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10 Pros Of Moving Abroad; Advantages Of Living In Another Country.

make new friends while living abroad

1. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the things I least expected from moving abroad was to make lifelong friends.

I figured I’d meet people who would flit in and out of my life. They’d be proximity friends: like the ones you make as a kid, who you sort of hang out with solely cause they’re nearby, but then you grow up and never see them again.

That was never the case with the friends I made living in another country.

Whether they were locals, other expats, or tourists, the people that I met living abroad have become some of my closest friends.

There’s something about living somewhere new that helps you find your true soulmates (platonically, I mean). You’ll find people with the same interests, sharing incredible experiences.

Those are the friends you’ll have forever.

When I moved back to Toronto, the place I’d grown up and lived for 17 years, I had no friends in the city. Meanwhile, I had besties scattered across New Zealand, the UK, Halifax, and other places in Europe.

 Want to make friends around the world? Join Meetups today for free!

2. Learn a New Language

I can say hello in different languages, and I’m menu fluent in a few (aka. I can always order dinner), but I am TERRIBLE at learning languages.

I grew up in Canada where we’re all supposed to be bilingual.

Nope!

It didn’t stick for me. Even after 10 years of French lessons.

3 years of Spanish lessons didn’t click either.

Meanwhile, I moved to Italy for 4 months and was fluently arguing in the markets within a month!

Moving abroad immerses you in the local language. It becomes a requirement to figure out how to wrap your tongue around the new words so you can get the things you need.

While you may worry about not knowing the language before you visit, it’s much easier to learn it when you’re abroad.

lived in Berlin for a month and quickly started chatting with locals at Christmas markets.

Unfortunately, once I left, I lost all of my German except for the difference between creme fraiche and sour cream (a mistake I made repeatedly when I lived there).

Gain a new language by moving abroad – it’s a definite advantage to being somewhere new.

  Want to learn a new language? I recommend this language learning app!

3. Get a Fresh Start

There’s something to be said for reinventing yourself.

When you move abroad, no one knows you. That gives you a chance to redefine yourself.

I’m not talking about dyeing your hair and changing your name.

It’s more of an opportunity to be your true self, without the hang ups of your past life.

When I left for Italy, I was the shy, goth girl who never spoke in high school. When I returned, I was a bubbly preppy who never stopped talking.

Getting rid of the weight of your past life and the expectations placed on you can help you discover the true you so you can redefine yourself.

lobster rolls that you can eat in a foreign country

4. Try New Food

One of my favourite parts of living abroad was the food.

When I lived in New Zealand, I made it my mission to eat all of the local New Zealand food.

It’s no fun to live in a new place and not embrace the cuisine. Plus, you can learn a lot about a place by its food.

A definite pro of living abroad is the freedom to eat EVERYTHING. I mean, it’s for science, right?? So no one can say anything when you need to try 6 different pavlovas to ensure you really don’t like meringue.

If you can, take a local cooking class – like I did in Morocco and New Zealand – so you can have a unique souvenir from your time abroad to bring home.

I recommend finding a food tour with this company to get started learning about local cuisine!

5. Learn to Adapt

One of the pros of living abroad (that comes with one of the cons) is learning how to adapt.

At home, you get complacent. You know what to expect from life.

When challenges pop up, they’re so much harder to face.

Abroad, everything is new. So when things change, you become much better at going with the flow.

With every new scenario you face, you’ll quickly become more and more adaptable. It’s something you can take with you for the rest of your life as you continue to move to new countries.

6. Boost Your Confidence

There’s nothing braver than living abroad – or so I’ve been told by literally everyone I tell about my experiences as an expat.

Not only does that give you a nice external confidence boost, but moving abroad also internally builds your confidence.

Much like with solo travel, you don’t have anyone else to figure out problems for you. You have to face them head on.

Every challenge you face will help you believe in yourself more and more. Soon, you’ll be taking on travel horror stories with ease!

Even if you aren’t confident before you go (I definitely wasn’t!), you’ll gain it throughout the process of moving abroad. When other challenges face you later in life, you’ll know you can take them on because you moved across the world by yourself!

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globe with a magnifying glass above it and a suitcase for travelling abroad

7. Get New Travel Opportunities

The best advantage of living abroad is the travel opportunities.

Sure, you may be working full time or studying abroad, but there is always time to travel. Even if it is just on weekends or a few holidays here and there.

What’s exciting is that you’re in a new locale. So everything nearby for short trips is completely different!

I visited little blue penguins in Dunedin on a long weekend when I worked in Auckland. On a day off classes, I headed to Stratford-upon-Avon in England.

Every destination you consider moving to will have unique foreign experiences that you can make the most of when you have the time to travel.

Find the best local tours with this search engine (and the best deals)!

8. Personal Growth

I’ve hinted at this a bit with the newfound confidence and adaptability you’ll gain, but personal growth is a huge pro of living abroad.

Putting yourself in a new environment can help you really discover yourself. You’ll gain perspective by taking on challenges you may not have thought you could face. You’ll learn more about the world and figure out your place in it.

I credit living abroad with making me the person I am today.

Before I travelled, I was an anxious wreck of a girl who genuinely didn’t like herself.

Now, I’m a badass woman who thinks she’s fricken awesome!

That never would have happened without moving to a foreign country and having the space to get to know myself.

Track your personal growth in this Empowered Solo Travel Planner – with a great journal section at the end.

go skydiving while living in another country

9. Every Day is an Adventure

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same thing day in and day out.

It’s hard to find joy when you know exactly what’s going to happen next in your day.

Living abroad takes you out of that rut.

Even if you’re working the same job, living your same routine, just being in a new space will completely shake up your day. There will be unique hurdles, fun new experiences, and sometimes annoying changes that will make each day an adventure.

It can also help you shake up that rut so you find a new, more exciting routine.

10. Experience a New Culture

You learn the most about the world by being immersed in it.

Get out of your bubble and discover cultures from other areas of the world. You’ll be able to learn more about the local culture of another place and become more compassionate to other humans.

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