If you have never lived overseas, even for a few months, then you should. Living abroad changes you. Whether your stay overseas is a temporary move, or an indefinite adventure, being an expat is an enriching experience.
Moving to another country is life changing. Here’s why I think everyone should do it, at least once in their life.
You Meet New People
When you make a move to a new country you automatically meet new people. These people are by default different than your existing social circle.
Maybe these people speak a different language. The people you meet will certainly have a different background and culture.
You Submerge Yourself in a New Culture
Living overseas means tasting new foods, celebrating new holidays or festivities, seeing a different way to do things. You may learn a new language or about the history of a country that is not your own. You see a different political system in operation.
Living in a new country means learning things about a country that no travel book or classroom can teach you.
You Fall in Love with Your Birth Country
The saying goes that absence makes the heart grow fonder. And when you move overseas that is definitely true, at least in the beginning. You will suddenly appreciate all the things that make your home country home.
You realize what your national identity is. You realize just how much your home culture, traditions and customs have shaped you. You notice the things that you hold dear from your own culture. You realize what moulds your value system.
You Realize How Much People, and Not Things, Matter
When you move overseas, even temporarily, it’s a clean slate, a chance to start anew and dump the emotional and physical baggage you no longer need to carry with you. Leaving material goods behind is never as confronting as leaving those you love behind.
You focus on the truly important things in life. You appreciate the true worth of those friends and family that were on your doorstep before you moved, and you sincerely value the worth of new friendships.
You are also fully aware of negative relationships in your life.
You Discover Your Strengths and Get to Know Yourself Better
When everything is new and you are starting from scratch you soon learn what you are capable of.
Uprooting your life and replanting it in a different environment requires you to do everything you can to make sure it thrives. You become more accepting of change, because you have to be.
You learn to think differently. You learn new rules, and that takes time. Meanwhile you become a master at improvising, at asking for help, at coming up with solutions and thinking outside the box.
You go through an unconscious, intensive self-improvement course. You come out the other side stronger, more aware of yourself and mindful of your capabilities and boundaries.
When you live overseas you get to know yourself better. You get to meet the better, more courageous part of yourself.