You know you want to. You've been dreaming of moving abroad for months, probably even years. Your first trip to another country when you were a teenager got you thinking, “It would be so amazing to live in Europe (or Latin America, or Asia).” Maybe you studied abroad in college, which made you even more excited about the idea of building a life in another country someday.
But then, real life kicked in. You finished school, got an entry-level job in your chosen field and tried to be a responsible adult. That “someday” began to seem more and more like a pipe dream.
You told yourself you'd do it in a year or two, once you got your feet off the ground, saved up enough money and had a plan. But then, you started to feel like something was missing.
Here's the thing: There will never be a perfect time to take the plunge. You will always have excuses to put off moving abroad.
Here are the reasons you should stop delaying and move abroad as soon as possible (not in next year, three years or five years):
1. There will always be an excuse not to do it.
When we want something that also scares us, we make up reasons for why it wouldn't work, or why we should wait to do it. The problem is, we then wake up one day and realize we haven't done that thing we always dreamed about doing. (Most people's biggest regret is not pursuing their dreams.) This happens all the time with people who want to live and work abroad.
Here are a few of the most common excuses I hear:
“I should have a normal job for a few years in order to establish my career. Then, I'll move abroad.”
It doesn't work like that. Moving abroad is not going to stop you from building the career you want. In fact, it can propel your career to the next level. I got my first job after college in London, and I built a great career in marketing while living in Mexico City.
“I don't even know where to start.”
I get that. It can be overwhelming. That's why I created a free starter guide for moving abroad.
“I don't speak a second language.”
So, move to a place where English is the main language. Or, use living abroad as an opportunity to become bilingual, like I did.
It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but you'll get the hang of it. Just know you can still get a job in your new country, even if you don't speak the language.
“My friends and family would think I'm crazy.”
Are you really going to let your dream of living in another country go just because someone else has his or her own opinion about it? We both know the other person is probably just jealous. Maybe he or she always dreamed of moving abroad, but never made it happen.
2. It only gets harder the longer you wait.
The longer you wait to move abroad, the harder it gets to take the plunge. You become comfortable where you are. You build a group of friends and settle into your job. So, the idea of leaving that life behind begins to seem less practical.
While you may be telling yourself, “I'll wait a year or two until the timing is right,” the timing probably won't ever feel completely right. It will only become more difficult to make a big change like moving to another country.
3. It looks great on your resume.
People often worry that moving abroad will hurt their careers, but in most cases, it's the opposite. You just have to know how to position it.
Working abroad gives you invaluable skills you can carry with you for the rest of your career. It teaches you how to be more adaptable, it expands your worldview, it gives you the opportunity to learn a new language and it opens the door to career opportunities you might not have back home.
People often think the only jobs you can get abroad are English teaching jobs or volunteer jobs. There's nothing wrong with these types of jobs. In fact, they can be incredibly fulfilling career paths. But, you can build nearly any kind of career you want in another country.
(Read my post, "How To Work Abroad And Live The Life Of Your Dreams: 8 Tips You Need To Know" to get my top tips for getting a job abroad.)
4. It will be the best decision you ever make.
I've never met anyone who regretted moving abroad. Even if things go wrong, even if you end up hating where you're living and even if you only stay a few months, it will still be the best decision you ever make. Every person I meet who has lived abroad says this.
You have great friends and a good job. Maybe you're even in a relationship. But, you've always felt a bit unsettled, right? Like your current life is too small for you, and there's so much more you want to see and do? You know you'd be right at home in a new country. You just want to be somewhere a little different.
Moving abroad doesn't have to be something you dream of doing someday. You can make it happen now. Trust me, you won't regret it. So, what are you waiting for?
Want to move abroad, but not sure where to start? Let me help you.