How Moving Abroad Changed My Life

Moving Abroad

A few years ago I moved from Kenya to Canada to study abroad and get my undergraduate degree. As you can imagine this was a huge change in my life and a lot changed after I moved. I have been in Canada for about three years now and a lot has changed in my life in those three years. 

A while ago I asked you guys what you wanted to see on lifesfinewhine and one of the suggestions was a post about how my life has changed after moving abroad. I thought this would be super interesting to share with you guys because as I mentioned so much has changed in the last few years. 

More Independence

Moving abroad gave me a lot more independence than before. When you live abroad there are certain things you can do that you just can’t do back home- mostly because everyone knows you lol… But seriously, I finally started to feel like a real adult and it was also a lot of fun pushing boundaries, trying new things, discovering more about myself and basically just doing stuff I have always wanted to do. 

Adulting Is Hard

Independence and feeling like an adult is all well and good until you have to take responsibility and do stuff on your own. Then it’s a total nightmare. Back home I was pretty used to relying on my parents, other family members or friends for assistance with stuff. Now I have to do everything on my own and as fun as that can be sometimes it can also be awful other times. 

I mean you have to pay the bills (did you know you have to do that every month??), book appointments (why are those still a thing??), go grocery shopping (this one is actually kind of fun!) and that is just the tip of the iceberg.  

New Experiences

One of the best things about moving abroad is that you get to have all these amazing experiences. One major way that my life changed after moving abroad was that I became a different person. No, I did not turn into Winder Woman unfortunately but I did become someone who explores a lot more. 

Back home I was pretty anxious and did not go out or do stuff as much. However, after coming to Canada I decided that I want to get out of my comfort zone and make as many memories as possible so whenever I could I would travel, go somewhere new, try a new place to eat or just do something new in general. 

I was also able to meet new people which was super fun!

I Was Forced To Grow Up

To an extent- I still think cartoons are awesome and pjs should be ugly, old and comfy af. But it did force me to mature and to think of things in a more mature way. Instead of freaking out about every small thing I learnt how to deal with my problems. 

I also learnt how to take better charge of my life, take control of things and to also be more comfortable with fighting for myself. I learnt leadership skills at school which I have found helpful in life too. I also realised that adults really don’t know what they’re doing as much as we think they do- we’re lost and confused almost all the time too! 


I hope you enjoyed this post and learnt a little more about the ways in which my life has changed after moving abroad. 

Have you ever lived abroad? If so, how did it change your life? If not, would you ever want to live abroad? Are you currently living abroad? Have you studied abroad? If so, could you relate to any of the things I mentioned on this post? Let me know in the comments below or if you don’t want to answer the questions simply stop by and say hi!


No, not the band… I wanted to give you a little behind the scenes/blooper story about this post. So, I finished writing this post and made the cover image for it which took forever because I had to make it HD and stuff. And finally I was done and added it to the post and that’s when I realised it said “Changes” instead of “Changed” and I had to do everything all over again 🤦‍♀️

Original cover image:

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142 thoughts on “How Moving Abroad Changed My Life

  1. Yes so true. Though I haven’t been abroad but moving away from my parents to another state in the country thought me so much independent. Although as a kid I always showed independence but I asked a lot of questions. Moving away made me find answers to those questions and decisions I had to made rather than relying on someone. I learnt and still learning the act of adulthood. I love this post. I hope to moved to Canada someday!!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I think living on your own really helps you to become more independent and allows you to live a certain kind of life you can’t when you live with your parents. I really hope you can move to Canada someday- it’s so wonderful here!

  2. Yes so true. Though I haven’t been abroad but moving away from my parents to another state in the country taught me so much independence. Although as a kid I always showed independence but I asked a lot of questions. Moving away made me find answers to those questions and decisions I had to made rather than relying on someone. I have learnt and still learning the act of adulthood. I love this post. I hope to moved to Canada someday!!

  3. This is awesome! I have always been in awe of people who can move abroad or even across the same country! I don’t think I could ever but it is always nice to hear other people’s experiences!

  4. This seems so liberating. I’ve wanted to move for ages but I haven’t travelled out of my country in nearly ten years. I’ve been harbouring this wish to settle down away from my native for new experiences. Maybe once the pandemic ceases. Anyways, great to see you doing so well. Enjoy!!

  5. I agree completely with what you are saying. The college I went to is a five hours drive from where my parents live. It was hard, but I definitely grew up over those four years.

  6. I’m curious, is there any special food that you can only get in Kenya? The closest African cuisine I had was some bread with stew from Ethiopia. That’s a different part of the continent, though.

    1. Yeah Ethiopian food is more popular. I can’t get most Kenyan ingredients here or Kenyan food in general which is one thing I really miss.

  7. I have not lived abroad for a long period of time. I was in Brazil for five weeks in 2015 to teach English and loved it. It was fun to learn more Portuguese and experience the culture.

  8. I can relate so well with all of this changes. I moved from Nigeria to America 3 years ago. Adjusting was not that difficult but I had to deal with the accent. Making friends was not that easy for me either since I’m an introvert. I became a lot more independent and was forced to take responsibility of everything I do. Unlike when I was In Nigeria. I had to be told before I do some stuff. By the way you had great experiences!

    1. Thank you! I can definitely relate because I’m an introvert as well and have a hard time making new friends. Yes, it definitely makes you a lot more independent.

  9. I moved to Canada with my family when I was 8, I’m 20 now, and I definitely have to applaud you for moving to do your undergrad. Changing countries is not easy and adapting to a new culture and new people and just over all having new experiences can be so hard. I hope you have enjoyed your past three years and enjoy the rest of your time in Canada!

    1. Thank you! I agree it is definitely difficult but I have also really loved my time here and continue to do so. I think it also helps that Canadians are very nice and accepting in general.

      1. Haha yes I agree with you on the Canadian’s being nice thing. I don’t think I would have liked it here if the people weren’t nice. Ofcourse I have encountered bad people, they can be found anywhere in the world unfortunately but the good definitely trumps the bad.

  10. I think it would be amazing to live abroad! However, the timing is not right for me, aside from the fact that I also do not have a passport! (Slight problem!) Sounds like you have been growing and stretching your boundaries. Good for you! Enjoy the wonderful (if stressful!) time you have now. You will look back on this with fond memories!

    1. Thank you so much! I totally understand- moving abroad is such a complicated process. But if you are ever able to I would highly recommend it.

  11. I love to live abroad though I have never lived. What fears me is the seclusion from my parents and family when living in a new country otherwise I absolutely want to live abroad to experience new things in my life.

    1. Yeah I do miss my family a lot but at the same time it is a really great growing experience to be away from your family for a while. It teaches you to be yourself and to be independent.

  12. This post really gave me hope, because I will be moving to another state in the same country for a job and I’ve been pretty anxious about it (it’s my first time moving away from home). But this post helped calm my anxious mind and put an end to those worst case scenarios I’ve been imagining

  13. I can relate to so much to what you said, especially growing up fast. As a TCK, I realized at 10 years old I wasn’t a child anymore. When you go to an educational institution in another country, you get the full force of the culture and it can be difficult to deal with certain aspects, even if it’s your choice. I’m actually collaborating on an article about school and university life advice for expat kids and advice for expat parents on how to support them

  14. When you live far from the home & family, you realize their importance. When you live alone, you realize how hard is to survive in this world. You understand how this world works. You realize your hidden qualities.

  15. “Changes” is still relevant 🤪 As for the experiences, I completely agree with you. Moving abroad is such an amazing experience for growth and learning a lot about one’s self that if possible, everyone should do it. The adulting part is fun but sucks~ now that I’m married, I don’t pay for a single bill- that’s hubby’s job! But that also means I don’t know where to go for basic things because I also rely on him… this is what happens when you move again AFTER university lol

    1. Lol so lucky- I need to find a hubby to pay the bills! I can imagine how hard it must be to settle down after moving and have to move again but I guess change is a part of life.

      1. Hahaha don’t be fooled hun~ even if he pays the bills you’ll still want to work and put that degree to use. And yes, change is a part of life and I’ve accepted that

  16. Beautifully expressed. I can totally relate this- after relying on your parents and other family members and suddenly you have to be the one who has to pay the bills and grow up!!
    Growing up and being responsible for yourself has its perks but sometimes it truly is sad.

  17. Independence is sweet – but a shock to the system. I moved up to London for my studies. I must admit that I did not do much studying. I only managed to get to half my lectures. But I made a lot of friends and saw a lot of bands.

  18. I’m currently doing my final year at school and am planning to move abroad soon. I’m excited to start a new life but at the same time I’m pretty anxious as to how I’m going to manage everything

  19. Good for you! The thought of moving abroad scares me, I can’t even contemplate going on holiday by myself. Hopefully I can still step out of my comfort zones right where I am 😊

    1. It’s definitely scary- I was terrified! But it’s also the best thing that happened to me so I’m glad I went. Yeah you can definitely explore in the area you live in too and try new things!

  20. “I mean you have to pay the bills (did you know you have to do that every month??”… humorous 😂
    I’ve never been abroad. Would totally love the experience though(hoping whichever country I get to go to has a place for my country’s local food). Might get my PhD abroad in the future someday… hopefully

    1. It’s an awesome experience! The place I’m currently living in does not have any of my country’s local food which is a bit annoying so I totally get it.

  21. I totally agree with you, it does make a massive difference in terms of discovering new places and cultures, but at the same time it is a little bit of a shock, not just about becoming an adult, but also because it is the first time you are actually “on your own”

    1. Yeah it is definitely kind of a shock I agree with that! The first few weeks especially go by so fast and you’re just like what am I doing the whole time.

  22. An Indian in Kenya, that is a WOW!
    I totally agree with all the independence and maturity that comes with being an adult. I was forced to act older than my age then, because I was young. Now that I am a lot older, I guess it has made me a better person.
    Moving to a place different from your usual place comes with a lot of bracing up. I really love how you shared your story.

    1. Yeah my family has been in Kenya for ages- like from the 1900’s- so moving to Canada was a huge change for me!
      I definitely also felt like I was acting older than my age because you are forced to take a lot more responsibility. It is such a huge change but it has so many positives too!

  23. a wonderful post, Pooja. I love the cover image, even if you had the blooper. And I am happy to report that I have avoided growing up for 62 years – maybe I need to move abroad! 🙂

  24. You were so incredibly brave to do this! I’m really impressed how you laid out all your thoughts and journey in this post. I am an adult but I remember those days of being on your own and how scary it was. The true test of your character was the fact you didn’t pack it in and go home. You stuck it out and that takes some real courage.

    1. Thank you so much! It definitely is scary and there were days when I wanted to pack everything and go home because I was homesick but I think as you get used to the new place that feeling goes away.

  25. Awesome post, being alone in another country or state due to schooling or something else makes one become independent. Also one will learn a lot about life itself. It is not easy taking responsibility but one has to. Adulthood is fun, interesting and difficult at times.

  26. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading and getting an insight into some of the things facing young people today. It is a big step to move to a different continent but you have handled it well. Take care.

  27. Yes, the wonders of travel! When I was young I went from Canada to England. I think the biggest shock to my being was the ‘smallness’ of places compared to the vast spaces of Canada – and the boggling number of people in London. I think staying in a place increases your appreciation of the new country, but also enhances the best parts of your homeland. It’s lovely to have you here visiting and blogging in Canada.

    1. Yeah Canada is so big but has quite a small population and that was one of the first things I noticed when I came to Canada. Travelling really does make you appreciate your homeland as well.

  28. I have wanted to move abroad for quite some time now. Not only for the new experiences but I feel it would force me to grow up!
    btw, I’ve experienced those typing errors before- not fun!

    1. You definitely should- it really does make you grow up and feel like a full adult. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult but a lot of times it teaches you so much about life!

  29. Great to hear, Pooja! You have really done well over the last few years, you know. And yes, adulting is hard. But from this side of it, you may have really gained by moving abroad.

  30. Yes to everything on the list. Moving abroad alone makes you grow up really fast and teaches to put your priorities in order. Loved this!

  31. It certainly does make you grow up, and you have to learn to stand on your own, and I think it’s a great learning experience. I’d suggest most teenagers or young adults ought to do it – get out and see a bit of the world too.
    I moved away from Scotland to London when I was 18, then a year later, went to live on a kibbutz in Israel and I think that was the making of me. I was able to put some of my past behind me (for a time), I made lots of new ‘real’ friends and I had my aunt and lots of girl cousins around, I felt safe for the first time in a long time.

    1. I agree- I think if you are able to move and travel when you are young you absolutely should. I’m glad you enjoyed living in Israel and living with family can actually be a lot of fun.

      1. I’m so happy that the boys chose to leave home to go to uni and to travel, the learned so much much more about themselves and the world this way.
        What they didn’t expect tho’ was me downsizing so they couldn’t come back lol (kidding).

  32. I always wanted to live abroad but the idea feels daunting for some reason. You expressed yourself so well —that gave me a little boost 🙏🏽✨
    “pjs should be ugly, old and comfy af” I can relate 😂 xx

  33. I’ve never lived abroad. What an experience it must be. It’s true that adults don’t really know what their doing either. Haha, don’t tell anyone I told you this but pretending is the key. Adulting is serious business so don’t let it make life less fun for you. 😁🌴

  34. I can so relate to this post. Although I didn’t study abroad, I did just move into my own apartment. I’ve become so much more independent. You kind of have to. Grocery shopping is fun!! I applaud you for taking such big steps! Great post ☺️

  35. I know some of your experiences, forced to grow up and even then, you dont have to grow up so fast.
    Or grow up in this society while keeping your youngster excitement mentality alive and well!

  36. I moved across the country when I was eighteen so even though it wasn’t *abroad*, I noticed a lot of the things you wrote about such as having to be self-reliant. It became a bit of an addiction; I’ve moved many times since then! It’s nice to be able to reinvent yourself every once in a while, haha.

  37. Funny Behind The Scenes Pooja. At least you noticed it and didn’t get corrected on here (that could’ve been a bit embarrassing!). The independence is sure one of the best benefits of moving out.

  38. oh shoot i was commenting but i dont know if i pressed enter lol — just in case..
    i said :
    i think moving abroad is something everyone should do once in their life. its something huge that one can learn from and mature from.
    i only went to mexico (another country) once, but ive been on planes alone many times.
    when i got to mexico i was picked up by an aunt and lived with my grandparents for 6 months so i was still being babied lol

    great post again!

  39. lol the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve realized that adults don’t know much either! 🤣🤣 But I can totally see how living abroad would help you step out of your comfort zone and to be more independent.

  40. Acknowledging the issues in our lives, feeling the emotions they elicit within us (good and bad), and using all the wonderful skills we have to solve them. Adulting like a boss. We can all do it, and keep getting better at it.
    Thank you for sharing. 😊

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