If you’ve always considered relocating to another country for at least several months but never felt brave enough to actually do it read on! This is just for you!
I’ve lived as an expat in 2 countries and travelled across several others. Even though nowadays more people travel than ever before, I still get that weird look when I talk about my past and I say “I packed on Wednesday and left on Friday”. It may sounds crazy and I understand the shocking effect to a point, but moving abroad is the best thing I’ve done my entire life! No, not because the countries I have been to are so much better than my home. Actually, even though it was a fantastic experience these two countries (Cyprus and United Kingdom) showed me just how amazing Bulgaria is!
But this is not what I want to talk to you about. Instead, I would like to give you a little overview on the benefits of moving abroad. Here we go.
1. Become a stronger person
When you live in your home country you generally develop the habit of counting on those around you, whether that’s your parents, friends or life partner. And while it is really great to have their support, there’s no doubt that you eventually lose your full independence. Moving to another country helps you think about handling everyday things without anyone’s help and if you’re not a whining person, you suddenly realize just how strong you have always been. You just didn’t truly realize it before!
2. Understand others better
When living in the same town or even country you grew up in, you can’t really understand why other people act differently sometimes – you’re always thinking that you and them have lived in pretty much the same conditions and there’s no excuse for them to know less than you do. When you decide to move to another country however things drastically change as you understand that you’re meeting a completely different culture. You try to learn why locals do certain things in a particular way (so you can communicate with them better) and before you know it, you grow way more tolerant and understanding as a person because you find explanations for things. And in my opinion this is one of the most valuable abilities you can ever gain.
3. Become smarter
I have seen intelligent people move to other countries and I’ve seen some really inexperienced and naive ones do that too. Back in the days I used to think that only intelligent people change when they re-locate, but I was happy to notice that actually everyone does! Well, some change more and some change less, but everyone I have ever seen re-locate gains way more practical knowledge than his peers who didn’t decide to take this step.
4. Figure out the purpose of your life faster
You know, I’ve come to realize that figuring out what is it that we’re here to do is one of the most mind-cracking questions ever. Luckily once you start changing countries, all of the sudden you find yourself sitting back and thinking: “Wait, what am I doing all this for? What am I trying to achieve? Where am I heading to?”. Once you start asking the question, the answer will eventually appear and you’ll know who you are and what’s your purpose.
5. Broaden your horizons
Moving to another country is really challenging. Even though I have already done it twice, you’ll never hear me say it is an easy thing to do. But in my opinion, easy or not, it is an absolute must for every living human being out there to go abroad for at least 2 years. There’s hardly any experience more enriching that this. It’s much like reading 500 books: it opens your eyes and heart and shows you just how small the world actually is.
6. Be free
I was born a Bulgarian citizen and was told that we live in a democratic republic therefore I am a free person. Yet again, when the government decides something, I have to obey. I never understood how this was freedom and now I know it is not. Only when living abroad I learned that I am not free because of the political regime that my country is under, but because I decide to be free. I also know that if I don’t like something, it is up to me to change it and if I can’t, there’s really nothing that stops me from simply packing my bags leaving it behind.
7. Be happy to say goodbye
Nothing in this world holds a promise for eternity and you understand this clearly when you move to another country. You meet people you like and people you don’t. Sometimes the ones you like move on but that’s ok: because you can now understand that everyone has a different path in life. And you’re happy it is so – if it wasn’t for that, you’d never have the chance to experience the amazing adventures you’ve been through, right? At some point along your journey saying “Goodbye” stops being as scary. And it absolutely never means you will not meet this person again. It’s really a small world after all!
8. Understand your country better (and appreciate it more)
Funny enough, I started learning a lot about Bulgaria once I left. Why? Because I took everything for granted. To me green summer was something completely natural and the beige summer landscape of Cyprus (because it’s too hot there for anything to remain green) completely shocked me at first. I should also admit I did not understand why was the West going crazy discussing processed food prior to living in London. I believed (how naïve) that the entire world ate home-cooked food just like me. I could go on and on in this area, but once you move to another country I am confident you will start seeing your home place in a completely new light.
9. Filter your true friends
Have you ever wondered why is someone in your life? If they really love you and care about you or if you are simply a convenience for one reason or another? Moving abroad can and will give you all the answers, because your true friends are the ones, that you don’t forget even when you haven’t spoken to them in 2,3 or even 5 years. Once you meet those friends again after a while, it’s like time does not exist: you pick up from where you left and it feels so natural!
I don’t know if there is life after death, but the one thing I know for sure is that we cannot take anything but memories with us there, so I urge you: do not be afraid to move to another country. Join the worldwide community of expats and enrich your life. You won’t regret it!