WHY YOU SHOULD LIVE ABROAD AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME

Why you should live abroad

When I just turned seventeen years old, I moved to London. Why? Simply because I wanted to see what it was like. My plan was to live there for one year, and then explore the rest of the world. I ended up staying for 7 years.. I also lived in Los Angeles on and off for about 2 years. It was a great experience but more important, it taught me so many life lessons.

I came to London young and pretty naive when I look back at it ,but living abroad has made me into the women that I am today. Do you have any plans to live abroad? And is it for you? If so, these few lessons and tips may prepare you for one of the best decisions of your life. 

1. Stand on your own 2 feet

It’s about letting go of the save harbour and sailing away to a new experience. Yes, it might seem scary but taking that first step and just GO feels great.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you will become that independent person.

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Living abroad made me stand on my own 2 feet and gain my independence.

2. Learn a new language and culture

Ok, I probably picked one of the easiest countries to live in because in The Netherlands we all speak a fair bit of English. But I must say, every city speaks its own language. And with it, comes its own culture. I learned to speak “the London way” and even understood it when people told me they were “Lee Marvin”. (which means Starvin’  in cockney English.) If you learn about different cultures and habits you will also become more open minded, which I think is a good thing. If you don’t know the language at all, take a course. It will make everything 10 times easier.

3. Meet new people (from all over the world)

If you’re going to move to a big city, you’re probably going to meet new friends with different nationalities. I’m still in contact with people from Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, England, Australia and the States. Some of these contacts have visited me back home and the other way around. This way you broaden your network.


Meet new friends for life.

4. You will get to know yourself (really really well)

There’s no better way of getting to know yourself whilst traveling or living abroad. Learn from your mistakes and get back up. Always listen to your intuition if you’re unsure.

5. Make a plan before you go

So, what will you do when you get there? Don’t go there with empty pockets. Save enough money to last you a few months or even better, find a job or course before you go. Depending on which country you may fly to, you may need to arrange a visa and working permits. When I moved over to London, I worked as an Au-Pair. This meant that I needed to look after the kids, clean the house and cook dinner. Is a good starting job when you are young and you want to integrate quickly. For this you need some experience and it’s always a good idea to get some sort of a diploma. 
For more information on how to start to work as an Au-Pair, check this website.

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Make a plan before you decide to leave your mark 

Let it happen and enjoy it

6. Fall in love

Whether it’s with a person or a city, you’re probably going to fall in love. Let it happen and enjoy it. It happened to me twice (I dated an English man for 5 years and a guy in LA for about 2,5 years) and although it didn’t work out, it helped me grow and taught me the life lessons we all need to know. Falling in love with a country, city or small town is a beautiful thing. Because you can always return and you will never forget the experience!

Falling in love abroad
Don’t be afraid to fall in love abroad..

7. You can make a new start

You may have fucked up a few times in your life. Or you may have done really good. It doesn’t matter because when you move to another country, you can start all over again! This is great. New friends, new habits, new food, new adventures. 

8. You will appreciate your home country

Homesickness. If you are a frequent traveler, you may have experienced this feeling before. Yes, I have called my mum up a few times, crying my eyes out because I didn’t like my job, didn’t have a lot of friends in the beginning or felt lonely. But I never gave up. At the end, you know you can always return. Nowadays we have so many channels that help us to get in touch with the home front that it is almost impossible to miss home! Living abroad makes you appreciate where you came from. Maybe you shouldn’t complain about the rain so much (sunshine everyday of the year can also get a bit boring believe it or not!) or you may appreciate your mothers home cooked dinners a lot more.

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When I stayed in sunny LA, I loved it when it rained now and then.

So whether you want to move to England, Miami or Australia. Prepare yourself for the best ride of your life and always stay true to yourself. You’ll be fine!

Love,

Elke

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10 Comments
  • Sabine
    Posted at 02:14h, 21 februari Beantwoorden

    Just amazing article, I totally agree!
    I’ve lived a year in Dubai and now I’m living 2,5 years in Sweden while I’m Dutch from the Netherlands. I would recommend it to everyone.

    http://www.sofarsosabine.com

  • Tunde
    Posted at 21:01h, 21 februari Beantwoorden

    This article triggers excitement and exploration desires. I wished getting out like you find it easy could really be universal.

  • Alessandra
    Posted at 10:15h, 26 maart Beantwoorden

    Reading this while living in South Korea (directly from Italy) I can’t agree more!

    Six months, one year or maybe ten, the important thing is to challenge yourself and have fun (and sometimes cry a lot) in the meantime.

    Thank you for the great article!

  • Herman
    Posted at 10:28h, 26 maart Beantwoorden

    Fully agree, I went abroad aged 20, moved around , lived in The Netherlands and UK, fell in and out of love a number of times before meeting my life partner from NZ . Now living in Oz , have 3 great daughters , grandkids, but still contemplating more travel with my wife in our ‘sunset’ years.

  • Escape Hunter
    Posted at 10:26h, 03 april Beantwoorden

    It can definitely be a great refreshing and learning experience to live abroad. Then again, fate might not always bring you where you’d love to live…
    I think it’s good to model out lives and combine travel with work, so that fate does indeed take us to where we want it to.

  • Tessa
    Posted at 12:36h, 21 maart Beantwoorden

    I definitely agree. I moved to Singapore directly after high school (16 years old at that time) and I have learned so much about myself. I am Dutch by origin, but have also lived in South Korea and am currently based in Germany. And I am only 22 years old at the moment 🙂

    • Wander-lust
      Posted at 17:34h, 21 maart Beantwoorden

      Wow what a brave decision! Super cool and keep on going 🙂

  • Pingback:誰もが一度は海外で暮らすべき50の理由 | dooorblog
    Posted at 10:42h, 28 mei Beantwoorden

    […] ここでの記事は、WHY YOU SHOULD LIVE ABROAD AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME、50 reasons why everyone should live abroad at least once、10 things that change forever when you live abroadを参照し、私の考えや意見を加えて作成しました。 […]

  • Pame
    Posted at 00:39h, 08 juni Beantwoorden

    This article is really amazing! it makes me feel to wanna travel, feeling all u told, meet new people, new culture, be more independet, growing up such a person. Perhaps, one day I will do that!
    Thx for ur article and make me open my vision as a traveler!
    Greetings from Ecuador!

    • Wander-lust
      Posted at 12:54h, 08 juni Beantwoorden

      Thank you, lovely to read 🙂

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