5 things you only know if you’ve worked abroad

Gap years are epic. Living and working abroad is a life-changing experience. But some people just don’t get it do they!?

Here are 5 things you will totally have been asked if you lived and worked abroad that are complete misconceptions.

1. “Oh you went to France for your gap year…you must be fluent now!”

That old chestnut. No, living and working abroad does not make a person fluent. You don’t wake up in a foreign country and go and casually chat to your barista in their native tongue, it takes A LONG time!

>2. “You chose the easy route!”

In the words of Coldplay, “nobody said it was easy”. Living and working abroad is terrifying and actually quite stressful. It’s not one long holiday, but people still seem to think that it is. You’re fortunate yes, but it’s not all cake by the ocean.

3. “You must have made so many friends”

Moving to a new country, especially one where you don’t speak their language, is no walk in the park. It can be lonely and getting homesick is all part of the package. Remember Gap Yar guy? We doubt he made many friends when he was living abroad…

>4. “You’re just going through a phase”

You may not want to move back to your tiny, boring, rainy village and that’s OK! It’s not a phase but people need to accept that. You didn’t go through all the hassle of getting a visa to just leave after a few months!

Read: The 5 easiest countries to work abroad in NOW

5. “You’ve gone all hippie, were you smoking loads of pot?”

You’ve gone vegan because you believe in the lifestyle. Weed is legal in some parts of the world. You’re wearing harem pants because they’re comfortable. You’ve changed, so what? Travelling and living abroad changes a person…close-minded people need to get used to that! You’ve now got a whole load of cool experiences and stories to tell, so you’re a lot more interesting than when you left! That’s a good thing.