Abroad Life and Balance Sheet

Our society takes what we have for granted. Last year, during German class, we had a conversation about the transportation system in Berlin. I said I was extremely happy about it. In reality, you do not need to wait more than 5 minutes for the metro but buses take a little bit longer. Compare this to where I used to study in France, where I once waited for 2 whole hours. The Russian concurred with me and the British who was not from London was also content with it. On the other hand, the two Japanese were completely shocked. Until today, I do not understand why, but they say that it is way too slow.

 Basic Principles

For expatriates, this makes sense. You quit your home and all the greatness that was there to land at the place where you are right now. This made your realize that things were done in a different way in other cultures and countries.

Everyone will tell you that Berlin is the place to be right now. I never felt more secure than here. In this city, you can be yourself and people will take you as you are. You are just expected to respect the rules, and everyone does. I am amazed until today that there is no gate when you take the metro. If a controller comes, all passengers will have a valid ticket. 

On the other hand, I terribly miss my Vitamin-D provider. With a direct flight from South of France, the sun would need only one hour and a half to reach Berlin. I do not understand why it does not do it. I always said, I believe the government should offer one week of vacation in a sunny spot to all Germans in winter. I wish this could somehow reach the Bundestag (the German Parliament) and that they will soon pass the law.

Trading is all about gaining and loosing. This is basic microeconomics and finance. You always need a buyer to whom you can sell what you have. You are part of a system in which you interact with other people – each part gains in value.

Assets and Liabilities/Equity

Take a balance sheet : list on the one hand all the wonderful things you now have and on the other side all the assets you left behind. You see that it balances. You cannot possibly have lost it all.  You have to understand that it is nearly impossible to have a hundred percent gain or loss. Even a state or a company that goes bankrupt has assets: machines or people (brains) they can use to rebuild something.

It is crucial to understand this accounting principle before you even think of moving to another country. You will tell me that there is nothing to gain from such an experience because everything will always balance. No, you will add value to yourself. You will gain in knowledge of another culture, language and customs. There is no reason today not to keep in touch. When you meet fantastic people you can keep in touch through social media. There are great tools on the web to share with your friends and family how you are evolving. I am so thankful for these platforms and tools. I only have to connect with my computer to watch my nephews in Paris or watch the wedding pictures of a great friend of mine.

Do not be afraid to step into something new. You can assess the problems, but not all of them. This has nothing to do with the abroad experience, but only with life itself. If you stay where you are, you will also have to face these issues in another way.

You are a company that can only prosper if you take the chance to invest in yourself.

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