5 Reasons Why You Should Live Abroad in Your Twenties
Our twenties are a time for exploration. They’re a time when we know we can mess up, without the repercussions affecting our whole lives, and a time when we begin to break off from our peers.
As we grow up, we go through all of the same life stages at the same time as everyone else our age. We enter elementary school, intermediate, and then high school. We all enter puberty around the same time, we take our exams, have our first kiss, and we have the certainty that everyone else around us is going through the same thing.
Once we hit 18, and the enter our early twenties though, everything begins to change. For once we have to decide our own fate, and we realise that there are no answers and everyone else will be doing different things.
One thing you may be wondering, is whether you should live abroad in your twenties. Maybe you have a craving for adventure, or you’re dying to get away from suffocating parents. Maybe you long to travel to work in a tuk tuk in Asia, or take the Tube in London. Maybe you’ve always been certain that you were born in the wrong place, and if you could only see the world you would be able to understand more about yourself.
Here are 5 reasons why you should live abroad in your twenties:
1 The world is smaller than you think
When our parents and grandparents went traveling, it usually meant a postcard in the mail if their families were lucky. These days technology has come such a long way that you can type a Facebook message to your brother while on your way to work on the other side of the world, and Skype your parents in the weekends. With apps like Snapchat and Whatsapp, we really have no excuse for not keeping in touch with family and friends, and no excuse to not get out and explore the world.
2 You don’t have to be rich
While travel can be expensive, the truth is that it’s never been more affordable- remember, flying was once something that only the most privileged members of society got to do. If you come from a developed country, your currency and education have given you a huge advantage over 80% of the rest of the world. There are numerous ways to find jobs overseas, and while they may not pay much, hustling is character building. Consider doing a summer camp in the United States or Europe, or signing up to be an Au Pair for a year or two. If you have a skill and can work remotely, why not consider freelancing or see if you can get a transfer to another company?
3 You’ll grow as a person
It may seem obvious, and we may expect to grow as we travel, but no one truly expects to change as much as they do while they see the world. It helps that other than our early childhood years, our twenties are the years where we change the most. Surrounding ourselves with the same group of people means that our brains teach us to behave the same way. As we travel we meet so many new people from all walks of life, all of whom help us see the world a new way.
4 You’ll gain more confidence
This one may fall slightly under “you’ll grow as a person”, but it’s such a huge thing that it really deserves its own point. People who were once afraid to have lunch or a coffee by themselves will backpack through Southeast Asia without a care in the world. That girl who could never muster up the courage to talk to anyone at home? After a year of living or traveling abroad, she’ll probably be the first person to introduce herself and ask where you’re from.
Living overseas can be hard sometimes, and you’ll encounter situations that you might not at home. Along with culture shock, you’ll likely have to be a lot more independent and navigate a different language, city, and group of friends. This will increase your confidence so much that your parents may not recognise you when you return.
5 It looks great on your CV
It used to be that a “gap year” was frowned upon by employers, but this is no longer the case. In fact, now employers are looking to hire people who have life experience and the ability to relate to people from all different cultures.
Whether you choose to do some volunteering, teach English, or just take a sabbatical, you can definitely highlight everything you’ve gained from the experience on your CV, both personally and professionally.