10 THINGS YOU CAN LEARN OR GAIN FROM THE EXPAT EXPERIENCE
An expatriation is a wonderful opportunity for individuals, couples and families to learn and grow in many ways. It can also be an exciting adventure, a new chapter in life and overall, a truly meaningful experience.
There are many positive things we can take away from the whirlwind adventure of expat life so here are 10 things we thought we’d share with you on what you could learn or gain from the expat experience!
- Being an expat entails being in a constant state of change. As you might already know, change is the only constant in life, but for expats, this applies even more! You might not even know when your family will be up and onto the next destination, and perhaps not even where that next destination will be! But if there’s one thing being an expat can teach you about life, it is how to fully embrace change –to enjoy the highs and the good times, and to hang in there during the low points and the difficult times. It reminds us to count our blessings when things are going well, and to have faith that even when the going gets tough, that it won’t last forever, and that the hard times will eventually pass.
- It could be said that being an expat gives you a more well-rounded view of the world. Living in other countries and being exposed to different cultures, traditions and nationalities can broaden your horizons and open your mind in ways you never thought possible. It can change the way you think about the world and can challenge previously held beliefs and preconceptions. It teaches you that even though we might be from totally different backgrounds, we actually have a lot more in common than we think!
- It could possibly make you a more interesting person and dinner guest (well, we think so anyway)! There is something to be said for the life experiences gained from being an expat. It definitely adds to your personal repertoire of stories and adventures to share around a dinner table!
- It can teach you the value of being flexible and adaptable to all sorts of testing situations. It shows that you can actually function (and often even flourish) way outside of your comfort zone. It proves just how resilient you can really be during tough and challenging times.
- Every expatriation is an opportunity to evolve, explore and discover. These experiences can bring out our adventurous side, and encourage us to be open to try new things. From a new hobby or furthering your studies to a new career path; the possibilities are endless.
- An expatriation can be considered both a good career and financial move, especially if the opportunity allows you to save money for the future or to take advantage of free schooling and other benefits. In these competitive times in the job market, having international experience in different countries and regions can be a great asset, so if this is a good career move for either your partner or yourself, then view it as a great opportunity to build on your expertise, skills and experience! Financially, it could also be a part of your bigger plan for the future – be it saving for retirement, your forever home or your children’s university education.
- Being an expat and having the chance to live and work abroad presents an amazing opportunity to learn a new language – and to also be able to give your children this valuable option. One could say that, other than a good education, the greatest gift you can give your kids is the opportunity to learn multiple languages. Of course, you might end up moving to a country where you don’t take up a new language, but it still remains a wonderful way of exposing your children to a new and different culture.
- An expatriation can show you that with patience and a positive outlook, you can make any place home. This is a very encouraging and reassuring thing, as the world we live in is becoming more global and the need to consider job offers outside of ones own country of origin is increasing. We might need to start thinking of ourselves as citizens of the world – mobile and international in every sense of the word.
- One could say that being an expat gives us first hand experience of the expression “The magic happens outside of your comfort zone”. Every now and again, we need a reminder that we are getting too comfortable and need to change it up a bit. Accepting an expatriation abroad is an opportune moment to get out of your comfort zone and inject a much-needed jolt of oomph into life!
- An expatriation could develop your thirst for adventure thanks to the fact that it might give you and your family access to more travel opportunities – whether that means within your new home country, the region and surrounds or even further afield.