Accepting a new work challenge, continuing your studies, following your soul mate, improving your quality of life or just seeking for adventure are all good reasons for moving abroad.
But only one thing is for sure when you decide moving overseas: you will never be the same again.
Moving abroad can be the most exciting change in your life: grabbing new opportunities, meeting new people, visiting new places… It can also be daunting sometimes: being away from all things familiar, learning a new language, finding new friends.
But all this will make you grow and develop at new levels, showing you skills and strengths you never thought you had. It will also change the way you see life.
Although this is a very individual experience, there are some things most of us go through at some point. So, here’s what to expect when you’re an expat, or 7 ways your life will change forever when you’re living abroad:
#1 Moving abroad will cast a new light on your native country
Yes, I know this sounds a bit cliché but it’s totally true. After moving overseas, when you eventually come back for the holidays or on vacation, every little detail of your native country, things that seemed invisible when you were living there, will present itself to you with a new intensity.
The good and the bad.
Even your own language will sound different to your ears after some months living abroad.
#2 The world will be your home
As time goes by, you’ll start to feel at home in your adoptive land.
And as you discover your ability to adapt to a complete new place, with a new language, new habits and new people, you’ll feel you could do that anywhere you wanted.
The world will become smaller to you and you’ll learn to feel comfortable everywhere.
#3 Living abroad will make you eager for new adventures
Now that you just start exploring the world you won’t want to stop here.
Moving abroad will make you keen to travelling and visiting new cultures.
After some time living abroad you may even start feeling a little bored and dreaming about a new relocation somewhere else, where you could feel a foreigner again.
#4 You’ll feel a stranger in your homeland
As the world becomes your oyster your native country will start feeling a bit of a foreigner place.
You’ll still love your country and go back to visit anytime you have a chance, but, as much as you would like that, it will never completely feel the same again after you move overseas.
You’ll become familiar with this kind of mixed feelings of being at home and a stranger everywhere, including your own native land.
#5 You’ll have friends and family all over the globe
And you’ll be ok with that. You’ll become used to being away and missing people.
The days when you could bring all your friends and relatives together for the holidays or to celebrate your accomplishments may be over, but now you have free accommodation in the whole world.
#6 You’ll develop empathy
Don’t get me wrong. Living abroad is not all excitement and adventure. Chances are you’ll also know loneliness, fear, failure, doubt, inadequacy and insecurity during your journey overseas.
But the struggle to survive and succeed all by yourself in a foreigner country will hopefully make you more empathetic with the struggles of other people, whom at different levels are also fighting to survive in this world.
#7 Moving overseas will make you grow as a person
Every life experience presents an opportunity to growth and moving abroad is no exception.
The fights and joys of existence outside your comfort zone will probably force you to put things in perspective and define your life’s values.
Moving overseas will make you think about what kind of person you really want to be and how you want to live your life in this planet.
Enjoy it the best you can!
Of course moving abroad is a very personal experience, but most expats, myself included, go through some or all the emotions on this list at one time or another.
If you’re dreaming of moving overseas or measuring the pros and cons of living abroad, do yourself a favor and go ahead. Your life will most probably change for the better. And if it doesn’t, you can always go back with an enriching experience to remember about.
Are you an expat? Do you dream about moving abroad? Share your experience in the comments section below.
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