Deciding to live abroad is one of the biggest choices you can make in life. You leave everything behind to start afresh in a country you don’t know, surrounded by people you have no connection to, and quite possibly an entirely different culture to the one you enjoyed back home. All in all it’s a journey a lot of people dream about going on, but the reality of living abroad can be quite a lot more than they bargained for.
But could living abroad be right for you? If you’re someone who enjoys the idea of going on an adventure, and has a zest for life no matter what, this could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made! And with all that in mind, let’s go through the potential ups and downs of living abroad with the points below.
It Takes a Lot of Courage
The main thing you need to know about living abroad is just how much courage it takes. Unless you’ve got a friend or a partner to go with you, you’re going to be entirely on your own and have to make your own way, maybe even for the first time in your life. To be able to manage all of that, including making sure you can pay your bills as well as keep up your social life, you’re going to need to hold nothing back.
Of course, there’s a lot of prep work you can do before you head off to ensure this transition is as smooth as possible. You’ve got the chance to secure work and accommodation, join some groups on social media made up of other expats, and you can also make sure you’ve got health insurance and/or an international health card in place. Get as much of the paperwork out of the way before you get on the plane and it’ll be much easier to get used to your new home.
You’ll Get Engaged in a New Culture
This is one of the biggest draws of living abroad, and being able to get immediately engaged in a new culture can be incredibly exciting. You’ll be able to learn about the way other people live, and walk away with first hand knowledge of how the world really works. You can make a lot of new friends as you get involved, and you can pick up new habits, new tastes, styles, and loves, and even end up feeling more at home in this culture than your native one.
The main thing you have to do is get out there. Make sure you talk to people, even if you’re just sitting in a little cafe with your laptop. Head out to see the nightlife, attend local hobby classes, and just be friendly, especially to your new neighbors. It’s great to have someone literally next door who you can rely on! Scout out the tourist spots and get to know other expats, but don’t let your social life end there.
You’ll Have the Chance to Speak More Than One Language
Following on from the point about culture, you’ve also got the chance to learn a new language in depth, if you’re moving somewhere that doesn’t share your own dialect. Learning a new language is one of the best skills to have in the modern world, and it can open up so many professional and personal doors to you too.
Even if the country in question does have many English speakers, it’s best to get to know their own regional language rules to truly feel like you’re fitting in. Everyone who speaks the same language speaks it a little differently! And as you get more and more immersed in the culture, you’ll begin to pick up the language a lot easier.
You’ll be able to use it one on one in more and more situations, and it’ll be a quick adaptation. After all, you’ll have road signs and public transport timetables to decode! You can also practice when you’re just sitting at home too by watching regional TV or reading books from a local store, or you can download an app like Duolingo to keep you on track.
There are Benefits to Having Two Passports
If you decide to live abroad for at least 5 years, you also have the chance of applying for dual citizenship between your home country and your new home. And in doing so, you can bring a whole host of new work and travel benefits your way. You can work in two countries, own property in two countries, and come and go as you please either way! Be sure to check out visa information with Evisa Express before you go on your adventure.
Indeed, one of the most beneficial elements of having dual citizenship is being able to own two passports; this will help you to travel easily between the two countries in which you live. But not only that, you also have the chance to avoid having to pay extra fees on your visa or having to go through a lengthy check in process at the customs gate. What could be better for a travel lifestyle?
Of course there are disadvantages to this process as well. You could be liable to pay taxes in more than one place, and as we mentioned, you need to spend at least 5 years living in another country to even apply in the first place. Once you have applied, it could then take months to even get through the process – you’re going to need a lot of time on your hands.
Your Career Could Take an Unexpected Turn
If you’ve got big career plans on your mind, taking the chance to live abroad could boost them tenfold. And whether you learn another language or not, you’ve still got the chance to ensure your career takes off by simply getting involved in your new local scene! You’ve already made a huge physical leap, so it only follows suit that you can make a big professional one too.
So, maybe you can start running a new international office for your current company? Maybe you can get involved in the local entrepreneurial scene? Maybe you can take on more than one job at once to really maximize your experience and CV? If you decide to come back home again, all of this work will set you apart from the crowd.
If You Love Travel, it’s the Chance of a Lifetime!
Above all else, if you love travel, this could very well be the best decision you’ve ever made. You’re getting to see more of the world, and living and working while you’re at it. You’re making connections in other parts of the world, and bringing home an enriching experience once you’re done.
This can help you to grow and become the person you’ve always wanted to be, and it’s a lot of fun at the same time! So keep this idea in mind when you’re pondering over this kind of decision. If you’ve got the chance to live abroad, think about your own sense of wanderlust and what this could lead to in the future.
Living abroad could be perfect for you, but only if you’re ready for the challenge of settling in somewhere completely new. Take your time to think through a decision like this; it can be costly and lonely at the best of times, but most expats find that their new experiences abroad more than make up for the cons.