I learnt this because I expected to love staying in a hostel again. I ignored the fact that the last time I stayed in a hostel in a western country was two years ago, when I was backpacking with two other girls. I didn’t account for the fact that this is an entirely different situation in many ways, and that people change in two years. Thus when I moved in to a hostel, despite it being perfectly nice and my dorm being occupied by three very friendly girls, I absolutely hated it. To the point where I couldn’t bear to be there. The feeling didn’t go away until I moved out and into rented accommodation where I am now. I have literally never been happier and more grateful to have my own room and a proper kitchen. It’s made a huge practical and an emotional difference to my experience here so far. There were good points to the hostel though, the main one being it’s location – I could walk to the city centre (not that I ever did…), so getting about and getting stuff organised was made very easy.
Things are never, ever as you expect them to be. So it’s best to go into any kind of new experience with no expectations. If you have expectations you will probably get disappointed.
It’s a good idea to not judge people quickly. Particularly when you do something like this and do it alone. Judging people encourages you to alienate them, thus you shut people and opportunity out of your life. No man is an island and what goes around comes around etc. So I am trying to be as open minded as possible about everyone I meet. I’d certainly want them to do the same for me anyway.
You can’t always believe everything you think. Yes, that’s true, your mind can play tricks sometimes. I have found since being here that if I have a bad day for any reason, and think something negative and absolute, it is very easy to let that thought take over. But sometimes, things out of my control will take a turn for the better without me even doing anything, and the thought disappears. I think maybe it’s a head vs. heart kind of thing. For example, on my second or third day here my thoughts convinced me that finding a job was simply impossible. I envisaged a wildly desperate situation of me running out of money and having to call home for help. I did consider going home, but my heart told me to wait and to stay. A week or two down the line and I’ve got work and am not broke or destitute at all surprisingly enough.
Nothing works unless you do. This ones pretty self-explanatory, but it’s one I try to remember every day.