7 Important Life Lessons You’ll Gain From Moving Abroad

written by local expert Becky Rogers

Becky is an avid rock climber and outdoor enthusiast and is now living in France as an expat. When she is not writing about travel gear and various destinations she has visited during her travels, you can find her playing with her two dogs.

Moving abroad may seem like a daunting experience. The feeling of not knowing anyone, the anticipation of adjusting to a new culture and way of life, and the fear of leaving everything that you are used to. However, while a lot of people focus on the overwhelming task of moving abroad, there are loads of positives that come along with it. If you’re not sure what I mean, here are a few life changing lessons you’ll learn from living abroad.

You Will Learn More About Yourself

Warning: Read on for philosophical EatPrayLove talk. Moving abroad will allow you to grow and develop as a person; you’ll find yourself in a different environment, adapting to the new culture and attempting to solve new problems from serious adult situations down to trivial things like how to say “I need the toilet” in Turkish. As you’re no longer in your little comfort bubble, you may also find yourself becoming more reflective about life and what you want out of it (you may not believe it but it’s true!). For me, this is the best part of travel. You may meet a lot of new people and learn a lot about different cultures, but at the end of the day, you’ll learn even more about yourself.

Read: 5 Things I Have Learned from Traveling A woman in a field with their arms outstretched

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You Will Push Yourself out of Your Comfort zone

Whether you want to or not, this will happen. Maybe even on a weekly basis. From the visa runs and housing forms, to something that should be simple like getting around. Moving abroad will test your confidence and your patience. This is great though right? Pushing our limits and challenging ourselves is healthy, plus a great boost to our self-confidence and independence. Just think of your relationship with your new country as an actual relationship. Appreciate the good times and expect sh*t to happen.  A woman in the middle of a busy street

You Will Develop New Skills

This might seem like a really slap-you-in-the-face-obvious point but bare with me. Yes, if you’re moving to a foreign country so you will obviously learn the language. I’m talking more about developing new skills, or finding out that you had these skills in the first place, but just didn’t have the opportunity to use them before. Moving abroad offers so many experiences that you may have overlooked or been restricted to back at home. I’ve met so many people while travelling who have ended up doing something completely different to their degrees through new skills that they’ve learnt while travelling. I mean look at the people who up and quit their job of 10 years to pack up and move away? We’ve all heard of these people: they learn to work online, start their own business and become a kick-ass success!

Read: How Starting a Blog Changed Our Lives Aerial view of a woman and a laptop

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You Will Gain a Different Point of View

Nothing makes you more open-minded than travelling and living abroad. You will come across so many different cultures, traditions and ideals, political and religious views, you’ll be amazed. Wherever you come from, you will be so accustomed to the views of how you were raised and your idea of ‘normal.’ However, moving abroad will make you open your eyes, causing you to ask yourself, “what is the norm?” Remember what I said about reflection? This is the time to embrace other cultures, ask questions, and appreciate other ways of life. A group of monks sitting down

You Will Make New Friends and Connections

If you’re an introvert like me, part of the challenge of being in a new place is meeting new people. I always worry if I’ll make friends and in all honesty, it takes me back to the first day of school all over again. Although this irrational anxiety has always been a part of my life, I have never felt this way while travelling. When I lived in Spain, or even just travelling around Thailand with my brother, making friends could never have been easier. If you love the idea of moving abroad and this is a worry for you, don’t let it hold you back from taking that step. You’ll meet so many amazing new people, many in the same position as you! Just trust me when I say the people you meet will inspire you and have a positive impact on your life.

You Will Let Go of Material Things

Living with the basics is super easy, and will actually leave you feeling happier and free. The trick is to just not take things with you in the first place! It’s true. The thought of leaving your stuff behind while you’re packing is the worst, but as soon as you move, you realize that you didn’t need them in the first place. So rather than waiting till you move to get rid of stuff, just be more ruthless when you pack! This genuinely should be classed as a skill in itself, as it takes a lot of time and practice to perfect. So don’t be disheartened, start with making a list of essentials and don’t think about everything you have. Check out our guide if you need help.

Insider’s Tip: If there are essential items you need to take with you or you’re completely up-routing your home, you can use hassle free courier services like Shiply which makes the entire moving process 10x easier. Close up of a man holding a suitcase

You Will Miss a Lot of Things

The hardest part of travelling is thinking of everything you will miss at home. All the birthdays and christmases and all those pivotal family moments. What makes it even harder is that you don’t even have your favourite home comfort brands to drown your sorrows! Unfortunately, there is no way to make homesickness any easier. You will miss things, but only physically. With this amazing technological age, Skype brings people closer even though you’re miles apart, and the times that you do have together will really mean a lot. Long story short, it’s okay to feel sad and miss home. Talk to those around you who probably feel the same. You’ll soon be reminded that what you get in return for moving away from home is enough of a reason to stay.

As well as all this, everything that people do tell you about moving abroad is also true! That through all the tears and homesickness, moving overseas will be the most rewarding experience of your life. Not only will you gain essential life skills and amazing friends, but you’ll also gain a new perspective and push yourself to be a better person. Does it sound worth it to you?

What have you learnt from moving abroad?

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