Living Alone and Abroad at 27

I came to England at age 26, and many people comment on how brave I am to travel to the other side of the world at that age. Others think it’s not bravery it’s stupidity. In my unwanted opinion, it’s a matter of financial need and freedom.

To start with, I have always known that I will live somewhere else, I just didn’t know where exactly. My choices were the US, Ireland, and then the UK. I ended up in England, in one of its beautiful countryside places. With my job, it’s possible to travel and choose among countries but it’s not an easy feat to process it. It took me around four years going round and round with documents, examinations, and researching before I got that working Visa and ticket. There I understand that not everyone can live abroad, at least legally. It’s not a total choice, it sometimes requires a lot of luck and prerequisite. I was a bit lucky to be at an age not too young but not that old to start a new life abroad. If there is something that I would recommend to people who are able physically and mentally to live away from home, then do so.

Living abroad after months of figuring it out had made me learn so much about what adulthood is. It’s not as if I had figured it out but at least I have an understanding of it. I was naive back then, just following what others do, reading my way through these adulting hacks, now I navigate through it with trust in my gut and in myself. The liberty and confidence of living away from the comfort of your home is something that you could never get back in life.

Aside from living abroad, it’s also liberating to live alone. I have no idea before how to live away from my family. At 24, I went back to our hometown and live again with my mother. It was not that bad, I reckon. I could live under the roof of my mother for how long I like and my mother would be happy to take me, yet it opened my eyes to the reality that my mother would leave me one day. It’s morbid to say that because my mom is healthy and I have more chances of dying than her. Yet, it’s a reality that I have to prepare for because it happens. And, I do not want to wait for that time to happen, only to realize I have lost all those years being dependent on my roots. I knew that I have to make it on my own before that dreadful thought becomes a reality.

People can live alone but not like isolated from everyone else because that would be mentally unfit. Living alone, like having your own little space when you need it, cooking your own meals, driving your own car (not me), doing your own groceries, and doing other stuff. It could be boring sometimes but with boredom sometimes comes creativity. It could also be lonely sometimes but with loneliness sometimes comes solitude. Now, I enjoy being alone, my family is a call away, my friends are my neighbors, and I have a safe community that every day I am grateful for.

Some people have a different idea about living abroad and alone. It sounds like a selfish idea and could be a dangerous one. However, what I see with people who live a lifestyle like this, is that they are okay. I wanted to say that they are happy but it’s too subjective, even when I say that they are contented, I could not be sure. They are ‘okay’, in that they manage to go to work daily, enjoy time socializing with their friends, book annual trips to other countries or to their homeland, and just take care of themselves in a way that is not toxic.

At 27, I still have plans on making out the most of my time being single. I have done so many things by myself and I try to stop the thought that it would be better done with someone else. If someone comes, I’d be honored to share a life that I had curated and honed to be the best version it could be. I try not to be toxic to other people’s lives and that’s probably one of the reasons why I love staying in my own space and not bothering people. (Aside from the fact that I could sleep when I want to.)

All in all, there are so many things to do living alone and abroad. But even if it's just work and sleep you do, it’s still a good choice. Remind yourself that time passes and one day you will look back and be humbled by your journey in a life that is constantly changing and with inflation rising. Cheers!

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Sophie Metropolis

Sophie Metropolis

Minimal Living. #LivingAloneDiaries #Expat