The Challenges of Living Alone in a Foreign Land

women challenges

Having my medical internship in Miami has given me the opportunity to practice my independence. I had to buy my own groceries, wash my own clothes, cook my own food and look after myself. The experience is definitely liberating and quite challenging in some aspects.  And in truth and reality, I’m learning to love this entire journey. After all, being a woman is all about being mature and self-sufficient.

I’m currently living in a one-bedroom apartment which I decorated myself. It was fully-furnished when I moved in and I took the liberty of re-designing and decorating it to suit my personal taste. I moved some of the furniture to accommodate all the stuff which I brought all the way from Prague like framed family photos, a stuffed toy, sleek table lamps, lots of books, bags and several pairs of shoes. I also bought a new study table and a comfy chair where I can work and study. My apartment represented my personality – minimalist and feminine. 

Challenge No. 1: Help! There’s water all over my apartment!

I was lying on the couch reading one of my case studies when I noticed water flowing on the floor coming from the kitchen. I immediately ran to see where it was coming from and discovered a steady stream of water gushing from below the counter and sink. I didn’t know exactly what to do so I started piling the rugs around the source in an attempt to absorb the water. It was slowly taking over my entire apartment so I went out and asked my neighbor if they know anyone who can fix the problem. 

My neighbor, Ted, was nice enough to check my place and informed me that I need to call a specialist. I almost laughed at the idea because being in the medical field, I know a lot of specialists but I don’t know anyone who specializes in burst pipes or leaking pipes for that matter. Ted called the specialists on water damage fort lauderdale neighborhood often relies on such problems. Sure enough, they came in to fix the problem and got rid of all the mess. They dried up my place and even checked for other water damages. Ted was there the whole time to help me out and to make sure that everything would be taken care of. I owe him a lot for that.

house keys
house keys

Challenge No. 2: Help! I lost my apartment keys!

Losing the house keys is probably the worse thing that could happen to anyone who’s just dying to get home, hop into the shower and get some sleep. After an 18-hour duty, I finally got into my apartment only to find out that my keys were missing. I had no idea where I left them so I asked my neighbor, Ted, to help me out again. Since I was desperate and neither of us knew exactly what to do, I ended up going back into the hospital to sleep in the quarters. When I woke up after a couple of hours, I asked my co-interns if, by any chance, they found a set of keys lying somewhere. Nobody did. 

I was already planning on calling my landlady when I remembered to check on my blazer which I left inside my locker. I heard the heavens singing “Halleluiah” the moment my fingers touched the cool sleek metallic ring that holds together my set of keys to my apartment. I realized that left them inside the pocket of my blazer which I took off and hanged inside my locker before heading home following an 18-hour duty at the E.R. How can I be so absent-minded? I immediately rushed back to my apartment, took a warm shower and tucked myself in bed underneath the warm and comforting blankets. 

My Realizations

Following these unfortunate events, I knew I had to learn how to take care of myself because I’m living on my own and away from my family who can take care of everything for me. These are just tiny and minor problems – probably just mere introductions of more challenging things that would come my way. Living alone in a foreign land means learning how to look after myself, being mindful about my belongings, knowing who to call and what to do in case of emergencies, and being mature enough to handle every situation. I have a long way to go towards being more mature and independent but I believe that one small step each day counts for something.