5 reasons to spend some time living abroad

5 reasons to spend some time living abroad

Hello everyone! In today's post, I want to speak to you about 5 reasons why I think that everyone should live abroad at some point in their lives. I have now been in Bratislava (Slovakia) for a year and a half, so I think I can talk from experience. Also, I have been on Erasmus twice. 4 months in Wales and 4 months in France. During this time, I have realized just how necessary it is for people to live this experience, so today I am going to write about my thoughts and reflections on this topic. Here are the 5 reasons. Let's go!

1. Open your mind.

I know that it is a classic and that everyone says it, but really, it is a fundamental pillar in maturing as a person. Living abroad is a suddenly leaping up the steps towards this stage of maturity, that unfortunately, not many people know how to climb.

Living in a different country, you start to understand that the way of life that you know, is not the only one. Day to day life doesn't work like you thought, everything changes. At the start, it can be difficult to accept this and adapt to these circumstances, but in the end, you are not left with any option but to respect this and start to work with this; if you want to survive this new stage of your life. And who knows, in the end, you will even end up liking your new habits. Also, you will probably meet many people from different nationalities, you will have your differences, but from them, you learn new values that will serve you for the rest of your life.




For many people, after living for a period of time abroad, they go back to their home country and everyone tells them: "you're so different. " And the truth is that, yes, living abroad does change people. But it doesn't necessarily have to be something negative. We are constantly changing, and in fact, being someone who we were 10 years ago would even be worrying.


2. Learn a new language.

This is another point in favour of living abroad, without a doubt. Studying a new language is always a good thing. It is culture, it is good for your mental health, and if you have a good level in it, it is really good for your CV.

It is really common for Spanish students to go on Erasmus to Italy and in a year they will reach a B2 level in Italian, without having known anything before going there. This is undoubtedly a fact to value. Learning a language day after day, without having to dedicate hours and hours of study to it can be one of the biggest advantages of Erasmus. And above all, not having to pay even a euro for classes and having the opportunity to talk to native speakers every day. For this reason, you have to leave behind the shame (which a lot of Spaniards give in to) and dare to speak, to learn, improve and finally perfect your language. Also, when you finally dominate a language to the point of which you even forget words in your mother tongue, this is very comforting.

Also, learning a language is another way of seeing the world. Thanks to learning a new language, you can bring yourself to understand why the native speakers think the way they think, and do what they do. For this reason, living in a different country is a huge opportunity that you shouldn't miss out on. In my case, I live in Bratislava, where the official language in Slovakian. It is only spoken by 5 million people in the world, so a lot of people who come here don't want to learn it as "it isn't useful". I learnt a bit, enough to communicate with a basic vocabulary, but I saw that when I used it with Slovakians, they were surprised by "how much I know" and were happy that someone learnt their language. And the truth is that it is nice to see someone interested in your language and culture. Here generally, in the foreign community, everyone speaks English, so I think it is very highly valued when people talk and are interested in learning a bit of Slovakian, or at least the basics.

3. Try a new cuisine.

If you are people who like to eat, you will be happy to be able to stay in a different country; to try different dishes and flavours to those that you already know. In my case, I have to admit that it was in this area that it was the hardest for me to be open-minded. Normally, I am not a very fussy person, but when it comes to unknown dishes, I am always a bit reluctant to try them.

Also, from trying the typical and traditional dishes from each country, you can also understand which ingredients are common, and why they are. For example, the food in all the Mediterranean countries are all quite similar in terms of ingredients: look at Spain, Italy or Greece. In the centre of Europe, it is the same thing. For example, in Slovakia's case, the traditional dishes have lots of features in common with countries such as the Czech Republic, Austria or Poland; where, for example, the soups, the different kinds of cheese or the meat are always present in almost all of the restaurants of each one of these countries.



And not only this, but food is something that brings people together. Nowadays, it seems a must that on lots of occasions, to hang out with our friends you have to have food involved. And it is partly logical. Cooking together and sharing your taste in food is something that, inevitably, creates bonds.


4. Value your home country.

This may be revealing, but really, it is something that I experienced during this whole time that I have lived in Bratislava. The phrase: "you don't know what you have until it's gone" cannot be more true in this case.

Aside from travelling, getting to know a new culture and living in a different country can make a person more open-minded and tolerant. Also, it has a kind of opposite effect, which makes you value what has been yours from the start. What I want to say is that lots of people don't think of their day to day life in their home country, and all the little things, as important. In my case, for example: the sea, the food, the good weather, the late sunset, or knowing the area which you are in perfectly. It is then when you spend a lot of time away from home, that you realise how little you have valued these small but big things that you now miss. For example, now, when I go back to Galicia, I really appreciate how easy it is to access good quality products like fish and shellfish, which here in Bratislava are sorely lacking. But without a doubt, the hardest thing for me is being far away from the sea; as each time I go back, I realise how lucky people are who live practically next to the sea and unfortunately, they don't realise this.


For this reason, now I am aware of how much I like my country and where I live. Moreover, this also helps me to get to know myself, as thanks to this, I know where I want to live, where I want to be, and what I value about a place.

It is true that the perfect place doesn't exist, everything has pros and cons, but living in a different country and getting to know different places and areas makes you realise what a place needs to be your final destination. Thus, the decisions that you make in the future will bring you towards the same direction, bearing in mind all of your interests. It could be that you don't know what you want, that's normal, but undoubtedly, after living abroad, it could be that you know what you don't want.

5. Break up the routine.

There is nothing better than an experience like this to get out of a monotonous stage and in many cases, of a toxic lifestyle. Living abroad, you will make new friends, you will travel, and you have to adapt to this new cycle. If you travel to a place with a really different culture (like I did with Slovakia and Spain) your times for breakfast, lunch and dinner will probably be completely different; so you have to reinvent yourself a bit and improve your organisational skills. Basically, it's what's now known as "getting out of your comfort zone" a phrase which is very fashionable lately.


And that is the post for today! A bit different to normal, but I hope that you liked it. Thank you for reading this post, and I'll see you soon for more.

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