There is a list of reasons that I love living in Sydney, but there is also a number of reasons that I just love living abroad. When I reflect on the last year living in Australia these are a few reasons that come to mind.
1. Moving abroad has made me more independent. At home I have an extensive network of people I can rely on for anything. In Sydney I’ve been lucky to make a lot of great friends I can call for help, but it’s still limited compared to my hometown where I grew up. I especially noticed it when I first moved here, not knowing anyone. I miss not being able to call my family, but it also has forced me to do more for myself.
2. I’ve started to appreciate what’s in my own backyard more. I think it’s common to take home for granted. I had the attitude that I could always check out a restaurant later and felt no urgency in going new places in Cleveland. Now I want to see everything that surrounds me. I want to have brunch at every little café in Surry Hills. I want to walk down streets I’ve never been before and never wait to try a restaurant or pub.
3. I travel more in Australia for similar reasons. In the past I’ve probably not only neglected my own backyard, but my own country at times. I’m lucky that my parents took us on trips to see the US growing up. I’m grateful for that and I still know I Have more to see of my own country. Booking a last minute flight to Melbourne for a long weekend seems painless now. I wish I had done that more in the states.
4. Everyday can feel like an adventure. Especially when I first moved, the day-to-day was so exciting. Simple activities like going to the grocery store are fun and different. Seriously, it’s true. People drive on the other side of the road here, there are strange birds in the park, I can take a ferry across the harbour and try foods I’ve never heard of before. Living abroad is a thrill.
5. You meet a lot of interesting people when you move to a new country. I don’t have the stats to back this one up, but I’m quite certain that being an expat means you’re more likely to meet other expats. I love connecting with other travelers and those who have made similar moves across the world. Some of the friendships I’ve made have been an important part of my time abroad so far.
Why do you love living abroad? What has it taught you?
6 thoughts on “Why I Love Living Abroad”
Kind of funny, I have been debating writing a post on why I am so over living abroad. And pretty much all the reasons you list here are why.
The biggest one, living abroad taught me to appreciate my own backyard more. I mean, what the hell, I have been to Uluru, but never the Grand Canyon (and I live in Los Angeles!). How is that possible?!
Also, there was a point for me when “the adventure” turned into too normal for me. When I dreamed of driving, I was on “the other side” of the road.
Oy, that is when you know it’s time to come home.
Thanks Rebecca! I’ll admit some of “the adventure” has faded, but I do still get a kick out of the small stuff at times. I love that.
I agree 100%. I’m not sure if you have lived anywhere abroad besides Australia, but I find when I am in countries in Asia/Middle East that I yearn to find a face that looks like my own, with a language like my own. Silly, but it makes me feel connected. You often end up striking up conversations with random strangers, just to talk and connect. The expat network is large and expansive in countries for a good reason.
Traveling in general, especially by myself has made me much more independent and self reliant. I’ve done more and been more places than I ever imagined coming from small town Ohio. Isn’t it awe inspiring sometimes to remind yourself where you are?
Next step, marry a US immigrant and you’ll have even more experiences. 🙂 I call my life the United Nations Life between my husband (Lebanon), my best friend (English, but lived most of her life in S. Africa and Australia) and our friends.
Genuinely enjoyed this post 🙂 I spent a mere 4 weeks in the US (staying with a friend) last year, and felt a sense of all of these things. I could’ve spent a whole day in the supermarket! Reading this makes me all the more tempted to leave my familiar Australian surrounds in favour of an overseas adventure. Sounds like Sydney has been good to you – glad to hear. Thanks for the ‘food for thought’!
Ah ha! Linked it with Twitter. Less anonymous, more friendly 🙂
I lived in NZ for a year and you know, it really does ignite a fire. I think living abroad was one of the fundamental changes in my life that made me realize I need to live every damn day like it was a story being written and the future of human history depends on it.