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Updated 28 Oct 2016

The world beyond our borders is home to millions of other people. Just like you, they all have their own reasons for choosing to live in their respective areas. There are very many reasons people dream of relocating to a foreign land. This can either be due to work, volunteer, study, pursue other opportunities or retire. Moving into a new country can be a rich and rewarding experience, be it a permanent move or just a short stint overseas. 

Furthermore, it can be really hard particularly if you move into a country based on a dream without considering the responsibilities and risks. The step to leave familiar surroundings and adapt to another social and cultural environment should not be taken lightly. This decision requires a thorough research, knowledge and good planning. The better you are prepared before living your country for a foreign environment, the better your experience abroad will turn out to be. 

Here are my five reasons why everyone should find the energy to pack up and move abroad:

Expat experiences make you adaptable and open-minded

When you move to a foreign country everything basically becomes mixed up. From road rules and simple daily activities to people’s attitudes and common behaviours. Due to these facts, expats learn to stay positive and learn new things. This is essentially like going to school again - learning about local social etiquettes, the healthcare system, the education system, the country’s history, cultural beliefs and traditions.

The moment that you know you are not afraid of change is when you learn to embrace it. You will thrive on change. Stagnancy and complacency becomes your worst enemy. One of the best way to improve yourself is to do the things that you are most scared of. 

It is not as difficult as it sounds. No matter how difficult it sounds you will become your own cheerleader. 

Living abroad is a change to get know yourself better

One of the most important relationships you have in this life is the one you have with yourself. Nothing brings you closer to building an intimate relationship with yourself and getting to know yourself better when you move from your normal environment to a new country.

This gives you the freedom to discover who you are, what you want and what you really don’t want without the influence of your family or friends. You really do become your own boss.

Living abroad is a huge eye opener especially if the place is far removed from where you originally came from. This gives you the ability to observe things from an outsider’s perspective which makes you to rethink the way you know and understand your culture and your own self from inside.

This whole process helps you as a person to start questioning your original values and beliefs, attitudes, and the values that were influenced by your upbringing. With different perspectives coming back and forth you are able to shape yourself into a strong, independent character which helps you to find your purpose in life with fewer biases.

It looks great on your CV 

One of the most important advantages of living abroad career wise is that it enhances or gives you a competitive edge in a tough job market. Experiences abroad show employers that a candidate is adapatable to change and capable of handling a challenge. The employers/clients feel that with an individual’s hands-on understanding of cultural and business nuances from living in another country better prepares a person to localize their products for the homelands job markets.

In case it is not possible to work abroad due to visa restrictions or family issues during your stay abroad, this is the ideal time to get new qualifications that may go a long way in improving your credentials. 

In addition to this, living abroad can greatly improves your negotiation skills. This is due to the fact that as you adopt to local norms you learn how to establish a good rapport with people from different places and improve your language skills. Showing that you have lived abroad gives your CV an edge which can be handy in a competitive job market.

Moreover, a lot of hiring in the modern world comes from referrals. When you establish yourself in a new country, you are forced to pick up a skill set which is the ability to build a connection and an ability to break into a circle of tight connections and fit in.

Living in a new place in culturally immersive

Moving abroad gives you a great chance to observe a country in its own raw environment. This gives you the ability to learn new techniques of doing things and understanding. You can also try and learn the local language. This not only improves your grasp of the native language but also your general communication skills. By immersing yourself with the local way of living, you can comprehend how and why these customs came to be. Adopting them further makes you feel home away from home.

Living abroad gives you the chance to travel slowly and allows an expat to get to know a country to understand a country just like the locals do. You have the time to visit more areas that you would not have covered in the few days as a tourist compared to you being like one of the locals. 

It allows you to make new friends and build a different identity

The distance created by moving away from home makes it hard for you to interact with your friends and family. In some instances, you may be tired with your friends. Moving abroad opens the avenue for you to meet different people and expand your social circle. This is an exciting time for most people. New friends will become your family so you should choose them wisely. 

Moreover, there is no better way to start fresh than moving to a new place. You become a new brand. People don’t know who you are or where you come from. No one basically cares about your background. This gives you the space to put your travel backpack to use and do what you want and be who you want to be. This allows you to explore and create new things without outside influence from family and friends. 

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