The world is one massive, beautiful, glorious planet we were lucky enough to be gifted. Thank you mother nature and universe! So why should you move abroad you might ask? There are a plethora of reasons to give living in another country a shot and one of those reasons is exploring the world and immersing yourself in things out of your comfort zone.
Making the move abroad might not be for everyone or not everyone might have the chance to do so, but if the option is there, take it! It could be one of the best experiences you ever have.
I’m a wanderlush by nature. I moved away for school to two different cities in Ontario, spent a summer working in the BC mountains and from there ventured to London, England for a summer. The lust to live abroad didn’t stop there. After moving to Toronto to pursue a career, my desire to experience something more was burning so bright. I quit my job, moved abroad to Australia for one year and then off to New Zealand for six months. After returning to Toronto, one year later I’m getting ready to pack up once again to move abroad to the UK. I think this can be classified as an addiction. Truthfully, I’ve never seemed to be one to just go on a trip and have that wanderlust satisfied. Oh no, to tame the beast I need to up and move to another country. Anyone else do this?
There is something about being an expat and moving abroad that I just love. The new experiences, sites to see, food to try, people to meet. It adds so much excitement to life outside of what you may normally be used to.
Moving Abroad on a Working Holiday Visa
Depending on what country you are from you might qualify for a Working Holiday Visa. Canada alone has over 30 agreements with countries around the world allowing Canadians to work and live abroad.
Countries Canadians Can Do a Working Holiday In
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Korea (Rep.)
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
(I think Luxembourg was just added to the list as well.)
Check out my post on why you should do a working holiday in Australia
Working Holiday Visa Age Requirements
It varies among countries with the the age range varying from 18-35. In most countries the age limit is 18-30 with a few being 18-35. Australia just increased the age limit to 35 last year for Canadians!
If you’re over the age limit for a working holiday visa you could still be eligible for a working or skilled visa depending on the country and your experience level. Volunteering, WOOFing, teaching English and studying abroad are also great options to make the move.
You might also like this post on doing a working holiday visa in New Zealand
In the UK, if you happen to have a grandparent who was born there you can apply for an Ancestry Visa which requires minimum of 17 years old with no max age. This is actually the visa that I was granted to move abroad to the UK with. It grants you five years with no working restrictions. You are required to purchase NHS (UK health coverage) for each year the visa is granted. I will be doing a post on how to apply for the visa and the whole process so stay tuned!
What Moving Abroad Will Teach You
Moving abroad forces you out of your comfort zone as you’re immersed in new experiences, a new country and you don’t have all the familiarity of home. Chances are if you move abroad you are doing it alone and you need to be able to take care of yourself. Whether it be cooking, finding a place to live on your own, travelling alone, living abroad really enhances one’s independence.
This was a big one for me. I used to be (and can still be sometimes/work in progress) an impatient person. I’d move quick, wanted things to happen quickly and overtime I’ve learned to relax A LOT. Travel and moving abroad go hand in hand with patience. In a new country there will be things that you are not used to and might move a lot slower than back home. Language barriers can also test your patience in a new country if you aren’t able to communicate clearly. Transit can always be a patience tester depending where you are and another one I found is banking in some countries.
“What do you mean you will mail be my bank card and I will get it within 7 business day with no access to my funds? Come again?!’
With being exposed to new situations and different ways of living (whether big or small) you appreciate the fact you are actually able to live abroad and have these experiences. You appreciate the new people you meet, the new travel and learning opportunities and you tend to appreciate what you have back home. Its highly likely home sickness will kick in at some point and you’ll miss friends and family. I found I really appreciated the times I was able to speak with friends and family over the phone or FaceTime since it couldn’t be in person. You will also appreciate a good sleep in a private room if you end up living in a hostel for a long period. I did this in Australia and it was so much fun but let me tell you the day I got a private room in a house share was glorious! Little changes like this teach us to appreciate the simple things in life.
Moving Abroad Can Help You Become More Open-minded
Living abroad and travel will open your mind in so many ways. Being exposed to new cultures, different ways of living, new traditions and experiences will open your mind and help you grow as a person. You will learn things you may have never learned if you didn’t take the leap and move abroad. You can read all you want in a book, but I personally find travel and experiences have been the best teacher!
The Excitement of Moving Abroad
This is an easy one. There is so much excitement when moving abroad. Being in a new country, exploring your new surroundings and the place you’ll call home. Scouting out new restaurants, coffee shops and a place to call your local. A new park to read in, the new gym or yoga studio to get fit at. All these experiences are new and exciting.
Moving Abroad Can Cause Anxiety
There can also be anxiety in the process as well especially for anyone on the shyer side or tends to struggle with change. Making new friends and meeting people in a new city can be tough. Social anxiety is a real thing that many people struggle with. First off if you are considering moving to a new country or already have and are someone who experiences anxiety, YOU ROCK! Taking that leap even though it might scare the shit out of you is amazing! I was so nervous the first time moving abroad and the second time as well. I was so nervous about not meeting people, being lonely and a million other worries. But you know what, everything worked out so great and I made amazing friends, got great work opportunities and travelled to some amazing and dreamy destinations. Getting out of your comfort zone helps you grow as a person.
Nowadays with social media and the internet there are so many ways to connect with people when moving abroad.
Meet-up and Facebook groups can be such a fantastic way to meet like-minded people in your new city. You can find and connect with people who have similar hobbies and interests. Attending meet-ups and social functions can lead to new friendships, relationships and even networking opportunities. Meet-ups can range in size which can be great depending on your comfort level and being in new social settings.
Take the Leap!
Moving abroad can be one of the best decisions you ever make and enrich you life in so many ways. If you are thinking about taking the leap and experiencing life in a new country, go for it! If it doesn’t work out as least you can say you tried versus always wondering what it would have been like while possibly regretting it later on. There is so much to experience and see in this world and if you have the opportunity to experience a life abroad, I hope you take the chance!
Have you lived abroad or are thinking about it? I would love to hear about it! Comment below.