7 Reasons to Live Abroad at Least ONCE

7 Reasons to Live Abroad at Least Once

Taking the chance to live abroad can definitely be scary. But in my opinion, whether you’re a travel lover or not, living abroad is an extremely rewarding opportunity everyone should experience at least once in their life.

I know us travel bugs have this obnoxious tendency to try and suck everyone into the travel addiction vortex. While it’s with good intention, I totally get that for a lot of people, travelling just isn’t their thing. Experiencing new places doesn’t bring them the same joy or passion as it does in others.

That said, I do think that there is something to be said for taking a couple months (or hey, even years) to live abroad at least once in your life, travel enthusiast or not.

Even if you end up hating every minute, (trust me, I’ve been there before) you will definitely learn so many lessons about the world (and yourself) that you wouldn’t have learned from home.

Reasons to Live Abroad

No matter where you may go, these 7 things remain as great reasons to take the leap. Each of these is a positive argument to tack in your “pro” column when deciding whether or not to live abroad.

1. To Shake up Your Worldview

There’s something so powerful about the moment when you start to realize that not everyone around the world does things the same way as you do back home.

Some things may seem to make less sense, some more, but the more open-minded you are to it, the more you’ll learn about the world around you.

There’s so many beautiful little differences and intricacies to discover about each place around the world, and it’s amazing to discover as you live abroad in different locations.

7 Reasons to Live Abroad

2. To Experience Life Without Your Family and Friends

As crazy homesick as I was the first time I left everyone and everything back home, it was life-changing.

Suddenly being on your own without your usual gang at your side is rattling at first. But it’s a great way to get some separation from some possible unhealthy relationships, and to get to know yourself better.

Adjusting to not having your closest friends and family being a phone call away can be tough, but it’s a great exercise nonetheless.

It throws you into friend-making mode and can inspire some beautiful new relationships with people from all around the world. I wouldn’t have met my husband if I hadn’t spent a season abroad, along with many dear friends I still keep in contact with today. You really never know who you’ll end up meeting.

3. To Gain Confidence and Independence

There are few things in life that I’ve done that I can say have filled me with the same amount of confidence and gusto as living overseas has.

The smallest of actions feel like huge wins. To name a few:

“I drove on the other side of the road today for the first time and DIDN’T crash!”

Or,

“I just understood something in a foreign language with no problem!”

Seriously, at first you’ll feel like a trainwreck, but as the weeks go by, you’ll be amazed at how fast you progress and settle into your “new” life in a place that was completely alien only a short time ago.

The confidence and sense of independence and accomplishment you feel is unlike any other.

4. It Looks Great on Your Resume

Believe it or not, my travel experience has actually landed me a couple of jobs!

It makes for great conversation during interviews and will show potential employers that you’re willing to take risks.

7 Reasons to Live Abroad

Having that added interest and flavour on your resume really can set you apart from other candidates, and can even set you up for travel-related jobs if you’re wanting to continue your journey.

5. To Expand Your Palate

I’m in no way a “foodie”. If anything, I’m quite a picky eater, and in no way adventurous with my willingness to try out new foods.

However, I can definitely say that in every place I’ve visited/lived, I’ve found a few dishes that have stayed with me on my list of favourite foods.

If you’re a lover of cooking or baking, I can definitely assure you that living abroad will inspire you to take more risks when cooking, and try out new ingredients and recipes as well!

One problem I will say is that you may catch yourself craving food you can only find on the other side of the world πŸ˜‰

6. To Start Fresh

When moving abroad, you’ll catch yourself shedding some layers. Both literally and figuratively.

For starters, you’ll definitely need to downsize. Chances are, you’ll only have a couple of suitcases with a weight limit to bring along, so you’ll need to purge out what you don’t need and choose wisely. It’s why I’ve written about how well travel and minimalism go hand in hand! The more you decide to pack along, the more it’ll cost you.

While it may sound like a daunting task, you’ll definitely feel lighter by the end of it. Having a fresh start with a lightend load is a wonderful way to start off your new chapter in a new country.

It’s also interesting to be in a place where no one knows you, especially if you’ve always lived in the same location. As I mentioned before, meeting new friends who may even become your second family is a beautiful experience.

7. To Learn New Skills

Moving to a whole new country requires a load of unique skills too!

For instance, living somewhere that’s national language isn’t your mother tongue will definitely be a curveball. Learning how to communicate (even just the basics) in a new language is a huge skill that anyone should be proud to accomplish.

Even though I’m living in Australia that shares my same language of English, there are enough differences here that means I have a heap of new skills I’ve had to learn, and piles more left to figure out as well!

For instance, being in the workforce here has been entirely different to back home in Canada. I’ve had a background in administration, which really hasn’t helped me much here I’m sad to say!

Since there are different softwares and procedures that are specific to Australia, I had a bit of a shock when job searching and realizing how little of my skills would actually carry over.

Remember those small victories I was mentioning? As you learn these new skills little by little, the more you’ll experience those victories and gain that confidence!

Convinced Yet?

These are just a handful of reasons to live abroad at least once in your life!

Chances are after you go for it, you’ll be able to add on many more of your own personal reasons onto this list.

Also, if you’re worried about simply not liking the location you end up in, I’ve written a post,Β What To Do When You Move Somewhere You Don’t LikeΒ that’ll help you out with that as well.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to take the leap into a new life abroad, I really hope this list gave you some much needed clarity and courage!

7 Reasons to Live Abroad at Least Once

Have you ever lived abroad? If so, what was your experience? Do you have any additional reasons to add on? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!



18 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Live Abroad at Least ONCE”

  • Couldn’t agree more. I’ve lived in a number of countries and have learned so much from doing so. We just moved, as a family, to Mexico , about two weeks ago. My small kids are already so much more aware of the world thanks to this and six months out of the UK last year too. Travelling and living abroad open your eyes so wide.

    • That sounds amazing, and I love Mexico and the culture so much! πŸ™‚ I often wonder what things will look like on the travelling front for my husband and I after we have kids, but I’d imagine it to be an amazing experience for them! Challenging as a parent at times I would imagine, but worth it either way πŸ™‚ Good on you guys!

  • I 100% agree! I lived in Paris for a summer and London for a year and it was so important to my personal development and confidence as well as my professional development. I went to school both times, which is an easy way to move abroad for a set period of time but still have structure for those nervous about long-term commitments!

    • So glad you agree! That sounds like an amazing experience πŸ™‚ I wrote a post about how to get started with long-term travel or living abroad, and I couldn’t agree with you more on how great studying abroad is for getting started! You still get the full experience without needing to worry too much about living arrangements and friend making.

    • Well hey there fellow Canadian πŸ™‚ So excited for your move! Mexico is one of my favourite places, the culture is so warm and filled with life. Hope it goes great for you!

  • Hey, I really enjoyed reading this post and totally agree with you about trying it. It’s good to read about a few other Mexico lovers, that country really has something special right? My parents lived with us as kids abroad and it has most definitely now become a bug! I also met my husband whilst we were both living and working in Sri Lanka so that’s obviously a massive positive. But how do you cope with being away from family and friends? As I get older I am struggling with that. We are considering moving to Mexico after being in China for 4 years and now travelling in West Africa. But Europe is calling me, I miss my family and goodbyes are just getting harder. Any tips and thoughts actually are much appreciated.

    • So glad you resonated with this post. Yes, I totally agree, Mexico is wonderful!
      As far as handling being away from friends and family, it’s different for everyone. I definitely agree with you in the fact that it gets harder as we get older – it seems like my urge to nest back at home gets stronger! Especially since my little niece was born.
      Some things that have helped me out have been regularly skyping family – once or twice a week is a good ratio. Not too often to where you’re missing out on your experience, but often enough that you can still be in touch with what’s going on.
      Having scheduled returns home helps loads too. Knowing that in __ months you’ll be able to go home for a visit is comforting.
      Or, you could always just go abroad for short periods and have a home base near family if you’re finding it too difficult to be away.
      I hope that helps! All the best to you guys <3

  • Your post is spot on. I feel like these are all of the reasons that I travel to begin with. Unfortunately, I have never been afforded the opportunity to live abroad, but I dream of it all the time. Maybe when I retire! LOL!

    • Thanks so much! Haha, you could always look for opportunities to work abroad so you could still make some cash! πŸ™‚

  • Yes yes yes! All of these. I even think moving within a country can help with a couple of these too – like I was living in England for a few years, and now I’m back on my little Scottish island for a while, I can see all these fundamental differences in the lifestyle up here and how people think. Moving to Edinburgh would be a culture shock for half my friends here!

    • I can so relate! I briefly lived in the French part of Canada and I had total culture shock even though I was in my home country. Interesting isn’t it?

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