When I was 21, I moved alone from America to Romania. I chose this place because I have some family and background here, but that wasn’t the only reason I moved. Many people migrate to find a better life in terms of safety and finances, but I moved to find a more meaningful life. Living in an age of technology and feminism makes it a lot easier for women to follow their dreams. Those who have the opportunity to experience life without borders should take the chance and see what’s out there.
It feels great to get a fresh start. Moving to a new country is like hitting the reset button on life. Good habits can be carried over but some unwanted things can be left behind. It’s a chance to meet new people and introduce them to an improved version of oneself. At the same time, it’s healthy to leave any negative people who judge according to old opinions. A move also forces us to sift through material belongings and decide what’s worth hauling over, which can give us a big reality check.
It doesn’t have to be permanent. Just keeping this thought in mind can calm any doubts about making the move. It’s true that it can be risky to leave behind a job, loved ones, or belongings, but chances are, the risk will be well worth anything that was sacrificed. And if things don’t work out, belongings can be reclaimed, relationships can be rekindled, or new things can be created.
Technology makes it easy. An interpreter, tour guide, and a best friend all fit in our pockets, thanks to smartphones. Translation apps take the guesswork out of shopping foreign grocery store aisles and understanding road signs. Interactive map apps give step-by-step guides how to navigate new territories, and even show how to use public transport. Friends and family are a phone call, message, or FaceTime away, and Google is there to answer any other questions.
Social media keeps connections. With social media, falling out of the loop with what’s going on back home shouldn’t be a worry. It’s easy to keep up with events and changes, and it’s fun to add new friends from a different country. On the flip side, moving away is a good time to delete old accounts and start fresh. It’s fun to be that girl who posts pictures of cool foreign places all the time!
It shows which friends are real. Even with the ease of communication that’s provided by technology and social media, people still fade away. It can be disappointing but also very eye-opening and sometimes even relieving. There will be plenty of new friends to make up for any people that become distant.
Living expenses in many countries are way cheaper. For example, in Romania (a modernized country and member of the EU), comfortable apartments are available to rent for $250/month. Food is a quarter of the price in the US, and the efficient public transport costs $12/month. Some countries are more expensive but some are cheaper. Far eastern countries, such as Thailand and India, offer even better rates.
A salary can go a lot farther in a foreign country. Live in a country with low living costs but work for a company based in a wealthier nation. What’s considered a low salary in America seems huge in many other countries because of the economic differences. Remote jobs or working at local branches of international firms are great options. Also, a favorable currency exchange rate between nations can make money go a lot farther.
It’s possible to live debt-free. Low expenses make it possible to save up and buy things instead of having to take loans for necessities. Most places are built so that public transportation and walking are all that’s needed to get around, eliminating car expenses. Property prices are also much cheaper in many countries. Living without car payments, a mortgage and credit card bills can be a reality—without winning the lottery!
It gives the opportunity to travel a lot more. In addition to having a whole new country to explore, visiting other foreign countries is much cheaper and easier. Plane tickets between European countries can usually be found for well under $100 round-trip or just driving is an option. Throughout Europe, nice rooms go for around $50/night (or much cheaper, depending on criteria). With the low costs and short travel time, an easy weekend trip is all it takes to see a new country.
The cultural experience is priceless. Whether a new country is more or less affluent than the one left behind, there is so much to learn from it. Travelling is a good start, but living in a different culture offers a much deeper experience. And there’s more to be learned than new traditions, foods, or mannerisms. Spending time in foreign places creates a more balanced world view and a higher perspective on life.
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