked at times. Whenever you feel down or doubtful about the future, stop and think of why you left your comfort zone in the first place. I can guarantee that all doubts and fears will be gone as soon as you see yourself achieving your goals.
3. Be open to change – Whenever people asked me if I was alright moving to a far away place, my answer was always yes. We must be ready to face whatever new experiences that our new surroundings bring. It’s the only way we will enjoy ourselves and feel comfortable in our new space.
4. Enjoy your new surroundings and be friendly – I am so lucky that I have witnessed several situations involving random acts of kindness since I moved to Cincinnati. Even a smile from a stranger is really something that can warm up any awkward situation. So it really does not matter if you are the new kid on the block, as long as you are friendly, you too can experience what I have in the very short amount of time that I have been here. I have also enjoyed some time exploring new places. Of course, I know I will be able to do much more exploring when the weather is warmer.
5. Stay safe and use common sense – It is always a good practice to follow what we have been taught as kids, and to always use street smarts and safety rules wherever we go. You know, the basics like don’t go with people you do not know, look both sides when you cross the street, etc… Make sure to learn about the culture and rules when you move to a new city or country.