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5 Reasons to Live Abroad

January 8, 2016

It’s an incredible challenge.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther

We’ve all had moments where things are going our way and we feel on top of our responsibilities. These feelings can swiftly be replaced by a sudden change or unexpected event, but for the most part these times can be incredibly comforting. The thing is, these challenges are what makes life so damn interesting. If the sea was always smooth, then no one would surf.

Travelling is the perfect example of actively seeking out a challenge so that you can grow and make life a more interesting and flourishing experience. You’ll have to leave all that comfort behind and go head first into a new culture, language, and way of life. These are the challenges that make you appreciate everything you have and help you develop as an individual.

You can learn a new language.

There’s a Czech saying that goes, “You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.”

Luca Lampariello, the Italian polyglot that speaks 11 languages, expressed in a recent interview that when he speaks another language he is a slightly different version of himself. When you learn a new language, you are given a whole new lexicon of expression. In addition to this ideology, USA Today  wrote that the top happiest languages were; Spanish, Portuguese and English because they tended towards using more positive than negative language. Benefits of being bilingual have long been praised, aside from the obvious benefits of communication and improved career opportunities.

It’ll open your eyes.

We often speak about the phenomenon of culture shock when someone moves to another country. Affectively, this is when one is exposed to a culture different to one’s own, leading them to experience a radical reaction. Culture shocks are too often spoken of in a derogative manner, as something that is frightening and beyond our comforts. Alternatively we should be open to accepting new and different approaches to life, allowing them to reshape our own perceptions of the "norm".

Making new friends.

When we are at home we tend to have a routine. Get up, go to work, meet friends, and so on. When you are in a new country you will have to be open to saying "yes" to different social outings and find yourself in situations you may never have imagined yourself in before. This opens you up to meeting new people and making new friends from different parts of the world.

You’ll return a different person.

The German author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker Michael Obert said in a recent interview that he loves to travel and experience new cultures and people, but he equally loves to return and share his experiences with his home country. For him, these two practices go hand in hand. The idea that challenges and development will cease once you get on that return flight is beyond wrong. In fact, many people who have travelled extensively and lived abroad maintain they’re a changed person or that they’ll never look at the world in the same way.

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