Why do people choose to move abroad? Is it the right thing to do or should you stay put and make use of all the opportunities at home? Well, there are a thousand individual reasons why people decide to move to another country, even if it’s only for a few months or years.
Take Marbella on the Costa del Sol, for instance. A hugely popular destination for British expats including young professionals, families and pensioners, what’s made them all decide to up sticks and leave behind our familiar shores? Surely, there must be more to it than the obvious lifestyle benefits including the mild Mediterranean climate, the endless golden beaches and cheaper beer?
Let’s scratch beneath the surface and really examine the benefits we all experience when we take an extended stay abroad.
A character building journey
Moving abroad is an experience like no other for testing your ingenuity, initiative and reserve. Imagine turning up in a new city in a new country and starting a new life – it’s daunting and exciting in equal measure, even if you’ve done your homework. But isn’t that what life is all about? New chapters, new experiences, making memories?
It’s good for your career
Living in another country broadens your horizons and opens up new opportunities. Work experience in a different country (and language) could look great on your CV and may be just what sets you apart from the competition when you’re looking for promotion back home. Or, if you fancy a career change, why not use the move to reinvent yourself?
A positive culture shock
Every country is different – and you won’t realise how different until you actually live there. From churros dunked into hot chocolate for breakfast, to daily trips to the beach, the new lifestyle will take some getting used to – and that’s not even taking into account a different language. Embrace the new and make the most of the experience.
It will change your outlook
All these new impulses can’t fail to have an effect on you. Whether you suddenly develop a liking for bizzare local delicacies such as angulas (baby eels) or callos (veal tripe, yep!) or drive with your hand on the horn rather than your foot on the brake, there’s nothing like exposures to new experiences to challenge and shake up previously held beliefs. It makes you grow as a person.
A rewarding experience
Whether you stay for 5 months or 5 years, the experience of having lived abroad will shape you as a person and stay with you forever. You’ll come back full of stories and memories to share with the people back home, plus a few reference points and acquired customs that make you see you home country in an entirely new light.
It’s good for the family too
If you’re going abroad with your partner and children, the challenges are arguably even greater – but so are the rewards. Learning a new language when you’re a child is much easier and the opportunities for developing a wider, more inclusive view of the world are immense. From socialising with local parents to dealing with the inevitable red tape, it’s an exciting adventure for the whole family.
A confidence booster
The learning curve in terms of developing new social skills to deal with new and potentially awkward situations is going to be very steep indeed. But once you’ve made new friends, settled into new job and can navigate the local traffic system with ease, your confidence levels will soar. If you can do this, you can do anything!
An opportunity to make friends
Moving to a new country is no time to sit at home alone. Making new friends is one of the main benefits of living abroad. They’ll help you to feel at home and enrich your foreign sojourn in so many different ways. Who knows, you may even meet your lifetime partner. And if nothing else, you’ll have plenty of invites to come and visit once you’ve returned to your home country.
Your best chance to become fluent in another language
Learning a foreign language is a great life skill – and the best way to learn is by fully immersing yourself in the country and its culture. Why not take a local language class to get you started on the path to proficiency? Now’s your chance to get beyond habla ingles? and una cerveza por favor and learn to speak like a native.