"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world" ~ Gustave Flaubert.
Travel can be a wonderful experience, especially living abroad. Moving out of the country brings many benefits, namely becoming self-reliant, networking, developing cultural awareness, learning a new language, and much more. Travel helps people build character and as cliché as it may sound, even find themselves. We’re always growing as individuals, but add living abroad to the evolution of oneself, and it will almost speed up the process.
"Freedom comes from strength and self-reliance" ~ Lisa Murkowski
1. Becoming Self-Reliant
Living abroad brings a new level of independence into one’s life. It comes with new challenges and responsibilities. These may be as simple as how to change a lightbulb or as difficult as managing your finances.
At first it may be terrifying, but with time comes clarity. You will come to learn that you have the ability to face these new endeavours; therefore, helping improve confidence and have you become more resourceful as a person.
Make new friends, industry acquaintances, and even business partners
It’s scary to travel elsewhere and leave the comfort of a hometown. Loneliness may be the first emotion, but it’s important to remember that a lot of people are in the same boat, you might even come across them. In today’s time, everyone is trying to move somewhere new and have a fresh start. These are the people that will be most relatable, as well as the easiest to develop a friendship with.
To travel somewhere new also expands the number of people one will meet. This can help you move further along in your career path, as you will meet individuals who can expand your knowledge or even offer a new and potentially better job. Some individuals can even steer you into a new career path that may be more enjoyable. The more people you meet in life, the higher the likelihood it is for you to find new opportunities and doors that can be opened.
“Culture is a way of coping with the world by defining it in detail” ~ Malcolm Bradbury.
3. Developing Cultural Awareness
To travel and live somewhere new can lead you to the exposure of interesting cultures and places found around the world. Meeting new people from other parts worldwide will give you the introduction to new foods, music, movies, cuisine and much more. You can learn about the different habits and mannerisms people have, perhaps helping you better connect with individuals from those cultures in the future.
Language is the road map of a culture
4. Learning a New Language
For those trying to expand their linguistic skills, this is a give-in. Going to the country in which whose language you’re trying to learn can make it much easier. It also helps you delve deeper into the slangs and certain expressions that Duolingo won’t teach you. And plus you get to practice speaking it with native speakers.
"Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting"
5. Learning Patience
When moving somewhere new, you’ll get lost, find it difficult to communicate with some natives, and maybe even make friends. Going through these difficult times will teach you that patience is going to be your key to living happily in your new home. Patience is truly a virtue that’s needed in everyday life, so gaining it from this experience will be worth it.
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself ANY direction you choose" ~ Dr. Seuss
6. Stepping out of Your Comfort Zone
This may be one of the main reasons why travel is great. Leaving your comfort zone can help broaden your horizons and help you evolve as a person. There’s nothing that makes you feel more uncomfortable (in a helpful way) than moving abroad to a place where you don’t know anyone and/or speak the language. This especially applies for the younger generation of people that would like to gain experience and knowledge before beginning their adulthood.
“adapt or die” ~ Charles Darwin
7. Adapting to Situations Easily
You’re going to come across a real culture shock depending on where you’re coming from and resettling in. This culture shock will help teach you how to adapt to very different traditions, such as simple table mannerisms, greetings, ways of communication, etc. Adaptability is an essential quality to possess, especially when living abroad.
“The simplest definition of a budget is 'telling your money where to go” ~ Tsh Oxenreider
If this is the first time you’re living on your own, you will quickly come to the realization of how fast money can go. Not to worry, you will naturally get better at budgeting your finances. Whether it’s looking for deals, negotiating rent, couponing, or saving up for something special that you’ve been eyeing.
"The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate."- Joseph Priestley
9. Managing Relationships
The number one thing we miss the most when we travel or especially live abroad is family and friends. When living apart from loved ones for a significant amount of time, you’ll need to set time aside for those FaceTime calls in order to keep up relationships. Although being apart is saddening, a break from the ones we care about can help further build a strong bond, because we realize how much love we have for people when there’s a chance to miss them.
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom
10. Learning about Yourself
Experienced travellers often encourage solo travel at a young age for several reasons, one being, to grow and learn who you truly are. The point of this article isn’t to get philosophical, but when mentioning travel and living abroad, you can’t ignore the aspect of growing as a person. New experiences, friendships, co-workers, and memories, are all aspects of the journey you will have living abroad. There’s nothing like a fresh start in order to gain a new perspective.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney
I hope after reading these 10 reasons for why living abroad is important, you’re encouraged to step out of your comfort zone and bring more adventure into your life. Get out there and explore the world, experience different things, and grow as an individual, whether that’s mentally, physically, or even socially!
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