If your curiosity about the world and other cultures has been quietly tugging at your mind over the last few years, it could be a good sign that you need a major conscious disruption in your daily life.

You might have lived in Country #51 since birth, and it's great. You've got roots there. Friends from high school. Friends from your first job at that pizza shop. Colleagues, siblings, cousins, parents. You're comfortable.

But - there's so much more you want to see and experience - and not just within a rushed 2 week vacation at the end of the year. No, you want to really take it aaaaallll in. A complete lifestyle change. Bring on the culture shock.

Here's why a spontaneous move abroad might be the best thing you do for yourself.


1. You Grow in Ways You Wouldn't Even Imagine

Author Neale Donald Walsch famously penned the words, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." He couldn't be more correct in his globally applicable philosophy. When we stay in a place for too long, things can become routine and we can forget our hunger for adventure, challenges and the need for personal growth.

When you're amidst totally new people, cultures and unfamiliar places, the only thing you can do is sink or swim, and you quickly learn how to navigate your situation. Anything can happen.

Finances might go down the gurgler, you might not know the local language, and the way you interact with others may be completely foreign to what you know. But as a result, you become tougher, socially fluent and more understanding of the world around you.

You truly see what you're made of.


2. You Can Learn a New Language

The best way to learn another language is not through podcasts, or weekly lessons, or binge-watching Korean dramas. It's by actually inserting yourself into a location where you have no other choice but to speak said language, even if you only know two and a half words.

Throwing yourself in the deep end, having to practise ordering food, asking for directions, saying basic phrases, will gradually build up your confidence and within a few years, you'll be speaking like a local - a great lifelong skill to have.


3. All the Glorious, Glorious Food

Depending on where you go, it's probably fair to say the food scene can be very different.

When you reside in the motherland of a culture, the dishes you thought you knew back home at restaurants simply don't compare to the real deal.

Getting to eat soup-filled dumplings rolled by skilled hands in China, grabbing a late night curry snack at a roadside stall in Malaysia, drinking out of a coconut under a tree in Fiji - all experiences you can only truly have if you're there.

Another perk is being able to access fragrant, authentic ingredients and have a go at whipping up the local dishes yourself. Not only is it loads of fun and challenging, you get to learn so many new skills and methods of interacting with food.


4. Brand New Sights & Scenes

Unless you've travelled to your destination country multiple times for lengthy stays in the past, life around you will be entirely new and intriguing to take in. Besides, being somewhere on holiday and actually living there are two very different things.

You notice all the tiny little quirks that give your new home character and charm, and begin to enjoy a new way of life. Ways of dress, latest trends, societal values, the way people greet each other; all of these will see you adapting. Furthermore, a new country comes its own set of festivals, shopping scenes, entertainment and events, all of which are fun and exciting.

It's beyond moving house to a nearby suburb or moving to another city. It's a new country, and while some things are the same, many others are different and you will realise what you miss most and have grown to love.


5. Travel!

Living in a new country means getting to travel to all the other nearby countries in the area.

If you live in Germany, travelling to France, Poland, Switzerland and many others is just a couple of hours away. South East Asia travel is a complete breeze as it is cheap, and getting around from town to town is extremely convenient with the extensive network of busses, tuk-tuks and trains.

Travelling within your new home country will also be a totally new experience, as every city, village and state comes with its own set of characteristics and surprises.


6. New Friends & Connections

When you move abroad, you don't necessarily have to take the phrase "Out with the old, in with the new" that seriously. In regards to friendships, you can definitely have the best of both worlds.

Arriving in a new country typically means you won't know a single person and will most likely have to start from scratch, which can be scary, but filled with all sorts of serendipity and adventure.

It's your chance to join new communities, clubs, social scenes and hobby groups, and you will most likely meet people from all walks of life, from all over the world, which is a priceless experience.

So, what are you waiting for? Book that one-way ticket. You won't regret it.


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