Why Female Friendships Are a Joy (Wherever You Go)
Be it classics like “Thelma & Louise” and “Steel Magnolias” or newer productions like “The Bold Type”, strong female friendships are the focus of many movies, TV shows, and even literature. The special connections between women, the way their different personalities merge and clash, and their mutual support has been the source of inspiration for many. Having a circle of female friends can be a big source of comfort and joy. This is even more true when you live abroad, where you often face new challenges every day.
They Share Your Experiences & Offer a Fresh Perspective
Wherever you go and whatever your life might look like, there are some experiences that are universal to women from around the world — from the struggles of dating and dealing with society’s expectations to navigating the workplace. Your girlfriends will know how to handle the hurdles that are specific to women living abroad. No matter if you’re struggling with culture shock or heartbreak, they’ll understand what you’re going through.
Despite everything you share as women, you each come with your own set of experiences, beliefs, and cultural influences. Maybe you’ve lived abroad for a long time but for your friends, it’s the first stay in another country. Or maybe you have friends from different cultures who can offer you insights based on their own experiences. In any case, your friends will be able to give you a fresh perspective or show you another solution to your problems. This is what makes having international female friends so great.
You Get to Share & Learn
From your favorite national dishes to your friends’ national holiday celebrations or traditional dances — you’ll learn all about your friends’ cultures and traditions, and they’ll find out about yours. Having female friends from around the world will open up your mind. Of course, having these experiences is already the best part of living abroad. But your group of girlfriends can tell you about their experiences from a unique, female perspective that men don’t usually have. So why not share and learn from them?
They’re Your Support System Abroad
No matter how long you’ve dreamed of moving abroad and how long you prepared for it, it can be a challenging time. Your original support network is back home … and you might feel homesick and lonely at times. Simple tasks can seem like insurmountable obstacles.
Don’t worry, your new circle of friends has your back. Many people try to be tough and put on a brave face. But when you’re around your friends, you don’t need to. They’ll let you be vulnerable and provide a safe space to vent or a shoulder to cry on. And they’ll help you through the rough times and out at the other end.
They Hype You Up
Of course, your friends will also be the ones to celebrate your achievements. Think of them as your own personal cheerleading squad. Maybe you’re pursuing the job of your dreams, are working hard to turn your creative endeavors into a career, or you’re trying to get pregnant — your girlfriends will be there to hype you up and remind you what you’re capable of. And once you succeed, they’ll be there to celebrate with you.
They Just Make Life Better
Did you know that having female friends is not just fun but actually healthy? Having close platonic friendships can give you a boost of happiness-inducing hormones and prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness. (Feelings all too familiar to any woman who has moved abroad and taken a while to settle in.)
If you’ve ever left a dinner or a movie night with your girlfriends feeling warm and fuzzy inside, this is probably not a surprise to you. Although living abroad comes with a lot of emotional challenges, the sheer joy you’ll get from spending time with your female friends will make it all easier, more fun, … and it’ll do wonders for your mental health.