We are Lucky Duckies
We are so fortunate in the 21st century that the opportunity to move abroad for a year or two is available to pretty much all of us. Undeniably, most of us love our home countries, I definitely do. But having the freedom to explore a new country, not just as a tourist, I believe can change your perspective on life. At least it did for me!
My Experiences Abroad
I’ve made the decision to move abroad twice now (not including going to Uni in Wales!). When I was 13 I moved to Spain with my Dad for 2 years and aged 24 I set off to live in Sydney for 1 year.
My experience in Spain definitely wasn’t an easy one. I was hesitant to leave my lovely school and friends in the UK, to move to a country where I had zero friends, my Dad would be my only family out there and I couldn’t speak the language. For my first 6 months I spent almost every weekend with my Dad and his friends (aged 13 this wasn’t the cool thing to do!) It took me about a year to properly feel ‘at home’ and make like minded friends.
However, looking back, this experience was incredible and very character building. I remember always getting a quick dip in the pool before going to school and being picked up on my Dad’s moped each day. We’d walk along the promenade every night and sit in the bars chatting to locals.
My second experience abroad living in Sydney was far smoother than I could have wished. Being at a different stage in my life, making a big group of friends wasn’t a priority (just a few closer friends was important for me). I had so much fun and developed my career in new ways.
These are some of the benefits I’ve experienced:
Open your mind
Working in Australian companies has made me realise a whole new way of dealing with people. My team was made up of 2 Indians, one Sweedish-Greek, one German-Aussie, a Brit and a couple of Aussies thrown in there. I loved the diversity.
Learning that there isn’t just one way which works in pretty much every situation has made me understand that for nearly every thing I want to do in my life I can create an idea for accomplishing it. Even making sushi out of quinoa, haha!
It isn’t the same as being in person, absolutely agree. But compared with sending letters that take a month to arrive (how it would have been for our grandparents), I feel very fortunate to have Skype, Whatsapp & Facebook almost 24/7, allowing me to contact people in the UK whenever I like.
The idea of joining a new group, travelling solo or finding a new job in an area I don’t 100% know my stuff in wouldn’t phase me at all now. Living somewhere that you don’t have as many home comforts makes you adapt to what there is available and you create the feeling of community in new ways.
As our world is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan, being able to understand and accept each others cultures is of course really important.
Learning how people grow up in other countries and how different our childhoods have been to other people has helped me realise why people can act in the ways they do.
Realising What is Important
… as well as what isn’t (which is equally as important in my opinion!)
Living in Aus has definitely made me take a step back from my life and understand what is important to me and what I shouldn’t worry about.
I used to worry a lot about saying what I think, as I didn’t like the idea of disagreement. Now I’ve seen things through a wider lens, making me realise that a lot of my worries are completely irrelevant.
Doing things I LOVE everyday I’ve realised is so important to me. I’m not the type of person who wants to grind through a week with the goal of getting to the weekend where I blow out. Instead I want every day to be enjoyable and if this means I can’t spend crazy amounts of money at the weekend then so be it!
Ending on an extremely cringey one….being away from your family routine and close group of friends really does make you think about what you want to do with your life. You have the ability to create your own diary again (less birthday commitments to attend to or family events to go to) so you can prioritise the things which you’ve been wanting to accomplish.
For me that’s been starting acro yoga classes, juggling more often, learning about veganism etc. Woah, how cool do I sound!?
I hope that if you’re thinking of spending a portion of time abroad that this has excited you to keep considering. Investing a year or two is very little in terms of your lifespan, even if this means taking a lower paid job or putting that mortgage on hold. On the other hand, regret can last a lifetime xxx