It seems right now you can’t open Facebook/Instagram/YouTube for all the stories of people who’ve quit their jobs and are travelling the world, fuelled by their Air BNB rentals, their crazy volunteering opportunities or just their total determination to say ‘screw you daily grind, I’m gonna get me some travelling action’. You hate these people, but you also wish more than anything that you could be one of them.
But there’s just that nag at the back of your mind that stops you from taking the plunge. Your inner conscience bugs you with worries: ‘but what about my career?’, ‘I don’t want to leave my friends’, ‘I’ll run out of money’. Don’t beat yourself up – everyone has these concerns, but you know what the difference is between you and those people who are currently living your dream life? They just thought ‘fuck it’, and did it anyway.
Take it from someone who had one of those ‘fuck it’ moments, packed her bags and skipped off to Australia – you can do it, and more than that, you should. Living abroad is one of the most liberating, confidence boosting, and downright incredible experiences everyone should experience at least once in their life, before houses, kids and reality really hits. So read on, believe in yourself, and discover just how making the move will make your life SO much better:
You’ll challenge yourself and prove yourself wrong
Remember your first day of high school, or the day your parents dropped you off at university for the very first time? Remember that ‘oh my God, how the hell am I going to do this’ feeling? That’s the feeling you’ll have when you land in your destination of choice, walk out of the airport and have to decide what to do next. But just like high school, or uni, you’ll smash it. Not to get too philosophical, but the only way we improve as human beings, is to do the things we’re most scared off. Your instincts will tell you not to leave the safe environment of your home country, but your heart tells another story. Follow it, trust it, and you’ll never look back. In a year’s time when you’re spending a weekend on the beach with your NBF’s, or hanging out with your new, totally cute Australian boyfriend, you’ll suddenly realise you DID do it, and you’re pretty much capable of anything.
You’ll improve your career prospects
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential employer for a second. Who would you chose to employ – the nice, rather plain Jane who theoretically ticks all the boxes but lacks that certain spark, or the guy who’s not only an A* candidate, but has great chat, gets on with everyone, has invaluable life experience and a hundred hilarious travel stories that will keep you entertained over countless post work drinks. It’s a no brainer. Showing you’ve lived abroad gives your CV a competitive edge in a seriously competitive market, especially if you’ve held down a successful job or, better still, progressed up the career ladder during your time away.
You can learn a new language
Ever felt frustrated that after a week of holidaying in a French/Spanish/Portuguese/Italian speaking country, you’re not totally fluent? You and me both. Sure your high school language abilities can come in handy on holiday, but actually living in a country that speaks a different language forces you to really whole heartedly commit to learning a new tongue. In some countries they won’t even speak a word of English, so ordering in a restaurant, hailing a taxi, or making new friends will be difficult unless you at least get a grasp of the basics. Immersing yourself in a new language, watching TV, reading books and chatting to people in a tongue that isn’t your own, you’ll be surprised by just how quickly you become multi lingual. Plus, speaking another language is another huge tick on the old CV, and also just damn sexy.
You’ll get a whole new friendship group
Living overseas away from your nearest and dearest, the new friends you make will be the sole most important part to your whole experience. More than just people to hang out with or go get pissed with, these people will become the closest thing you have to family, so choose them wisely. Don’t just cling to the first people you meet – take your time, and the right ones will find you.
You’ll realise what home really means to you
So you may think the grass is always greener, and often it is, but being away from home for an extended period of time allows you to realise what’s really, REALLY important to you. Maybe that’s your favourite breakfast café, but more often than not it’s your family and friends. You take these people for granted when they’re just a short ride away but once it takes you 24 hours to get home, their importance to you takes on a whole new meaning. This isn’t a bad thing, it just makes coming home to reality slightly more bearable (because trust me, the post adventure blues are WAY too real).
You’ll live your best life
Pre and post work ocean swims, wild nights with random strangers and blissful happiness are all part of the working abroad formula. You’ll be up for anything, take every weekend break and spontaneous adventure that comes your way, and live the life you literally never imagined. Hell, start a blog on your adventure, and maybe you too could be a Buzzfeed article people lust over, never imaging that their life could actually be your life.