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.
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!”
“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.
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 😉
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!
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, What To Do When You Move Somewhere You Don’t Like 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!
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!