After travelling around the world nonstop for almost an entire year, I finally called it quits and decided to settle down and try life living as an expat in Berlin. Of course many readers were eager to learn why I moved to Berlin, but a fast forward a few weeks I suppose the more important question would be what do I think about living in a new city? Is expat life for me? And more importantly, is expat life for you? The title of this post should give a fairly certain indication that I am indeed loving life as an expat, so here are my top reasons to move to a new city and become an expat!
1. Love Yourself First
The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself.
– Diane Von Furstenberg
Stated like the strong and empowered woman herself. No truer words could be more applicable when it comes to branching out of the ordinary and throwing yourself in the deep end. Of course it is difficult at first and never will it ever be easy, but when was life ever easy? Nothing in this world worth having will come easy… just remember that when you’re stuck at the front of the line at your local hand gesturing your symptoms in a vague attempt to receive your desired medicine.
2. Standing on your own two feet
Have you ever found yourself stranded in a compromising position (perhaps incapable of replacing a tire, putting up a tent, or cooking a recipe beyond 2 minute noodles!?) and wondering to yourself who is best to call to solve your problem? Yup. We live in a world of reliance. We rely on others (or google) for help and advice. Becoming an expat will strip these niceties from you and force you to stand on your own two feet.
3. Because in the end, you only have yourself
Call it pessimistic… call it realistic… call it whatever you will. But it’s true. In the end, we only have ourselves when all of our worldly possessions and relationships are stripped away. But that’s not a bad thing! It’s just something we should aim to accept earlier in life – to prepare ourselves for the long and rough road ahead. Life was not made to be easy, seamless or plain. We’re put on this earth to make our lives as good as they can be, it is our decision what we do with the time that is given to us.
4. Broaden your horizons
Becoming an expat in a new city not only brings with it change for you personally, but also for your entire life. The possibilities (you will soon realise) are endless. All of a sudden there is a whole new list of opportunities and challenges awaiting you. Of course it pays to plan ahead and do your research – where is going to be the best city for your preferences, for your career prospects and for your enjoyment? Be sure to think big! The WORLD is limitless.
5. Broaden your mindset
Maybe it’s not your opportunities that need a change, but your outlook? Moving abroad to become an expat is indeed the greatest ‘plunge into the deep end’ you can make. By putting yourself out of your comfort zone and into the hands of a foreign culture, you will inevitably broaden your mindset and outlook on life. Regardless of whether you’ve travelled abroad before, nothing will prepare you for the change you are about to experience as an expat living abroad. Embrace the uncertainties.
6. Create your own global network
Not only will you experience a new culture and way of life whilst abroad, but you will also make friends and meet colleagues from all different areas of the globe. If you’re looking to meet people from all over, consider popular expat cities like London, Berlin or New York. If you just want to experience a particular culture and meet certain foreigners, do your research before you choose your expat city.
7. Learn a new language, culture, way of life…
But of course whilst you’re there, you won’t be able to help yourself from constantly learning and evolving in your new way of life. Just be sure to say YES to everything (or as much as possible), as you never know when it might all end and you’ll hand to go home (governments can be tough nuts to crack at the best of times). Carpe Diem!
8. Put your best foot forward
There’s something slightly alluring about the idea of starting your life again. Starting afresh after a traumatic or life changing event can sometimes be the clean slate we might need. If you want to reinvent yourself or simply just be a better version of yourself, why not consider becoming an expat? There’s no cleaner slate than a new city in a foreign country where you don’t know anyone!
9. Challenge Yourself
Maybe you just need a little stimulation. After all, life should be passionate, challenging, scary, exciting… and so many things! But life should never (ever ever ever) be boring. If its a change you need, why not try a new city – new places, new faces, new language, new culture…. all of the newness! Go on, challenge yourself.