Moving abroad – the most terrifying and exhilarating step that a person can take to completely turn their life upside down. It’s a thrilling and amazing adventure, riddled with challenges and learning opportunities, that will change you in ways you didn’t think were possible. Not only are you getting totally out of your comfort zone, but you are doing it in possibly one of the biggest ways possible. Some people who want to mix things up, change their job or car, maybe move houses; few people change all of those things at once – it’s a brave step, but totally worth it.
Here’s why everyone absolutely must live abroad at some point in their life:
Why experience only one place when you can experience many? What is there to stay for? Friends? Family? They will still be there when you get back (or chasing you for epic vacations). Why stay put when you can roam free and experience the world?
Fostering an appreciation for the small things if you do return home! Whether it’s boxed Mac ‘n’ Cheese or having a toilet INSIDE your home, there will be things you miss when you live abroad. But the challenges you will face will also change you in new ways, and teach you to appreciate the convenient wonderful-ness of life back home if you do decide to return.
LIFE SKILLZ I’m talking about learning the art of unclogging a toilet, how to wash your laundry in a bucket of cold water and how to crack open a tin of food with a knife type of life skills. You learn to adapt to your surroundings and utilize the things you have to make the best of your circumstances. In a different country, this means a whole lot of problem-solving as you understand how the everyday things work.
Access more opportunities. At a time when the job market is THIS competitive, why limit yourself to one job market? You might just land your dream position whilst discovering your dream-land. Not to mention the fact that all your skills, cultural knowledge, and worldly experience will put you top of the applicant pile if you want to look for a new role.
The weather! I guess this one really depends on where you’re from and where you’re going, but spending your weekends soaking up the sun on a Mexican beach might not be the worst life choice!
Broadening your social circle. Meeting new people is a blast, no one ever complained that they had too many friends! Living overseas throws you straight out of your comfort zone and into a community full of strangers. Yes, it’s terrifying, but the end result is that you mingle with a whole new crowd, overcome the fear, and end up with a bunch of new friends whom you might not otherwise have met. Happy days!
Saying yes to all kinds of crazy new things. Critics might suggest you can do this anywhere, but living abroad tends to open up chances to do things you wouldn’t have otherwise considered in your predictable life. I’m talking scuba diving in the Philippines, taking surfing lessons in Costa Rica, visiting a yoga retreat in Bali… there’s something about the people you meet and the places you visit throwing unexpected opportunities your way, and the resistance you put up just wanes and wanes.
Spend more time outdoors, enjoying the world. Again, you could do this at home, but let’s face it, we get sucked into life-admin way too much. Living a different land encourages you to go out and explore, appreciating life and the world around you so much more.
WHY NOT? With nothing to lose, and so much to gain, why not?!
It might seem like the most overwhelming and utterly bonkers decision you have ever made, but as someone who has been there, I promise you it will be the most amazing ride. The hardest decisions in life tend to end up being the most rewarding after all.
Originally written by Elisabeth Tuck on Unwritten.