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Youth, at least up to 30’s, is a key time of self-discovery. New technology, cultural changes, and major life transitions (like graduating, starting a job, getting married, having children, etc.) tend to make young people more open toward change and they are more likely to make significant life shifts. Moving to new locations also entails a major change. There are numerous reasons, both work-related and personal, why people choose to relocate. Young people may have to move with their parents, for studying, or for a job. Whatever the motive for the move, moving offers several benefits for these folks. Let’s enumerate the most salient ones of them below.
Relocating to a totally new place gives you a taste of the real world outside the bubble of your hometown. When you move to a new place, you often leave your comfort zone behind. You find yourself among new people, in a new place, in a new culture, and often struggling with a new language. Your job is to enjoy it all without getting overwhelmed or becoming anxious. Sometimes we need this boost to gain confidence and to learn about our full potential.
To me, the most significant advantage of moving is that it pushes us out of our cozy little corners. Moving to a new place unfolds a number of growth-fostering challenges. You learn to survive and thrive in unfamiliar circumstances.
Travelling is a great teacher. I probably learned more in my first 2 years living abroad than I did in 16 years of traditional classroom education. When you live and journey abroad, you discover through seeing and doing. You build powerful real memories, and you experience history, geography, and cultures firsthand.
Living in an unfamiliar new place, with fresh questioning eyes and curiosity, you learn on your own terms and in a way that you will never forget. Moving has also taught me that I never want my things to own me, and when I must make a choice, experience takes precedence over possession.
Moving also teaches you that not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever. It can involve some pretty difficult goodbyes, especially when you know the chances of seeing some people again are thin. It teaches you that sometimes you need to break away in order to move forward.
Moving at a young age can be the most empowering experience of your life so far. It puts you in control of how you set up your new life and everything is up to you. Making decisions that involve risk can build your capacity and confidence for the future.
We all need to reinvent ourselves now and then, and completely switching up your living scenario can provide you with that opportunity. Moving teaches you to follow a minimalist lifestyle and to immerse yourself in a new culture. If you have the flexibility to take a leap and start over a few times, instead of getting stuck in a rut for the rest of your life, it will teach you a lot about yourself, your priorities, and what truly matters to you. You find new places inviting and do not get stuck against your wish. When required you are more than willing to pick up and go.
Relocating presents you with the opportunity to broaden your tastes and horizons. You will be pushed into firsts. Some good. Some not so good. Mostly different. Mostly educating.
Each place I live in, every place I travel to, I discover a new piece of myself. Every country, every city, every home I have lived in has played a role in making me who I have become over time. As a young person in new places, I learned to have confidence in myself, my opinions, and my judgment. I became comfortable with being alone with my mind and myself. I learned asking for help, connecting with strangers, or placing my trust in others. Living abroad and traveling the world can make you a better person, more aware and resourceful.
Moving to a new place gives you the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends – often from a different culture. Most places now have vibrant expat communities that can include interesting people from different countries. Look for opportunities to jump into conversations, invite and accept invitations, and get out to explore the place with your friends or neighbors.
It is a true life skill to be able to understand and adjust to cultures and backgrounds different from yours. Sometimes you will be working with teams with many different cultures within their fold and that will give you a global outlook. You can work from anywhere with a stable Wi-Fi connection, but you cannot learn multicultural adaptability without getting an opportunity to live and practice it. When you live abroad, you will find yourself becoming open and adventurous in your choice of friends, clothes, activities, and food.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” said Mark Twain, but for that you must travel with open eyes and heart. Genuine cultural understanding extends far past speaking the same language and has much more to do with your perspective. The perspective that focuses on common ground to build connections and foster empathy.
The ability to put yourself in the place of “the other” wears away the walls of prejudice and opens your eyes to the beauty in diversity. You learn that it is fine to be different and to lean into your uneasiness and to value the differences in culture, beliefs, and race.
My multicultural awareness has not only made me more adaptable, but it has also afforded me the opportunity to mix and match different styles and ways of life that work for me – for my tastes and my values.
If you relocate to an area where you do not know the local language, then view that as your chance to learn a new language. Do not be shy to practice it in everyday interactions such as going to the bazar or interacting with the locals.
Sometimes when you will not know the right words to communicate what you want, you will improvise other ways to get your point across. This will teach you to think fast on your feet and to adapt to the situation.
You will get opportunities to travel to neighboring places or countries and stopover at convenient destinations while flying to and from your place of residence. Imagine living in Paris and exploring so many other places within France as well as in the neighboring countries of Europe.
If you have been moving with your parents as a child, you know which places you enjoy and which ones you do not. You also feel like you have been traveling your whole life. This makes you ready for future travels. You know how to discover a place you do not know, and you feel at ease in a new environment.
Living abroad can help you enter the global market. Not only will you be more mobile but learning about different cultures can help you adjust in a variety of work environments as well as bolster your communication skills and confidence to move forward. It is better to make your significant career pivots early on. Moving in young age can set you up to be in just the right place at the right time for the career opportunity you were not expecting.
When living and working abroad, we not only establish new friendships, get to know locals and other expats from different parts of the world, but learn how to form meaningful cross-cultural relationships and connections. We can even walk away from a place with a few new close friends and cherished connections.
A strong list of reliable contacts is a great asset in life. Knowing who you can reach out to is also a key for a successful career. Each location is an opportunity to gather new skills, new connections, and new people. Make sure you stay in touch with your connections.
Sometimes moving can mean the very first time you are really out on your own and living completely independently. Which means you learn to make a budget and then to stick to it. It makes you more aware of how much you spend and on what.
Away from home, you learn a lot about building and maintaining different types of relationships. Not only will you need to stay in touch with your friends and family away from you, but you will need to find aside time to cultivate the new relationships that you may be trying to make.
There always is a learning curve in a new place. No matter how much you enjoy it, there shall be times when being away from home is tough and you will learn just why patience gets such high billing. Finding ways to get around, communicating in a new language, learning new customs, making new friends all require patience before getting easier with time.
Moving around compels you to open up, not only to new people but to new ways of thinking, new ideas, and new approaches to doing things. It imparts your eyes to see from the outside in instead of just the inside out. Exposure to ways of living, working, and communicating with other than your own will make you more objective. Seeing and understanding how others operate helps us reassess parts of our own culture and our own lives that we once naturally accepted as the “normal”.
The longer I lived abroad, the more I began to reassess my previous ways of thinking and reevaluate what was important to me, my personal values, my priorities. I explored, discovered, opened, and became disposed to changing my judgments and opinions when warranted. I also had a chance to get a look at where I come from through the eyes of others. So, my advice to you is this: travel around and away, study in a foreign country, live overseas, work out of the country. Do not hold yourself back. Just go, learn who you are and what you want.
Asif has authored four widely selling books –Happiness: A way of Life, The Stuff of Life, Sell to Excel, and Face Time. He also blogs at masrif.net and he also blogs at MPR. Subscribe and get Daily Life Tips from this Youtube Channel The Stuff Of Life