I’ve never met anyone who’s said they regretted moving abroad, but I know plenty who have regretted staying behind.
I’m not going to downplay it. Moving abroad is a massive, life changing experience, and moving alone is even scarier. But speaking from personal experience, it is also completely exhilarating. You’ll lose yourself, then find yourself. You’ll make mistakes but come through a better person. This half terrifying, half life affirming solo adventure isn’t for everyone, it certainly was for me, and it might just be for you, too.
Maybe you’re crossing oceans because you’ve found your dream job, going back to school, healing a broken heart, or you’re just ready for a new challenge. Whatever the reason, whilst you’re young and single my advice is do it now, or regret it forever. Here’s what my experience taught me:
Growth and self-discovery
Being a long way from your home, family and everything you know can be a daunting experience, especially when you are all alone. Yet the freedom and independence gained from this means you’ll be responsible for your own well-being more than ever before. Your perspectives and values will be challenged by your new environment, and you will grow with every new and exciting opportunity without the opinions of your friends who, let’s be honest, can filter our view of the world. This experience will challenge you to discover how to be comfortable in your solitude and how to be alone without feeling lonely.
You meet amazing new people
Getting yourself out there and meeting new people is easy when you have a buddy by your side. When you’re all alone in a new city, you start realising that you have no other choice but to put yourself out there and forge new relationships, or else end up watching Netflix home alone on a Saturday night.
Meeting new people can help you develop interpersonal skills, self-confidence, and perhaps even a new language. But what’s more important is that you have expanded your social network, the benefits of which you can reap for years to come, like when you want to go travelling and you have sofas all over the world to snooze on.
You step outside your comfort zone
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and ain’t that the truth. When you live alone you’re free to make those wild and irregular decisions without consulting anyone except your number one…you. So go on and spend half your monthly wage on a Coachella ticket, sign up to a dance class or turn up to the airport on a Friday night and book a flight to… well, anywhere you want. Why? Why not!
You’ll gain a new perspective
When you find yourself partially removed from your life back home it’s so much easier to take a step back and look at everything with open eyes, not blinded by the basis of previous limitations or stresses. You’ll realise there is so much in this world that is more important than your friend’s betrayal or your ex’s new girlfriend, and you can finally see what truly matters. You’ll figure out how young you actually are, how little you actually know, and how prepared you are to learn.
Freedom & flexibility
FOMO or feeling pressure to do what your friends or partner wants whilst trying your best to make everyone happy can be absolutely exhausting. Moving overseas alone means you can tick off that bucket list without having to consult anyone (except maybe your bank account). Having the flexibility in your life to create your own path without any guilt is extremely rare, but something we all deserve to experience at least once. So don’t blow all your cash on an average Saturday night out – book that trip to Vegas you’ve always dreamed about (and yup, blow you case there instead!).