Moving to a foreign country is something I never thought I’d do…until I did it. I thought studying abroad for a few weeks in Italy was a long time; how was I going to last months?
I was working a short-term job in Florence, Italy for about six months last year, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. While I wasn’t fully immersed (my roommates/co-workers were American and our customers – students – were American), living in an Italian apartment in the heart of Florence was a whirlwind of an adventure. If you are considering taking the plunge and moving across the world, I urge you to do it.
These are a few of many reasons to move to another country, be it for a few months, a year, or indefinitely.
1. Experience Living Like Someone Else
You buy groceries, do your laundry, and go out to eat like a local. You learn to communicate with new phrases and understand different body language. You are living your everyday life like it’s from someone else’s perspective. Living like the locals starts to rub off on you, and you may not even realize it.
2. Travel Slow
Being on the go is exciting but exhausting.
There were weeks at a time where I’d be traveling to a new country every weekend (the best part about the job) and returning to Italy during the week. While getting the opportunity to see a new city even for just a few days was awesome, I didn’t get to know the culture as well as I did in Italy.
Slow travel allows you to notice the little things, to stop and smell the roses, and to appreciate everyday life. Even if you move abroad short-term, traveling slow will allow you to soak up as much as you can before you leave.
3. Learn a New Language
If you move somewhere where the main language is foreign to you, then that’s all the more reason to learn it. And what better way to learn a new language than to be fully immersed in a country that’s constantly speaking it?
4. Cut Down Your Living Costs
Moving abroad might actually save you money, depending where you live. Central and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America are great regions that tend to have a lower cost of living than your average western country.
Plus, living abroad tends to be cheaper than vacationing. Especially if you’re traveling slower, you’re more likely saving on extra costs by not staying in a hotel, cooking most of your meals, and doing everyday life activities.
5. Have a Fresh Start
No one knows you there. You have an opportunity to be whoever you want to be; to fully be yourself if you’ve been holding back. There are new friends to be meeting and new things to be doing. Be the person you want to be, surround yourself with positive people, and try the things you’ve always wanted to (perhaps, for example, getting TEFL-certified in Peru or learning yoga in India).
6. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Move abroad to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. You’d be surprised at what you can handle, and it makes everyday #firstworldproblems seem minuscule.
7. Find Work Opportunities
International work experience is resume gold. Going abroad in general is a great boost for your resume, but working on top of that provides even more value.
8. Make Memories and Be Adventurous
Do it because you know you want to. And that burning desire deep within you will continue to grow until you just go for it.