About three years ago now, I decided to take a one-way flight to France to study abroad in my final semester of undergraduate studies. I told family and friends that I wanted to travel afterwards for the summer as the reasoning to why I didn't have a return flight yet. Deep inside though, I knew that was a complete lie (sorry guys!).
I didn't have a slight idea of what I would do after but what I've come to realize is that you don't always need a plan. You don't always have to have everything figured out. It's actually better not to - that way, your life will be full of adventures and incredible things you never thought were even possible. All you really need is a vision of what you want and make decisions in the moment towards it. It's as simple as that.
So whether it's for studying abroad, to work as an expat, take an extended vacation, or just to figure out life - moving to a new country will be one decision you will never regret.
You'll be pushed outside of your comfort zone.
This may not seem like fun at first but trust me, it will change you and your life for the better. No longer will you be scared to do things because you'll know that the uncomfortable feeling will eventually go away and good things will come out of it.
I remember it like it was yesterday still. My first two weeks abroad were a complete and utter nightmare. No one knew this since admitting a flaw in my magical plan of moving abroad was just unacceptable. Reality was though that I was incredibly lost.
Entering the unknown comes with many obstacles but the key is to work on accepting and embracing the uncomfortable feelings that come with it. After some time, it will start to feel normal and you'll soon realize that only good things come from it in the end.
Or of course you can also always just give up and wonder 'what if' for the rest of your life. [not recommended]
You'll discover cultures first-hand.
Reading or hearing about a certain place is nice but what's even better is creating your own story to tell. You will also never truly know a culture until you experience it through your own eyes.
You'll learn life lessons that can never be taught in a classroom or job.
An obvious one but the things you'll discover when moving to a new country will be ones that you would never learn otherwise. They will also be things that you'll never forget.
During one trip, my friends and I decided to walk to the airport for a flight to save money. Google told us this would take 20 minutes. That turned into about 3 hours of walking on the side of the highway, up mud hills, and through bushes all while it was pouring rain and hailing.
Needless to say, we learned many lessons from this. And I’ll truly never stop being proud of saving those glorious 5 euros.
You'll meet some pretty incredible people along the way.
Not only will you make some unforgettable moments but chances are you'll meet people from all around the world. This also gives you an extra excuse to visit all the countries those new friends are from - free stays and tours are always a good reason to travel. ;)
And of course, a whole bunch of other people who you might only meet once but will make you smile in one way or another.. & potentially vice versa.
You’ll find out a whole lot about yourself.
Lost and not sure of what you want to do with life? Moving to a new country won’t help you with all the answers but it will surely help you discover far more about yourself. How you react when you're lost in the middle of nowhere, how you communicate in a place where no one speaks your language, how you empathise with people from a different culture.. pretty sure you won't learn any of this from any advanced online personality test.
You'll discover true romance from the exotic, foreign men and women.
Ha, just kidding.
You might just end up in some pretty incredible places that you didn't even know existed.
Actually, not 'might'. You definitely will in one way or another. Unless you're a hibernating hermit in your room - then you're on your own.
Home is comfortable, I get it. But do you really want to wake up one day and regret not trying something new? The worst case scenario (and this is really only if you give up) is that you are unhappy for a bit and move back. And if that’s really the worst case then just ask yourself - why not?
Although my whole experience abroad has been one big roller-coaster, I wouldn't have it any other way. Back in 2011, I had a vision that I would somehow make a life in a completely new country. This has not only come true but has happened in a way I never imagined. Pursuing dreams big or small might be scary at times but in the end let me tell you that it's all worth it.
My wish is for each person to move to a new country at least once in their lifetime. It's in this time that you'll truly experience the magic of life. And that is something you will surely never regret.
If you have any questions about moving to a new country, I’m happy to help! Ask away in the comments below or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. :)