When you first decide to study and live abroad, you never think of all the things that come along with that decision. Your first thoughts are mainly positive, exciting, thrilling and most of the time you leave no room for doubts or for all the things you now have to do alone (which are quite a lot actually.)
Our first days in Prague reminded me of a feeling I usually get when I am exploring a new city. Our first days didn’t make me feel like I was here to live and study, rather they made me feel like a simple, ordinary tourist. It was when we started our first classes that I started to grasp the real reason of us being here.
From buying food to cleaning the apartment, my friends and I are determined on making economical and smart choices. Here are some things we have learnt during these days of living on our own:
- Food runs out quick No matter how much we buy food and think that it is enough, it isn’t. It’s amazing how food becomes more expensive when you have to buy it on your own. Back at home I didn’t think too much about the extra snacks or extra food I was getting. Now I do think about it. I actually count every plum and almond I have left so I know how much I need for the next time. Crazy!
- Am I an introvert or extrovert? One thing living abroad makes you understand is how much an introvert or an extrovert you are. Luckily, I think I fall in the ambivert category. There are times when I feel so energized that I want to party all the time or just do something, but there are also times when my energy drops and all I want to do is sleep.
- It doesn’t matter if you feel like it, if it is your turn to clean the toilet, you have to. My friends and I have this schedule of cleaning the apartment. We have selected days in which we clean the apartment and then have fun with all the cleanness. We usually cook food after.
- Should I get Starbucks coffee or buy a travel mug? When you start living on your own you have to start making wise long term decisions. If you go buy Starbucks everyday, you will probably spend a lot more money then when you buy a coffee thermos or travel mug.
- Cooking is fun! I always loved cooking, but now I love it even more. Each of us cooks special meals and tries to be creative in their own way. We mainly plan our meals based on what is on sale but each Sunday we cook traditional food.
By the way, we visited Dresden on Saturday and had an amazing time. Student agencies here in Prague have enabled us to travel cheap so we are planning on taking trips each weekend. Dresden is a beautiful city. We visited the Zwinger Palace and three museums in the Zwinger. For lunch we had ‘Krelane Misri me Spanaq’ (spinach quiche with corn flour) which is a traditional Albanian dish. Cooking our own food at home and taking it with us is cheeeaper and way more delicious.
The most important lesson I have learnt these days: We need a lot less than we think we need.