Okay I get it. Living abroad sounds wonderful, but how great can it really be?
Moving thousands of miles away from family and friends, to an unknown country, is it really worth it?
Look I’ll be honest, moving abroad is not for everyone, and it requires a huge commitment with no guarantees. But…
"Sometimes wondering is more painful than the worst outcome."
You've probably heard the expression “travel changes you”. Now imagine how much personal change would occur if you actually lived abroad for an extended period.
The goal is not to convince you to move abroad, but rather to provide information and help you make the best decision for you.
Or maybe you’re already planning to move abroad, then let us be your guide as you navigate the road.
In this article, we are going to provide you with the top 4 reasons why you should move abroad.
Cost of Living
As the saying goes “more bang for your buck”.
Unless you move to a country like the Cayman Islands or Switzerland, your money should take you further abroad.
You will pay less for things like housing, utilities, and food compared to the average costs in the US.
You can literally live in the oceanfront home or countryside lodge of your dreams for a third of the price it would cost you in the US.
In Ecuador, we live very comfortably on significantly less income, so I can assure you this is true. If you’d like to see a tour of our home, you can find it here.
Other cost advantages you will find in many countries are free healthcare, inexpensive medications, and reliable public transportation, thus eliminating the need for a car.
When you live abroad life moves at different speed. The fast paced, consumer driven society is not as prevalent.
You don’t feel the pressure to “keep up with the joneses” because you aren’t constantly comparing yourself to your peers or being bombarded by manipulative media advertisements.
The American ideal of accumulating material goods is replaced with a clarity that you have all that you need.
Also, you will find that you become more laid-back living abroad. You won’t stress as much over meaningless things, and you will begin to appreciate everything around you.
In the US, we were constantly on the move. Whether it was work obligations or other life commitments, we rarely took the time to pause and be grateful for what we had.
Now life is much clearer, we focus on what matters and embrace the beauty all around us.
To truly experience a country, you need to live there for an extended period of time. You need to live like a local instead of a tourist. To immerse yourself in the day to day life and appreciate the unique cultural traditions.
Through this experience you’ll meet people with a whole new perspective on life and learn that there is no set way to live life.
You’ll be inspired to change certain behaviors and adapt to a new set of norms that better suit who you truly are.
One custom that we adapted to living abroad is meal priority.
In most Latin American countries, lunch is the most important meal of the day. The thought is that it provides you with the necessary energy to get you through the rest of the day.
Thus, workers typically go home for lunch to eat a robust meal with their families.
In the US of course, dinnertime is when we come together for a hearty meal.
We found that prioritizing lunch works much better for our family as it frees up our nights and it provides the added benefit of a healthier lifestyle since we aren’t indulging a big meal prior to bedtime.
The other key aspect of culture is language.
Full disclosure, learning a new language is incredibly challenging, but it will be one of the most fulfilling accomplishments of your life.
While it’s not necessary to learn the local language, having even a basic understanding will greatly enhance your comfort level and ability to integrate within your community. Plus it's an incredible skill to have with you throughout your life.
All aspects of culture, from local customs to local food will enrich your life and provide you with a fresh perspective.
Imagine being able to experience the weather you love every single day.
Sunny days and oceans sunsets, no problem, countries like Costa Rica and Thailand have you covered. Cool mountain breezes and breathtaking views, Peru or Italy would suit you well.
It’s an amazing feeling to live and breathe your ideal weather each day. It can have a profound impact on your mood and overall well-being.
We grew up in Wisconsin where it felt like winter 9 months of the year, and it seemed like weather was always the main topic of conversation.
“Big blizzard coming in, dontcha know”. “Gosh darn, looks like rain all weekend”.
We often complained about the weather and grew tired of it ruining planned events or occasions.
So when we were deciding where to move abroad, we only looked into countries that had year round sun and never ending beaches, and we found this in Ecuador.
And trust me, you’ll never grow tired of your ideal weather.
4. Fresh Start
I have always been fond of this quote from the movie “Fight Club”:
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything, that we’re free to do anything”.
These words have always held a significant meaning in my life. The underlying message took a while to resonate, but when it finally did, I began to understand how work and material possessions were controlling my life and limiting my opportunities.
Prior to moving abroad, I worked a corporate job and lived a relatively structured life. I stayed in my lane, and while I was open to trying new things, I rarely did.
I went to great lengths to avoid feeling incompetent or foolish. And if something felt uncomfortable, I stopped doing it, and stuck to what I was good at.
When we made the decision to move abroad, I knew that I wanted a fresh start.
I wanted to be more adventurous, take more risks, and most importantly step out of my comfort zone.
Living abroad will force you to change and adapt, you’ll feel uncomfortable and embarrassed many times, but the beauty is that you’ll discover you are resilient and capable of anything.
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