Although it is very hard to believe it as little as 35% of American citizens have a passport. Moving abroad or even traveling isn´t part of our culture the way we would like it to be. That means that we learn about the world from TV, internet and through books and not all of those sources are reputable. What happens if we don´t know a lot about foreign countries. Well, we are likely to develop prejudice and misjudgments. It also means that we will not be so reluctant to go abroad. This will prevent us to have one of the most exciting and life changing experience. But, the best things lie on the other side of the fear, so let´s dive into this topic, shall we?
Moving abroad is quite different than regular moving away. Besides the emotional tool and material and physical requirements, it takes it brings the additional value of putting out of your comfort zone. You will be emerged in a different culture, perhaps a different language and in the perfect position to explore the world like you have never before. So, why are people dreading this, if it is so beneficial? Well, mostly because they are scared.
But fear comes from not knowing. And there is a way to break that. Knowledge is power. So, regardless of which country you are thinking about moving to, there are some general things that apply in any case. Let´s check them out.
The only experience that matters is the one you can get firsthand
When it comes to moving abroad don´t trust other people´s opinion. That doesn´t mean that they are wrong; it just means that every experience is different. What works for some people doesn´t really apply to others, and opinions can vary a lot. Perhaps some people wouldn´t enjoy living in Spain because they are not so outgoing and open-minded. For some people, Switzerland is very rigid and cold. Moving to India is a horror story to someone and a lifelong dream to others. That is why moving abroad is something very personal and if you are struggling whether you should do it, listen only to your inner voice. Don´t miss out on a great opportunity just because someone else had a bad experience.
Having that in mind don´t put too much faith in media. TV shows, music, even books often show only one perspective, that isn´t necessarily true. Besides some factual info you might get about a country, they are not very helpful. That doesn´t mean you should ignore them completely. Take them into consideration, but don´t give them too much credit.
Emerge into the culture of your adoptive country
When it comes to moving abroad you should take the most out of the experience itself. And the biggest difference and the biggest shock will come from the new culture. Other things are easily overlooked and will not be such a change. That is what makes moving abroad different than any other. But, how do you deal with this? Perhaps it is overwhelming and scary… But the best part of your experience is exactly there. So, don´t hesitate and take the risk. Just by moving there you took the biggest one. Start learning the local language and try to avoid using English for basic communication. Order local specials when you go out, and get a taste of the cuisine that is different than yours. Ask the locals about what makes their culture so unique and see how it fits you and your sensibility.
It doesn´t matter if you are moving abroad for a couple of months or for god knows how long. You
will enrich your experience tremendously if you choose to participate in the local culture and customs. And don´t be afraid that you will make a mistake and embarrass yourself. It is much better to try and learn than not to participate and all.
Use the experience of moving abroad to forgive and let go
Moving abroad will help you to do something you feared – and that is letting go. What do we mean by it? There are, for sure, many things and people in your life that are still present and perhaps they shouldn´t be. Perhaps a couple of old grudges as well. A couple of unspoken apologies and a whole bunch of T-shirts you no longer wear. Well, it´s time to let that all go. First, do an inventory of your belongings and be strict with yourself. Throw away, donate or recycle. There are better options for your old things that being stuffed in the back of some closet. Give them the option of being useful and perhaps even make someone else happy.
Same goes for relationships, especially the problematic ones. If you are moving abroad, that gives you the perfect opportunity to sort out your priorities and mend broken relationships. Life event this size gives you perspective and helps you see what brings value to your life. So, use this chance to completely turn your life around and do what´s best. Everything else will fall into place.
Learn and develop every step of the way
Traveling fills you with new opportunities, experiences, and knowledge. Moving abroad does the same only on a much bigger scale. You will never be able to enrichen your life and to emerge so much into something new like you are now. While you are in a foreign country use the opportunity to test your limits and to take risks. Don´t forget to learn about the history and culture, art and literature. There is a whole new world out there to explore and to be a part of. You are in a unique position to do just that. And don´t limit yourself to your adoptive country. Probably there are more countries in the neighborhood that are waiting for you. There is no limit to how much you can grow through this opportunity.