Living and working abroad is an experience like no other. While you may experience home-sickness, what you get out of living and working abroad is inexplicable.
I have lived and worked in the UK – from London to Manchester to Nottingham for quite some time. Now settled back home in India for good, I can only recall all the life lessons I learned living and working abroad.
You may have traveled to many countries in your lifetime, and traveling abroad does give you incredible exposure and opens your mind to so many things…
However, living and working abroad is unlike traveling to the same place. If I had to go back in time, I would love to relive every moment spent abroad.
So here’s a list of all the things I learned while living and working abroad…
1. Stepping out of your comfort zone does you good
I have always been someone ruled by habits. Getting out of my comfort zone means serious thinking, at least to me.
When you step out of your comfort zone, you obviously learn to take more risks. And when you’re living and working in a new country, meeting new people, you tend to be at your best and give your peak performance, especially at work.
Work culture is different in different countries, and that’s a given. When you work abroad, out of your comfort zone, many new windows of opportunities open up for you.
I took the chance of living and working abroad, even if only for a few months, and the opportunities I received once I got back home in India were unbelievable!
2. You start to take the road less traveled
Obviously, getting out of your comfort zone is a different thing than taking the road less traveled.
When you live and work abroad, you become more independent and set your own rules.
When you’re in your home country, even if you don’t live anywhere near your family, there’s something that still grounds you. You feel you belong to that place.
But when you’re living abroad, you free yourself from the comfort of your own home and you start practicing attachment with detachment.
Living and working abroad made me realize that there were so many things that inhibited my growth, both professionally and personally, back home in India.
And if it weren’t for living in the UK, a lot of learning would have never happened.
3. You learn to let go of anxiety
When you know you have control over your life and not the other way around, you learn how to manage your anxiety better.
Like I said earlier, you become more independent when you step out of your comfort zone. And traveling is one thing that lets you control your life your way.
Traveling has helped me face many issues, for example, I used to get stressed and at times, have panic attacks.
Anxiety attacks mostly happen when you fear the unknown and fear the worst. When I lived and worked abroad, I conquered those fears because what other option did I have really?
From getting lost in a new city at night to locking myself out, no matter how big or small my fears were, I conquered them one at a time and only became more confident with myself.
4. People judge you for coming from your country of origin, and that’s okay
India, like every other country, is famous for both good and bad. Although I’d like to think more good! I recommend checking out our post on some of the most incredible things about India!
I met people from all over the world when I was living and working in the UK. And I realised that almost everyone had an opinion about the country I came from.
It bothered me at first, but then I knew what was wrong. They all had limited information. And instead I found an opportunity to correct those who had the wrong idea about my country.
The last thing I did was feel bad about their opinions. Because people’s judgments are mostly hearsay from people they trust. So.
5. You learn to live humbly
If living and working abroad has changed one major thing about me, it is that it has taught me humility.
When you meet so many people from different walks of life, you learn to give more importance to experiences than your own self.
Pride does not take you too far in life. And especially not in a country abroad.
You do get a reality check every now and then, be it in terms of cultural challenges or otherwise. The important thing is to remember to take it as a learning every step of the way.
It is only when you are living and working abroad do you realise that there is so much more room for growth and self improvement.
6. You learn to be more forgiving and trusting
I may not have traveled to a lot of countries in the world (yet), but from where I have traveled, I have learned a lot of things.
Because if you work and live abroad, you tend to forgive and often times even ignore the shortcomings of people around you.
You tend to realise that the world is a very small place and there’s no room for grudges when you know you’re not going to be around for long.
From very big to small, there were instances every now and then that really tested my patience dealing with people. But I soon realized that it wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it for my happiness.
I traveled solo in the UK and if I wanted to be a happy traveler, I needed to be a bit more forgiving and trusting of people I crossed paths with.
Check out our post on how solo traveling changed the life of a fellow traveler.
I know living and working abroad has a different lesson to teach to different people. These were the things that it taught me.
How about you? Have you ever lived and worked abroad? What did living and working abroad teach you? Let us know in the comments below…