(Today, we have the first guest post on this blog. I’m very excited, so without further ado, over to Daphnée and her experiences of living away from home. Go check out her blog through the link in the bio after the post)
I have been living in Malaysia for 2 years and I don’t miss home.
Many would call me heartless; after all, I am merely a student and thus I still depend on my family to get by. However, I have always been the adventurous type, not necessarily the sporty one, but the one that likes to wander around and discover new places, live new experiences.
I live in the city of Subang Jaya; this name might not be familiar to all. Compared to the small town I used to live in, this place was a city of lights for me, especially that I reside in the township of Sunway – a mixture of the tourist and student lifestyle. Mornings are pretty calm; most of us wake up late anyway, unless you have an 8 a.m. class, while evenings are filled with the scent of a multicultural fusion cuisine and nights with bright multicoloured neon-lit buildings and loud music (if there is an event, but in any case the area is very eventful).
However, I believe that this is not how one is supposed to define one’s city. I believe that whether a city is boring or interesting depends hugely on how you create your own experiences from it.
Why don’t I miss home, really? It’s certainly not because I hate my family or whatsoever. I don’t even define home by the people I love or I am very close to, but by my level of comfort.
I don’t miss home because I make that time spent in that city worth it.
I may only have 1 year left living here, as I’m graduating next July, and so far I can say that I have been successful in making Sunway my home. At first, I had tried to make friends with everyone, whether they were local or international, in order to both blend into the city life and have people to relate to. I then explored every corner, from public transportation to the best (cheapest) grocery store. Yes, if you really want to get to know a city, it’s best to take note of those mundane places, instead of the touristic spots. Personally, that’s how I really got comfortable.
Homesickness was never an option for me. I was 19 when I left my nest and I was determined to bring my concept of ‘home’ with me, and I did. I was not afraid of loneliness either; I took it as an opportunity to grow as an independent adult and to learn more about myself.
I believe that, eventually, Subang Jaya could be like any other city: it offers you a wide variety of lifestyle choices; you just have to choose your own, and from there, make the most out of it. For instance, while many students here tend to go clubbing every weekend, spending a lot of money on booze and expensive clothes, I choose not to as my allowance is quite small.
However, not having a lot of money doesn’t mean that I don’t get to enjoy city life. In fact, the first thing I found wonderful is the close proximity of libraries and bookstores. Back in my home country, I had to travel an hour by bus at least to get to the nearest ones. Here, I have access to two libraries from two of the universities surrounding me… by walking for 5-10 minutes, I get to read books for free!
In addition, Subang Jaya is well-known for its variety of restaurants, cheap or expensive; they have it all for all tastes, cultures and… bank accounts! Food is like a culture thing here; food is how we socialize. It’s a whole fulfilling experience all by itself. Moreover, it’s one great way to get to form your gang of friends, those that think like you, have similar interests (because you’ll end up leaving the restaurant at midnight although you came in at 7 p.m.) and… yes, budgets.
In the end, I would say that the joy that came out of living in a Malaysian city for so long was much based on the experiences I chose to experience, the people I chose to hang out with and the time I also chose to spend on myself.
Be aware of your choices because, yes, you can take control of your lifestyle… to your own advantage. It does take time but it is worth it after having adjusted to and been familiarized with everything around you.
And know that being away from home doesn’t really mean anything in the end because you can choose to bring home with you along your journey and travels.
About the Author:
Daphnée Kwong Waye is a 20-something blogger at An Evil Nymph’s Blog who is following her childhood dream of becoming a writer. On top of that, she is currently studying psychology… and everything that touches the field of arts in university. Indeed, she has too many hobbies.