What I learned as an immigrant

What I learned as an immigrant: 5 life lessons I have learned so far - Porty's Diary -
Hello there!!

For today's post, I thought I'd share with you some of the things I have learned as an immigrant. 
Not sure if many of you know, but I am Portuguese currently living in the Netherlands and it has been a hell of an experience so far!
What started as a crazy adventure has become my "new normal".
Shall I get started?

What I learned as an immigrant? 

Let's go!

Step out of your comfort zone

To make the decision to leave everything behind in search of an opportunity is quite a step. It's actually the best proof that you can step out of your comfort zone, when need it.
I think it's also one of the hardest decisions one can make; leave your family, friends and everyhting familiar behind without a return date, it's not an easy one....

You go through different phases

If I look back in time, I can identify at least 4 different phases I went through this journey:
  • Excitement
When you get the news that it's time to pack and go, you are overloaded with a rush of excitement! At least I was. It was all so fast and crazy that I could only feel excited about starting this new journey. 
  • Discovery
You get to your new country, start your new job, move into your new house, and all of a sudden everything around you is new! Every single thing. So, even when you have to do the most basic things, it's all a new discovery. As an example, I remember I was so overwhelmed (and underwhelmed at the same time) to go groceries shopping; everything was different in the groceries stores... And they were a lot smaller than I was used to (hence the underwhelmed part). I
  • "New normals"
But after a while, routine kicks in, and what once was new it becomes your "new normal". Is this a sign you're finally getting "acclimatized" to your surroundings?! Possibly...

  • "Where's home?"
This is one of those simple questions that becomes quite hard to answer, once you live abroad for a while. Till this day, I find it difficult to give a simple answer.

Any immigrants reading this? If so, do you also find it hard to answer this question?

Find out who your true friends are

Oh boy, little I knew this was going to be quite a revelation... But it was.
It hurt, in the beginning, to be honest, but now, after almost 6.5 years away, I finally accepted the fact that those who I once thought would be friends were not more than just people I hung out with.
It's just the way life is, I assume. 
If I see my "old friends" I am sure we can get a nice 10min conversation, but once we all "go back home" we won't hear from each other anytime soon. No hard feelings, though!
Friendship is a two-way street, folks!

Distance becomes relative

Nowadays, something is "far away" for me if it implies one of the two things: I have to fly to get there or drive for more than 3 hours.
Before, if I had to drive for 30min or longer than it would be "a bit too far" to go. Silly!!!
Everything becomes relative once you're taken out of your element.

Realizing who you really are

Never I have felt so much as a Portuguese as ever since I moved out of Portugal!
We, Portuguese, have the stupid habit to think Portugal is just a small country at the edge of Europe; but we are as big as we want, and me being an immigrant, made me quite proud of where I came from. 
Because Portugal is a beautiful country, not that small, with a great culture, landscapes, friendly, safe, vast cuisine and with a fantastic weather! And this is quite unique if you ask me.

So, yeah, here you have it!
These are a few things I have learned as an immigrant, during the last 6.5 years.
Even though a lot of people think that being an immigrant is like being on "non-stop holiday", it is not that easy.
Till this day I don't get the question "Are you liking it?" that some people still ask me... *roll eyes here*
As if I'd ask anyone who hasn't moved out "why haven't you immigrated?"... You get my point, right?

If any of you reading this post is or was an immigrant, share with me what have you learned from your experience! I would like to know.

See you soon!

Next Post: February 15th @ 8 am CET 

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What I learned as an immigrant: 5 life lessons I have learned so far - Porty's Diary -


  1. nowadays is to fucking easy ti contact someone whereever they are... is just stupid when your phone dont ring anymore... well its no so bad at all, the true guys stay with you no matter the distants!! and we always have our word "saudade" for who really matter!! btw...saudades!!!
    Pumba resposta em inglês xD

  2. Ahhh this was so interesting to me as I've pretty much stayed in the same place all my life, it sounds such a wonderful adventure! I love that it made your love for Portugal even stronger, I dream of visiting there one day, it looks amazing! :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (I would love to follow each other on bloglovin if you like! :D)

  3. I really loved this post. I found it so interesting. I plan on travelling and experiencing other countries but I've always worried about how I'd adjust to being in a new place. So this post gave so much insight.