Many of us fancy working abroad, but how many dare to follow that dream? It isn’t as easy as it sounds. Are you prepared for a challenging step in your social and family life? If you are, I came back to tell you it is worth it. Here are my 2 bits of wisdom after a year of working abroad:
Start building your strongest asset before moving.
One of the first things that you’ll struggle with is learning a new language. You should get a head start, as knowing at least basics can save you a lot of trouble.
Search online for online language exchange programs. It is easy to find a foreign buddy that want’s to learn English and chat with them on Skype.
Learning the local language is a great asset even if you leave after some time. You will have many interesting expressions in a foreign language to brag about.
Get ready to let go of your beliefs, interests, and priorities.
You might think it is a cliche but it’s true that the whole process of moving away changes you. Forever. I became interested in things that I never even considered before. I lost interest in things I loved for years and years…
You will acquire diverse skills and learn powerful life lessons. You will learn to trust yourself, to make decisions responsibly, not to overthink, to take care of your health.
You will discover new interests and realign your priorities. Living abroad shifted my mindset and changed the way I choose my friends. After experiencing life abroad, I discovered so many things about people and the nature of their characters.
Some of your close ones will never understand you. Why did you move, why do you live so far from home, how can you be happy if you don’t even understand most of what they say?
You can try to explain, but sometimes it is not enough, and that’s completely ok, you learn how to deal with it. Regardless of where you lived abroad, when you return home, nothing is the same. Time goes by, and it may be hard to fit in again.
Don’t worry, though. Some things stay the same.
Don’t get me wrong; not everything is wonderful and sparkly when you move abroad. It is different, it is foreign, and yes, it’s hard.
Some things, though, never change — like your relationships. You appreciate your family a bit more because you can’t see them every day.
And even though you go without seeing your best friends for a year or more, you still share this deep, unbreakable bond, and when you get back together again, it’s like no time has ever passed.
When you live abroad, you can’t visit your parents for the weekend. You can’t take your best friend out to celebrate her birthday. You can’t call your dad at all hours of the day because there’s an 8-hour time difference.
You rely on Skype. Phone calls are expensive. Nothing ever tastes as good as your mom’s lunch.
Are you up for it? It will pay off.
But ultimately, moving abroad is a choice, and a choice is all about sacrifice. When we make a choice, there is something we must lose to gain something else. In this case, you will gain enormous experience and an excellent update to your CV. Many employers will find that fascinating.
In the end, if you want to achieve something you’ve never had before, you must try hard and dare to do new things. It will pay off.