If you have ever considered moving to another country, here are some of the best things to gain from the experience.
1. Broader horizon
Being a foreigner in a new land broadens your horizon both figuratively and physically speaking. The latter is especially true if your new home is on a hillside. Well, it’s true!
2. Friends in many places
It’s awesome to have friends in many parts of the world. Your friends are there to help you understand the local customs, take you to places never visited by tourists and offer you a shoulder to cry on when life abroad is wearing you out. Having friends all over the world usually also means you’ll have a place to stay wherever you go.
3. A second home
You know your way around the city, you know where to get the best local food and not less importantly – you know how to navigate the bureaucracy like a champ. This all means there’s one more place in the world where you to feel like a local. And that’s a great feeling.
4. Life skills
Living abroad often means you need to pick up a few new skills to survive. Be it driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, navigating the mind-boggling public transportation network or cooking, they give you a sense of accomplishment. You know, there is really nothing you can’t learn.
5. New language
If you really want to fit in, you’ll learn the language of your new home country (presuming it’s different from your mother language, of course). What’s great is that it’s not as complicated to do when you’re surrounded by the language every day. And you never miss the chance to show off your skills to your friends when they’re visiting – even if it’s just to order a beer.
6. Better job
Oftentimes there are better job opportunities for foreign professionals because they possess skills that the local workforce is not equipped with. And even if you’re doing the ‘same old boring job’ you were doing before, working in a new country is a whole new experience.
7. Funny misunderstandings
Oh, the stories you’re able to tell and the pictures you’re able to send your friends back home. Cultural differences and language have huge potential for some good quality humour, so you always pack a camera.
8. Expect the unexpected
Being in a foreign culture means strange stuff is bound to happen. So after a while you learn to go with the flow, which also makes you more flexible and means you never make too many assumptions how things are going to play out. There are simply some things in life you can’t control and you’re fine with that.
9. Pushing the limits
There’s something about being an expat that pushes you to try things you normally wouldn’t. The world is your oyster. You’ve come so far – the last thing you want to do is sit on your couch all day.
10. Enjoyable envy
People are usually envious of their expat mates. You’re experiencing something new, learning a new language and any day abroad is more exciting than your friends’ usual days back home. It’s okay to admit that you find that envy towards your life a little enjoyable.
11. A fresh start
Becoming an expat means turing a new page in your life. Where your going, nobody knows anything about your past, so you can just pick up your bags and leave the baggage behind.
12. Better employability
Employers on a ever more globalised job market are looking for people with a broad vision, experience in working in different cultures, and an ability to bring something new to the table. Knowing a foreign language (or a few) doesn’t hurt either. That’s you, expat!
13. You don’t take life too seriously
As you’re learning to go with the flow, small things can never get you down. You’re an expat because you chose to be and you’re enjoying the experience as a whole – the good and the bad.
14. Self discovery
“The shortest way to yourself is around the world.” Being in a strange culture exposes sensations and characteristics of yourself you were never even aware of.
15. Short & Sweet
There’s something about living abroad that forces people to forge stronger relationships. Either it’s the foreign air or the feeling that you might be leaving tomorrow, if you’re an expat, you’ve probably had this happen to you.