Ten things I learned from living alone in Tunis
This month I celebrate my fifth year living solo in Tunis. I left my parent’s house when I was 18 for school and by the age of 23 I was already living by myself and having a full-time job in a city that is anything but like home. I recall my first day in Tunis the capital city and I can’t help being thankful for how far I made it. Here is the list of then things I learned from the solo journey:
- You will get used to being away from home and family: the first few months were the most challenging period of time because I was new in the city, had no car, no friends and everything is hard to find. I think that the one thing that helped me adjust is the fact that I ask questions and embrace getting lost. I don’t pretend that I know it all and I ask people questions if I can’t find my way.
- You can’t change a light bulb , that’s okay , I couldn’t do that either ! The first time I had to do that I remember being worried about how can I do that? But then I was like I either do this myself or wait for the landlord to come fix it whenever he or she can. The thought of being dependent on someone wasn’t something I like so I watched a YouTube Tutorial and VOILA! I was able to do it all by myself and that became a first world problem!
- Rent can be the most challenging part of the whole solo journey. I had to move to three different places in the spam of one year and half. I was able to do that because I made sure I do not own tons of useless things so by the time I needed to move I was able to do that easily. Moving can be super challenging if you live by yourself because it is pricey and tiring too. Go minimalist and that will solve it. I haven’t bought anything until I finally realized that I like my apartment and I will be staying there for few years.
- It is okay not to know your next door neighbor: I have been living in different apartments’ and I barely knew my next door neighbors. Whenever I see them I say hi and smile but that’s all the interaction we have. People seem to have busy lives and most of the time they will not have time for socializing with neighbors. That was such a chock for me when I first moved from Planet Tataouine because back home you should know your neighbors and have a good relationship with them.
- You will make friends eventually. I remember that the most challenging part was making friends. I was able to meet people from work mostly but I was open to being part of volunteering opportunities where I met some of the coolest people ever.
- Solo life is fun when you are on top of the priorities. There will be bills to be paid on time, rent that should be giving to the landlord on a specific date and time. The secret in having an organized life is setting a calendar with the key dates of certain events. It works perfectly in case you need to remember to pay the phone or internet bill.
- Having your own place is priceless. I’m endlessly thankful I have a place I love and call home. I call it my safe heaven where I know that at the end of the day I will be able to enjoy some quiet time away from everything.
- Have rules that people need to stick to when visiting. I always tell my family members know that I like things to be in certain order so I don’t have to look for them when someone comes to visit. This is difficult when my mom comes to visit because she just turns the kitchen to her own space and I learned that after several discussions that it is better to let her do whatever she wants and once she leave I will take an hour to arrange it to the old order. Moms drive us crazy but they are the best.
- Some landlords can be a real pain so make sure you set the rules with them since the very beginning. Never add them on social media, don’t invite them for coffee or a drink, make sure you keep the relationship super professional. You don’t want them to think they are your parents and start asking you dumb questions like why are you late and who is that guy or things like that. You are renting their place and that should be it. You guys are not friends or buddies.
- Solo life will help you know a lot about who you are and what you can or cannot stand. It is that time in life here you will face tons of challenges but you have to deal with them all alone. I learned to love them time I have by myself because that’s the ME time and I should cherish it as much as I can.