We’re gonna get straight into the nitty-gritty here folks. I turned 30 this year after three years of living the expat life solo, and I’ve learned a thing or two (or 10). Sometimes it fucking sucks and sometimes it rocks my socks. So I made a list for you, because I’m a nice person. Or because I’m a bit snarky sometimes. Who knows.
|me turning 30 abroad solo
credit: jackson photography
Here are five shitty truths about being 30 and living abroad solo:
1) You will check Facebook daily, and daily you will not be able to figure out who half the people in your newsfeed are. You just want to see what your friends from home are up to….well, what they’re up to is getting married and changing their Facebook name to something you don’t recognize, changing their profile picture to a picture of a newborn baby, and writing status updates about mortgage payments and 3am feedings. You will be able to relate to absolutely zero of this. You will mildly protest all your friends turning into strangers by posting fabulous photos of you on the beach drinking margaritas at 11am. Your friends will not care because they are too busy with their mortgages and babies.
2) There is such a thing as a two day hangover, and it arrives basically as soon as you turn 30. Sorry. This will be especially rough for you if you’re in an expat location like mine, where drinking at 9am is both an acceptable and expected activity.
3) No one really knows what the hell you’re doing wherever you are, and so, “when are you coming home?” is basically the only thing you’re gonna get out of people these days. When you answer, “I don’t know” or “maybe next year”, the conversation will grind to an awkward halt.
4) Your friends will silently (or not-so-silently) judge you for not spending eleven billion dollars to fly home for their wedding. Fun fact: they will not visit you once during the years you’re living in some fantastic destination.
5) You will constantly, constantly, have people assuming the only reason you’re in your expat location and staying there for any length of time is because you’ve met a local and are in a relationship with them. (Like, for no other reason would anyone want to live abroad….?)
And here are five awesome truths about being 30 and living abroad solo:
1) You can basically ignore all your friends and family asking when you’re getting married and having kids by simply claiming a poor foreign internet connection, closing the laptop, and heading off to the beach instead. Sorry Grandma, can’t hear youuuuuu!
2) You might have a two day hangover, but no one here is judging… because everyone is always hungover. And you got that queen size bed in your studio apartment allllll to yourself to roll around in feeling like death but kinda luxurious cause you don’t gotta share with bae. Also you can just yell to your neighbors kids to please go to the pulperia and bring you a gatorade and they will do it for like a dollar. (Not that I’ve ever done that. Cough cough. Yep. Never.) That’s way easier than pleading with a boyfriend to please go out and get you some crackers so you don’t die.
3) No one knows what you’re doing! You can do anything you want! If I want to sit on the dock all day in a tutu with a pet iguana drinking wine spritzers and blasting Spice Girls on a boombox, no one here is going to tell me I can’t. Actually, it will probably start a party.
4) You can get out of basically any event you don’t want to go to back at home by sending screencaps of flight prices. I have no Tyga to buy me flights and $320,000 Ferraris, sorry people, the RSVP is a no gracias.
5) You can make up imaginary partners whenever you need to – if locals are harassing you (make up imaginary boyfriend from your home country) or if your parents are harassing you (make up imaginary boyfriend from your adopted country). Everybody wins!
I always have to put disclaimers on posts like these because people get offended. So here is the disclaimer: if you are my friend or family, obviously I love you even if you are posting too much about your kids diapers (honestly though please stop) or asking me all the time when I’m coming back. Everyone else, feel free to be offended!
Have you ever lived abroad solo? Did I miss anything? (Also: are you a scientist who can explain why the hell hangovers suddenly get 487 times worse once you turn 30? REVEAL YOUR SECRETS.)