It was this Friday July 17th that marked my one-year anniversary with Malaysia. Yes, I have been living in Malaysia, as an undergraduate student, for more than a year now. Not once did I go back to my home country, Mauritius.
How does it feel?
Someone told me that I would change after having stayed abroad for so long. Someone else added that while I would change, the people back in my country, my family, would not, which will give off a weird feeling if I go back one day. Today, I can say I completely agree. I’ve changed, no, I’ve grown.
Not literally obviously.
I believe that the Daphnée people used to know back in Mauritius is still here, but she has grown stronger, in body (I can stand 30+ degrees Celsius weather!) and in the mind. I wanted to show the world that I could live on my own, but most of all, that an introvert could. One doesn’t need to be outgoing to meet people; one doesn’t need to be eloquent to get along with others.
One simply needs to be open.
Open to new experiences and ideas, to culture clash, to different kinds of people and places. This is where the secret to independence lies, in my opinion.
Being in Arts, I think I was quite lucky to be surrounded by a majority of open-minded people, and I quickly felt welcomed.
In one year, my thoughts have evolved; my thinking has widened. I also remained loyal to the things that I love (like going for Performing Arts, as I always did back in secondary school) and persevered in putting my principles in practice (I believe for instance in the balance between hard work and play time, compared to the more conservative Asian people I’ve known…).
But most importantly, this one year has helped me focus. Focus on what I truly want from life, in relation to who I am, in terms of personality. In fact, since a student’s main concern is one’s career, I realised that there’s no need to conform to find a (future) job you’ll eventually love and which will meet your childhood dreams. Open to opportunities.
One year in a foreign country has been refreshing for me. Moving around, starting over. This is the best way to refuel and embrace life even more. I can confirm it again today as I am writing from a state in Malaysia called Penang (yes I’ve been there before, if you’ve read my blog), where I’ve been living for almost a month now (my actual Malaysian home is in Selangor) because, well I’m in holidays and I crave for adventure so much that I got an internship there, haha (will probably talk about it in a later post). A third home, already, with new people, new experiences…
By the way, I have a feeling that my blog posts are getting more and more incoherent…? Like, everything is all over the place. I cannot seem to organize my thoughts in blogging anymore. I guess that’s why it always takes me such a long time to get on to writing one… I’ve been thinking about this lately and I think it’s because of my very one-year experience in Malaysia. I cannot describe how it feels but basically, my level of ‘thinking too much’ (An Evil Nymph’s slogan!) seems to have transcended to abstraction, where I cannot grab my raw thoughts anymore to put them down on paper. But before the explanation gets more complicated…
In the end, I’m glad to end up here, a point where I got to know and accept myself a little more. I know where I stand, and I know where to go. At least, for now.
To all students out there, happy holidays!
An Evil Nymph.
2 thoughts on “One Year in Malaysia”
Living abroad really does change you, although I think for the better. It can be a shock to go back home though.
Indeed for the better. Yeah I have no idea how it will be when I will go back in the future.