Living In A City Abroad Is Something Every True Traveler Should Do Once
Get your passport stamped, and then stay awhile. Being a true traveler means that you've trotted around a lot of the globe already in your lifetime. You've checked countries off your bucket list, and have probably seen the Eiffel Tower in person. You haven't let yourself just daydream about places around the world, and made sure to leave a little bit of every paycheck out for another plane ticket. But, after a week or so of hanging in Italy or roaming around Spain, you always have to head home. Truth is, living in a city abroad is something that you should do at least once, because there's nothing quite as rad as saying you have roots in another land.
Imagine jet-setting off to London, just to hang in your own flat and never having to leave. You'd go grocery shopping during the week, and befriend the people who live nearby. In the morning, you'd catch the tube to work, and then possibly explore the city in the late afternoon. It'd be just like home in a way — but instead, you'd be on the best adventure yet.
Especially if you studied abroad for a semester, living in another country has probably crossed your mind. Sure, you'd have to figure out the streets and possibly learn a new language. These six things are why it's truly worth it, though.
1. To Change Your Scenery
When you're 20-something, you're in serious need of a change of scenery. I think that's why so many people always graduate college and then move to new cities and follow their passions. As much as you love your hometown and the friends you've made there, you're just ready for a new chapter in life. Living abroad in another country, if even just for a year, will completely change up your lifestyle and let you see the world through an entirely different lens.
2. To Truly Experience Another Culture
During your travels, you've experienced a lot of different cultures. You've eaten gourmet dishes like escargot, and became familiar with the general customs of another country. But, a week away from home wasn't truly enough to immerse yourself in everything that new city had to offer.
Taking off to someplace abroad for longer than just a vacation will let you get in touch with a different kind of reality. Soon enough, you'll be taking a shot of espresso at the café counter, and moving on with your day just like the locals do.
3. To Become More Confident
When you're navigating a new land, or even just trying to figure out the lines at the airport, you have to trust yourself. It can get complicated so easily, but you're entirely capable of handling whatever curveballs come your way (including getting your gate switched at totally the last minute).
Living in another country will take these situations and maximize them, because everything will be new. It'll be up to you to land a job and recreate your life a bit, and it might seem overwhelming at first. But, you'll do it, and will be left with a whole new sense of confidence when all is said and done. Pretty cool, huh?
4. To Challenge Yourself To Live Differently
Your definition of reality will be completely changed when you live in a city abroad. Truth is, even if you were moving to a new place in the U.S., you'd be doing things differently. But, being a part of another country's culture is a completely new ball game.
You've always loved traveling because it's forced your heart and mind to be a bit more open. You had to think like the locals, and challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. At home, you're pretty settled into your routines, and may not be able to imagine a morning without standing in line at your local coffee spot. Ditching the usual caramel macchiato for something new will be so worth it, though. Don't you think?
5. To Make Life An Adventure
Your life is an adventure, assuming you choose to live it to its fullest. Your passport is likely already quite full, so clearly you're not shy when it comes to chasing after your wanderlust. But, living abroad will take those trips and bring them to the next level.
Imagine one day being able to tell your kids that you spent a year living in Barcelona, or working just outside of Montreal. You'd have the best stories to tell, and wouldn't ever have to ask "What if?" Yes, living in a loft in New York City with a bunch of roommates would be an experience, too. Maybe do that next — you just can't miss out on living abroad.
6. To Appreciate Home A Little More
There's nothing like being away from home that makes you appreciate it a little more. Think about every semester when you headed off to college, or the days when you used to go to sleepover camp. Sure, you've gotten pretty comfortable with living out of a suitcase. But, snuggling up in your own bed and being able to eat peanut butter again was an unbelievable feeling, too.
You'll love being able to call a city abroad home, and should absolutely settle somewhere else at least once in your life. You may find your way back, but that's OK. After all, having roots is many places is possible, especially for a true traveler like you.