Posted in Living Abroad, Living In India, Long Post, Uncategorized

Leaving The Cave: What to Prepare and Anticipate


You want to argue because the title sounds like we live in the ice age? Hold on. Cave, in this case, bear a metaphorical meaning that similar to the comfort zone in general. However, I want to make it more specific that ‘cave’, is your ‘home’ where you spend most of your life so far. More specifically says, ‘cave’ is your home-country.

Everyone will leave what he or she calls home sooner or later, figuratively, literally or even both. Some people refuse to go anywhere and stay in the same place for years but later, they do not feel at home anymore because of several reason. Figuratively, they are no longer at ‘home’. Some others leave kilometers away but find new family where they feel like at ‘home’. Shortly, they are still, at home. See the difference? The first case is when you are dragged away from your cave because of unpredicted phenomena. Probably bear attack, earth quake, or whatever is that. The second case is when you decide to explore more and finally, find a new better place after a long tiring journey. Now, it is time to be specific and stop figuratively talking about my shitty analogy.

Some people, young students especially, are afraid of changing and struggling but they want the result of the tough struggle. When you ask people if they want to leave their home country to explore more by studying, working or whatever it is, the answer is mostly ‘yes’ with a long ‘but’ and followed by thousand lists of anxiety started with ‘what if…’ afterwards.  I noticed that most people are scared with what they do not know and they start making false stereotype fueled by their own fear. The thing is, you have to be curious enough and super open-minded to change and seize what you want. Here are some hints, wisdom and some precautions that you need to know before and during staying abroad.


Language Matters

You might be fluent in English but remember that not everyone in this planet speaks English and knowing the local language a little bit will help you, a lot. You don’t need to struggle with complicated terms, sentences or idioms, just try to learn some simple words to greet,ask and give directions, request for help, numbers, and so forth. The rest, gestures and body language will do.

Weird Culture and Strange Customs 101

People ask for ‘telolet’ to bus driver, people are annoyingly excited to foreigners and call them ‘bule’, illegal parking-men are everywhere, being a passenger to random car is a ‘job’ for some people, some people eat plain rice with durian, stupid things are very famous, they censor Sandy Cheek’s wearing bikini but they are fine with senior high school students flirting on TV. Those are some weird shits from my home country. meanwhile in India, I also find out some weird and unusual yet sometimes annoying customs such as the repetitive ‘tea-time’ that often put me in trouble because it will delay everything. Besides, lots of Indians are not punctuate. In the past, it might be difficult to find out such trivial knowledge but we are so lucky to live in the age where getting information is as easy as swiping your fingers on a glass screen. Thus, browse more about your destination. The more you know, the better it is.


This is very essential that I put an exclamation on the sub-title. You don’t want to experience food poisoning or maybe eating something that you are not allowed to eat by your belief or your doctor. Some countries do not have clear distinctive mark between food for vegetarian or food for non-vegetarian. Indonesia is one example but India is an exception. In India, you can simply identify either the food or beverages are vegetarian-friendly or not by looking at the label on the container, red dot for non-vegetarian and green for vegetarian.

Anyone’s There?

Find out if there are some fellas from the same country as yours who stay in the country of your destination. They will be your new family and they will be happy to know that you will be part of them. They will also be excellent references for they have real life experience in living abroad. If there is no one lives in the country where you are about to stay in, keep your phone with you and your internet connected.

Now you are in foreign land…

Don’t be lazy to explore at least your neighborhood

Despite you are an introvert or extrovert or despite the fact that you can rely on your internet, you cannot stay at your flat, dorm, house, nest or whatever it is and only go out when you need something. Go out and find out. You will need to know where to get what in the new place. You will probably find out a short-cut, new friends, new family, or maybe treasure. So try to go out and keep asking people or google if you don’t trust the people that much.

Your friends from the same country are your family and stranger from the same country is your friend

Make it simple: Everyone from the same home country as yours is your family if you live in foreign land. Nothing much to say here. You know how to treat your family don’t you? If you don’t, then go home.


Why there is an ‘S’ up there? Because I believe there are two kind of culture shocks. The first type is the common thing that many people know. When a person lives in a completely new place far away from the old one where the cultures, customs, and everything is totally different, he or she will do as minimum interaction as possible with the surrounding or even refuse to interact at all and being somewhat anti-social because of the insecure and anxious feeling. This is what commonly happen to a foreigner in a strange-land. However, there is another type and I encountered some people who suffer such things. Let me call it reversed culture-shock. So some other people, surprisingly, are very adaptable and they can mingle with the strangers quite easily. Good then! Where is the culture-shock?  The thing is, they slowly neglect and forget the ‘family’ that I have mentioned previously and easily driven by the new culture without filtering what’s good or bad. It is like when you let a beast get out from its cage and they will do as hey wish without knowing what’s harmless and harmful. Be open-minded, don’t leave your family, and don’t trust everyone when you are staying in foreign land.

Those are they. Until next time.

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