I actually had a conversation with someone a few months ago now who would like to ramp up her social media presence (because she’s got skills to share) but she doesn’t want to deal with any sort of negative feedback that comes from randoms on the Internet.
You can’t argue with her there. I’ve had plenty of feedback from randoms lately on my silly haircut video from a year ago. With surging hits that just topped 155,000 views, my inbox is starting to get regular emails from commenters saying stuff like:
- “bitch, your psycho”
- “get a life biatch”
- “Ur dumb and ugly and why do u do that u don’t even now how to cut hair and ur hair is going to be ugly and uneven”
And these are just in the past two weeks! I definitely do not understand the people of YouTube who take the time to say nasty things or make ridiculous comments — and who do so without reading my explanation that would clearly explain why, how, etc. that’s right on the same page.
People are obviously super passionate about hair.
So passionate, in fact, that it makes them unable to read.
Just this morning, when I logged on to Twitter and saw a couple of my tweets, I remembered something else that people are passionate about.
When I wrote the post, “The Best and the Worst of the USA,” several months ago, the post went quickly viral on Stumbleupon. Within the first hour, I had 1500 stumbles that actually caused my site to crash (boo)! When I prepared this little post a while back, it got some very strong responses as well.
Why? Well, people are passionate about their country.
So passionate, in fact, that they fixate on one small comment, draw their own conclusion, and fail to actually read the whole story that might be laid out in perfect English before them.
I’m referring to a couple of comments I received on my latest post on GoBackpacking.com, “5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming an Expat in Australia.” They basically said I had a lame attitude towards Australia and had some nerve to bash the Aussie tax system and culture on Australia Day nonetheless.
After much consideration, I am sure they did not even read the article at hand. Silly people.
Comments like these are annoying, sometimes disheartening and can be harsh, but they did get me thinking: The people who made these comments have probably never lived as an expat because it seemed that those who had agreed with my sentiments completely.
So, I’m writing this post on the truth about being an expat, from my experiences, many of which have been shared with others in the same position.
* * * * *
People often think that just because I live down under that my life should be amazing and easy. Look, living down under has its perks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to work, worry about money, go to the doctor, visit the dentist, pay bills and go to the grocery store. Just like everyone else, we have to deal with the annoying parts of life down under, too, so if you think that just by moving abroad that your life immediately becomes a dream, think again.
Truth: Life is still life.
It’s hilarious when a group of us expats get together because it often involves talking about something from back in the States that we miss. I went to dinner with a group of girlfriends recently and only one of them was Australian. The rest of us couldn’t help but bring up some of the little bits and pieces we so dearly miss from back home. It’s not like any of us are planning our returns to the USA anytime soon, but still we can’t help but get nostalgic.
Truth: There will always be things you miss.
When tax time rolls around, or when dealing with work restrictions or healthcare, it is easy to get flustered with the finer details involved with living abroad. Combine that with having to plan extra hard to visit family or keep in touch with friends, and that can be stressful.
Truth: Living abroad makes some tasks more complicated.
As you can see, the truth about being an expat is that it’s not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows… but, I will still suggest it to anyone because living abroad, no matter how difficult, is a fantastic learning experience that will change your life.