I am sure that many of you have read articles about how living abroad will change you and maybe you think “Come on! It can’t be that good!”.
The truth is that for those who have done it, it is for sure a life changing experience, but what is so special about it?
The first thing that I would like to make clear is that not everything is perfect, but even the challenges that you might have will make you grow as person.
Living abroad will push you out of your comfort zone, from making new friends, to living for the first time by yourself and even speaking a new language.
When I moved to Tortola everything was new for me, I was moving out from my parents’ house, had to make new friends, learn a new area of law and on top of that speak in a different language. I have to be honest, it was a bit scary at the beginning. However, the best thing you get out of that is confidence, which will reflect in some many different aspects of your life.
Now that I am living in Boston, I see things different from the first time. I have this feeling that no matter what, I will always come up with plan A, B and all the way to Z. Your perspective and approach to challenges changes. You learn to adapt, to take risks and change if necessary.
The exposure to new cultures is one of the things I value the most, you get to know different points of views, different realities. For me is interesting to find similarities in people from distant countries, you realized that we are not that different and that most of the time, things that separate people are not really important. You respect differences and understand that your truth is not necessary the only one, each opinion is valid even when is different from yours because is based on a different history.
Another amazing thing about living abroad are your friends, because you are away from your family, so your friends become family. Yes, I know it sounds dramatic, but it is true, I can’t imagine my life all these years without my friends. Friends are a gift, it could be difficult to say goodbye when the time comes, actually it is really difficult. It is a roller coaster of emotions, but the good part is that with time you discover that no matter how far they are or if you do not talk all the time, they are always there for you. Since your connection is so strong a few miles apart will not take that away.
Living abroad is an experience that will change you forever, for me it is very emotional, but I have no regrets. Your heart is full of little pieces from the places you have been and the people you have met, including those funny memories from your country. When I go back home I treasure every second with my family, my friends. I enjoy more the things I have now, I have missed a lot of birthdays and “special celebrations”, but now I believe is not about the date is about the moment you share that makes it special. I value the NOW more than before. At the same time, I can’t wait to be back to my second home, whenever that place might be.
If you ever have the opportunity to live abroad or to visit another country, even for a short period of time, do it! Keep in mind a few things:
- make sure you have health insurance, if you are going abroad because of studies or work, health insurance is mandatory! In some countries like the United States medical care is really expensive, it is better to be prepared
- Be prepare for the weather, Tortola was easy because, it is tropical weather but Boston..well I am still trying to understand the weather here, but if you know you are traveling to a place with different seasons, include in your budget a section for clothes and check online prices so you have an idea of the cost.
- check cost of living, this is fundamental for everything, work, studies, adventure.
- research about public transportation, you need to know if you will have to buy a car and take that into consideration for your budget.