endings new beginnings_kairamkairam

#18 & #19 – Endings and New Beginnings

The end isn’t near, it’s here. My first semester in Australia is officially over. And now I’m even more stressed than ever, therefore this post will be a super short one again. Sorry about that.

In two days I will start my travels to explore the amazing part of the world I am currently living in a little bit further, and I feel like nothing is planned. I have my flights and accommodation for the first nights booked, but apart from that I feel absolutely unprepared. How does one even prepare oneself for travels lasting three months? I don’t know what to pack, I don’t know how the get the stuff that stays in Brisbane into my other suitcase, and I have no idea how to budget best for this journey. Whenever I think about it, I remember about 50 things I still have to do, and I’m not quite sure how to fit them into my last two remaining days. So in case anyone of you has any tips on how to prepare for three months of backpacking, please do leave them in the comments, they are very much needed!

Additionally, thinking about returning to Brisbane after the summer feels odd. I think the city will feel very different once I come back after travelling, and I am a little scared that I won’t like it as much. I am moving out of my flat on Tuesday, and I will have to look for a new one during O-week, so wish me the best of luck for that, since I want to avoid having to stay in an absolute mess for the next year. In addition to a change of my home, most of my friends from this last semester will be graduating or going back to their home countries, so it feels a bit like moving into a new city again. Only good part is that now I already now where to get the good food. (:

I am not taking my laptop backpacking, so I’m not sure if I will post during my journey, but do feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram under kairamkairam to (hopefully) see some pretty picturs from along the way.

Apart from that, I thank you very much for joining me during this last semester, and I will now try to calm down my nerves and get stuff done!

Have a nice week!

xx, K (:

 

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the long distance relationship_kairamkairam

#14 – The Long-Distance Relationship

“Going the distance every occasion, headed for somewhere out of the way” – Lights.

If you followed me for quite a while, you might have realized that I mention a certain boyfriend every once in a while. Well, in case you were wondering, that guy still exists, and while we are having our ups and downs, we are still surviving this whole long-distance relationship thing. What you might not know however is that we actually spent way less time living in the same city than we did apart while being a couple. There was not always a difference of 8 time zones, but we are rather experienced when it comes to long-distance relationships. And since I fell like in our globalized world more and more couples experience something similar at some point, I quickly wanted to write a few points you might want to consider and keep in mind should you face my current situation.

 

Trust in your relationship
Can you count how many times you have heard the words “what’s meant to be will be”? I can’t. But when it comes to relationships, I have to agree with the saying. According to my own and friends’ experiences, if your relationship works, it works, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, no matter whether you are living together or on different continents. When you and your partner are sure about your relationship, you will be able to maintain a long-distance relationship, so stop worrying. One thing the distance however does is, if there are things that might eventually tear you apart, the distance will lead to a quicker split. For me, distance always makes me realize what is important for me in a relationship, and if your partner and you have similar expectations for your future together. One of my friends, who broke up with her boyfriend after going the distance, told me that she always knew that it wasn’t quite right, but it was nice having someone around. As she spent time on her own she realized what exactly annoyed her about her (ex-)boyfriend, and that this won’t change even if they were going to live in the same place again, so they seperated. Living in a new place on your own always makes you think about what you actually want a little more, and if this is staying with your partner (and they feel the same), it will work. Have faith.

Communicate
For me, this is one of the most important points. Every couple communicates differently, but make sure you stay in contact. In my opinion it’s no relationship if you don’t share at least most parts of your life, and since you cannot be there to experience different moments together, you have to find other ways to live through them together. My boyfriend and I are basically always messaging each other when we are awake and try to cram in a Skype-call once a week, but I know quite a lot of couples who call each other every day whenever they have time. You could send each other estensive love letters, but I would go crazy having only month-old information. I am an impatient person. Try to find a way to communicate that’s best for both of you, and keep it up as regularly as possible. Also, you will get to know your partner on a completely new level as you will be forced to actually talk a lot, and I know that quite a few couples don’t really do that, especially in the early stages. ;)

Don’t get jealous
I am convinced that being jealous is the worst thing you can do when being in a long-distance relationship. There is no way to control what your partner is doing, so you have to believe in what they are telling you. However, I do believe that trust is extremely important in every relationship, no matter if living together or miles apart. You should openly talk about what is okay to do for each of you, and what might upset each other – I know a couple who went as far as being fine with one-night-stands as long as it really was one night only. Just talk about it – if possible before moving – and make sure to stick to it. And if you cannot trust your partner 100%, your relationship might be in trouble anyways.

Make time for each other
This point again is important whether you live close or apart. However, it does get quite a bit harder when being apart. Different time zones, work/uni schedules and other things you want to do will make it difficult for you to find time to talk. Here it is important to plan a little bit ahead and make time for each other. Whether that requires one of you staying up a little later or getting up a little earlier, some things need a little bit of dedication. However, please don’t stop your life just to be able to talk to them (see the last point).

Always know when you will meet next
Make plans together. For me it’s extremely important to have something to work towards, in life and in relationships, so knowing when you will be able to hold each other again makes everything a lot easier – whether that is in a day, a month or even a year. Also make sure to stick to the plans you make, because nothing is more upsetting than being excited about something for what feels like an eternity, and then one party cancels last-minute. Of course, stuff happens and you might not be able to make it anymore, but in that case try to find a new date to see each other as soon as possible – it really does help to make time go by faster and makes you feel like you work towards a common goal.

Surprise each other every once in a while
In every relationship it is nice to surprise each other every once in a while. When living together, you might see something that reminds you of your partner, and simply get it for them. Don’t stop doing things like that just because you are physically not that close to each other anymore. While it might take a little more effort to surprise each other when living apart, in my opinion, it’s still worth it. In times of Amazon (side note: Dear Australia, could you please be normal and sell something other than books on Amazon? :D ), eBay and other shops it’s really easy to order stuff online and simply send it to each other. You can also send beautifully handwritten letters, or little care-packages with things that remind you of each other. Put in a little effort, and let the other one know that you think about them – it’s a very easy thing to do and will make their day.

Be open about your feelings
This point is very closely linked to the one about communicating. You are not close to each other to sense what the other person is feeling or going through at the moment, so you will have to tell them. When something upsets you, makes you happy or furious, tell your partner. It doesn’t matter if they are the reason for your feelings, but if you hate the world, you will also hate them, and they will not understand what is going on without you telling them. Spare yourself the fight, and let them know. However, please don’t be afraid to fight just because you cannot scream into each other’s faces. Whether you fight via Skype or some kind of messaging, if something bothers you about each other, discuss it, or it will eat you up. And in case your feelings towards each other should ever change – which can happen, we are all just humans after all – make sure to also talk about that too. Don’t make each other suffer because you desperately want to break up in person – that just doesn’t always happen. Just be respectful and don’t just send them a message and then block them (and yes, also that has happened).

Enjoy Life
You will have a lot more time on hand when you suddenly basically live the life of a single. Do stuff with friends, explore your city and – especially in the beginning or when you have an episode when you miss them terribly – make sure to keep yourself busy. Don’t stop your life because you are not with your partner – you will never get these years back. Plus, living on your own will let you grow and make you a much stronger person, so make the best of it and gather loads of experiences you can later on share with your partner. Please don’t crawl into a hole and be sad 24/7 – that will not make it any easier for anyone of you.

 

All in all, I don’t think that you have to be afraid of turning your relationship into a long-distance one. Just keep in mind that it will be hard at times, stick to it if you think it’s worth it and end it if you think it’s not. And who knows, maybe some time apart is exactly what you needed in order to know why you started your relationship in the first place.

 

xx, K (:

downsides living abroad_kairamkairam

#11 – The Downsides of Living Abroad

Well hello there! How are you all doing? I hope you’re doing great! As you might have guessed from the title, my week was not the bestest – although I can gladly tell you that I fell a lot better again now. I was even considering not mentioning any sad periods, but then again I figured that I want to tell you about my experience as close to reality as possible – and I also want to remind myself in case I get homesick again (which will surely happen) that it does indeed get better.

There were several things that triggered me feeling down. First of all, I still don’t have my summer holidays planned out. I’m a control freak, and I kind of figured that by now I had a plan, but it’s just not happening. I was looking for work, but apparently January is the absolute low season for everything, so no one needs extra pair of hands in summer – at least the companies I asked do not. My initial plans to just travel around turned out to be rather expensive, leaving me with a question mark for my summer holidays. I do not “just” want to stay in Brisbane because then I feel like I am wasting my precious time, so I am currently considering flying home. That however to me feels a little bit like a defeat. Don’t ask me why, I can’t explain it myself, but that’s the way it is.

Another thing adding to me being homesick is the fact that I had a lot more time at hand. I finished volunteering and suddenly had so much available time, so I started to think about the things I miss from home – the food, the fact that I don’t have to think about whether I really want to buy a new moisturizer for about 2 weeks (beauty stuff in Australia is just crazy expensive) and most of all, the people. Don’t get me wrong, I have people here, and I love to hang out with them, but there’s just a difference whether you talk to a person you’ve basically known your whole life or someone you just met a month ago. And especially since I was feeling down, I just wanted to be with my people from home.

The fact that the internet in my apartment died did not make my situation any better. For the moment, I’m not able to skype, watch Youtube or basically do anything I usually do when I am bored. However, I have decided to use my time with limited access to internet for the best and do a little bit of internet detox – light version. I spend way too much time on there anyway, and I’ve realized that it actually can be quite nice to pick up a book instead of watching random people telling me about their beauty favourites (still going to catch up on everyone though as soon as the internet is back to normal :D).

I have read a lot about what to do when you become homesick and up to a certain extent things like cooking your favourite food from home, keeping busy and making sure you surround yourself with people do work, but I’ve realized that most of all, it just takes some time. There’s going to be episodes when I love being here, and there will be times when I don’t enjoy it quite as much. I then always remind myself that I made the decision to come here and why I did it in the first place, and then I just try to make the most out of it. Too late to change anything now anyway, so why not make the most out of it.

Also – and this is slightly off topic – in case someone of you is considering doing a postgrad degree in Australia, I just want to give you a short piece of information I would have loved to have received before coming here. University is not quite as I expected it to be – adding to my slight misery – and I want to avoid you coming here and be disappointed. Core courses are at a very, very basic level. If you did your undergrad in Europe – can’t speak for any other continents, sorry – try to get as many of them accredited beforehand as you possibly can, or you’ll just waste your time. Be prepared for a lot of assignments, group works and other little bits and bobs you have to submit during the semester – you will have finals, but already before them, there will be a lot you have to do for university. And lastly – and that is the thing that annoys me the most and makes me consider an exchange semester – you will not study with Australians. There might be one in every lecture you have, but the rest are some Europeans, some Latin Americans and loads of Chinese guys. While most of them are really lovely, many only speak rather crappy English. As I mentioned, you will have to do group works – lots of them. And with the language barrier these group works are mostly ridiculously hard to handle because you just can’t communicate properly. I hope this will get better as the programme goes on and everyone spends more time in an English-speaking country though, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed and will let you guys know as time goes by.

This is probably the longest post I’ve written in my life, so I’ll stop the rambling and hope you did not fall asleep on your chair by now. Feels good to write it all of my chest though, so thank you for being my therapist. ;)

 

I hope you all had a reasonably good week – if not, things will get better, trust me – and I’ll see you again soon!

 

xx, K (:

 

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