5 life skills i learnt living away from family

There comes a time when some of us have to move out of your family home and relocate to other cities/countries for education or work. I moved out and relocated to Bangalore in 2007 for pursuing my post-graduation and it’s been 9 years that I am staying away from my family – well actually now I have a family of my own!

All these years of staying away has been an enriching experience and has shown some desperate moments as well. There are two things that you can do when these desperate moments haunt you – you sulk and brood over and do nothing about it or you brace yourself and tell life – BRING IT ON!

I am going to list down few life skills I picked up while staying away from home.


When you relocate to the southern part of India you know what you get to eat – idli, dosa and a lot of variety of I-am-sure-nice food but I didn’t like that. Having a new kind of food (that you particularly don’t like) once or twice is tolerable but having to eat that thrice a day everyday was a punishment. The only food we got at college canteen was south Indian food and a handful of north Indian items like roti and subji! The food at the paying guest accommodation was also quite hopeless, but luckily there was a kitchen.

A fish recipe you can find on my Food Blog – Twinkling Tina Cooks

The first time I made food – with mom’s instructions on phone – it was horrible! I just didn’t throw it because I had made an effort to cook! But you know experience is the best teacher. I started cooking often and the cooking skills did improve. Very soon I was making gourmet dishes and delighting my friends in the PG. Now my better half thinks he married well! I even have come up with my food blog Twinkling Tina Cooks. I must say this is a passion I realized, I had in me, only after I started living away. I had not even ventured in my kitchen while I was at home!



Staying alone makes you independent and teaches you to do several things. You can’t always get someone to do all these odd jobs at home – changing bulbs, hammering nails on the wall, fixing a frame, putting up a curtain – you name it I have done it all! It all started when once the light in our room in the PG had broken. Why do I even wait for someone to help when I can help myself?

And it’s not just changing light bulbs, I can even join wires and fix a plug now!



Two things happen when you relocate to a different city and start a new life. You leave behind your family and friends back home and feel bad about it and feel home sick. Or simply make new friends. Some people say it’s difficult to make friends later in your life when you have passed out college. In this age of Facebook, it is difficult to network in the real sense.

I was an introvert till about my sixth and seventh standard and later started opening up. But seriously I made friends for life when I started living alone. We have been together in joy, in tears, have taken some wonder trips together without letting anyone know. These are the friendships that would stand against everything even when we are not together in the same city.



I am a single child and had never had to share anything all throughout my growing years. From the very beginning I had my own room, my own washroom, all my stuffs were only mine and I valued my privacy, as did everyone in my family. For a long time I knew I couldn’t sleep if there was anyone in my room. But once I started living in the PG I chose to stay in a double sharing room. The decision of not renting an apartment or a single sharing room was mine – how can someone stay without talking! I am someone who talks non-stop and I enjoy company.

I learnt to share the room as well as my stuffs. I learnt to being considerate with girls when we had to share a single television! But I guess these are important things to learn in life.



When you are on your own you realize money is a big thing. I started doing freelance design work while doing my post-graduation for some extra pocket money. My dad was funding my expenses. But I am such a shopaholic that sometimes the account balance used to scare me. This stayed with me even when I started working. But then I thought if I wanted to lead the life, the way I wanted I had to manage my expenses.

The day I started muting my expenses down on an excel sheet I at least had an overview where and how I was spending. After over six months I noticed the trend of unnecessary expenditure in shopping and eating out. Well since I am a big foodie, eating out made sense and so was shopping. But then I used to shop every weekend. It took time, to reduce it. But yes I helped myself and managed the expense well!

I saw this Life Skill Learning post on Rajlakshmi’s blog Destiny’s Child. I thought I had to list down my own. So what all you guys learnt while staying away from home and family?


22 Comments on 5 Life Skills I learnt living away from Family

  1. Ramya
    July 11, 2016 at 9:15 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Tina,
    Every point you have written there is bang on. Stayibg away from family also makes you realize the importance of it. When i moved i never thought i would miss my mom much but what i did not realize was i had taken her for granted and nevee relaized her importance. I have had bad times, but I am glad it did. Sharing this!

    • tinabasu
      July 11, 2016 at 9:22 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey Ramya, my case has been same too about my mom. It’s only after I started living away that I realized my parents and specially my mum, means the world to me. We speak over phone and facetime multiple times a day now! Thanks for dropping by

  2. Parul Thakur
    July 11, 2016 at 9:42 pm (3 years ago)

    Absolutely agree. I left when I was 17 and did not marry till 29 so 12 years on my own and those were the days. I am who I am cos of those days. Cooking – I still find hard but I can survive.
    And you have mastered cooking. I have been to your other blog with those yum recipes.
    As I was reading your post, I was thinking of Raji 🙂
    Parul Thakur recently posted…Of laptop and keyboard issuesMy Profile

    • tinabasu
      July 11, 2016 at 10:12 pm (3 years ago)

      OMG 12 yrs alone is a huge time. I am sure your list of life skills will be more than mine! Thanks for visiting the other blog too! Yes Raji inspired me to write this one up!

  3. Kala Ravi
    July 11, 2016 at 9:47 pm (3 years ago)

    Hiya Tina. Believe it or not, I am taking notes here! My kid will be living alone in a couple of years and I am already panicking! I guess its the best way to grow up isn’t it…I mean really grow up, learning the value of all things, being self-reliant and of course inventive! Enjoyed this post much!

    • tinabasu
      July 11, 2016 at 10:28 pm (3 years ago)

      My dear Kala, missed you so much here. Yes living alone is the only way you can teach your kid to be independent and experience life, that’s what i have learnt in my life! I am sure he’ll be okay. Don’t panic at all.

  4. Shilpa Garg
    July 11, 2016 at 10:38 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow! You have come a long way and done great with acquiring some fab life skills. Being self sufficient is something that we all must strive to be. Your cooking journey is inspiring!!

    • tinabasu
      July 13, 2016 at 11:10 am (3 years ago)

      Hey, Thanks Shilpa, being self sufficient is necessary but I always feel there’s so much more to learn!Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Erica
    July 12, 2016 at 12:24 am (3 years ago)

    This is a great list of life skills that I’m trying to work with my teenagers on now. We take turns with each of them cooking a different night, so when they leave I hope they will have a few meals they feel confident in cooking on their own. We are also working on being considerate and learning how to manage expenses.

    • tinabasu
      July 12, 2016 at 5:16 pm (3 years ago)

      Wow Erica you are doing great that you are preparing them for the life ahead. All the best dear

  6. Meena Menon
    July 12, 2016 at 1:18 am (3 years ago)

    Point #4 was the on ei learnt overnight when i had to stay away form family! N of course cooking 🙂

    • tinabasu
      July 12, 2016 at 5:15 pm (3 years ago)

      LOL. That’s actually the first thing people learn away from home. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Jayanthy G
    July 12, 2016 at 8:18 am (3 years ago)

    This takes me to the 1 year I spent away from home! I never once moved out of my house for anything. Once I moved for work, I learnt a lot about living! This is an excellent post! I am bookmarking this, I am sure I will make a post on this sometime soon! 🙂 Thanks a lot, Tina!

    • tinabasu
      July 12, 2016 at 5:15 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Jayanthy for the bookmark. I will look forward to your post!

  8. AuraOfThoughts
    July 12, 2016 at 12:54 pm (3 years ago)

    Staying away from family really teaches us many things.You have putforth the fact of life.

    • tinabasu
      July 12, 2016 at 4:53 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks for dropping by

  9. Sheethal
    July 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm (3 years ago)

    Awe! I always wanted to live away from family atleast for a small while… But never got a chance yet…

    • tinabasu
      July 13, 2016 at 11:11 am (3 years ago)

      Hey, you will not feel like living away from family once you start doing that actually. So just enjoy!

  10. Rajlakshmi
    July 13, 2016 at 7:37 am (3 years ago)

    You are a master chef now 🙂 I wish I had that knack for cooking. Oh yes hammering stuffs and managing expenses are big part of living away from home. Thank you for the mention 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Zentangle & Botanical DrawingMy Profile

    • tinabasu
      July 13, 2016 at 11:13 am (3 years ago)

      You are most welcome Raj. Far from being a master chef actually. You know the first thing I tried making (which was a disaster) was khichdi. Often I can’t make simple stuffs – like khichdi and round roti, so far from it!

  11. Fabida Abdulla
    July 13, 2016 at 6:17 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m still pretty bad at the nail and hammer thing. Though considering how many men it takes to change a light bulb, it’s high time I learn to do it!

  12. Saksham Talwar
    July 17, 2016 at 11:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Tina, this article reminded me of my last four years of staying away from my family! I can’t say I learned to cook, but yes, I did learn to share, network and manage expenses. Managing costs is somehow vital. I mean, it’s tough to survive without doing that. We’ll never know where our money is going.
    Saksham Talwar recently posted…Check Pokemon Go Server Status for Outages or DowntimeMy Profile


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