The Advantages and Disadvantages of Living Abroad
February 26, 2012—Cha Jones
Are you ready to trade your current life for a new life of adventure and travel abroad?
Well, before you go jetsetting around the world you may want to think about the advantages and disadvantages of moving abroad. Now, don’t get me wrong I believe that anytime you can trade your everyday life for an adventure, then you certainly can’t go wrong, or can you?
After, living in South Korea for three years these are that things I think would make me want to leave America and live abroad.
- No rent to pay: huge advantage if you are living in the city paying upwards to $1100 a month with no supporting cast members
- No car payment: I didn’t have a car payment before I left, but when you moved abroad, although I had a car my second year, there was great public transportation…so no car note is good
- Healthcare: oh! I had really good healthcare and I didn't have to pay much for drugs
- It’s easier to learn the language: if you are looking to learn a new language it’s much easier to learn one if you have to use it every day to communicate
- You will have a better appreciation for diversity: America is a melting pot, even though we tend to think of everything as Black and White, when you live abroad you appreciate multiculturalism and the value of meeting people from everywhere
- You are able to see the world from a different vantage point: if you have never traveled abroad, then the world looks like what you see on television. However, when you travel abroad you’re able to see things as they are and not how someone else is telling you things are
- You are able to dispel rumors and educate people: many times people have heard negative things about other races and cultures, but when you move abroad, especially being “of color” you are able to help people have a better view through first hand experiences
- Good Food: if you like the countries food, then you get to have good authentic food
- New Friends: You are able to have very diverse sets of friends
- Traveling the World: it’s easier to travel and see other places when you live abroad
- Learning experience: you just learn so much about everything
- Improved Lifestyle: you are able to experience living rather than just working and surviving
- Change: you are always reinventing yourself and making new friends
As far as the disadvantages, and yes there are some…
- Time difference: you have to get use to being in a different time zone where it may not be very easy to communicate with friends and family
- Missing Out: you miss out on some very important events (weddings, birth of children, and many holidays)
- No home cooked meals: you can’t just run and get a home cooked meal from your mother
- Nothing is convenient: having the things you like to eat at the grocery store is not always easy to get
- Shopping may not be idea: you may have to order your clothes and when you get them they may be all wrong
- Losing touch with others: all the people at home are changing and you feel so disconnected
- No familiarity: you have to make new friends where you are, and they can’t replace those friends who really, really know you
- Change may be difficult: you have to give up some of the things you love to find new things that you like
- Home-sick: when you really miss home, it’s so far away
- Communication barriers: you may not have many people who speak your native language around you, and you may have trouble communicating
- Food allergies and dislikes: you may not like the food in your new country and it may be very difficult to get food you like or you just may be unable to eat
I could spend several hours thinking of all the things I love about living aboard and an equal amount of time thinking of things I hate. However, I think when you are weighing the odds of what is in your best interest, living abroad has so much more weight than the alternative. The experience alone is a great reason to do it, but if you know that you are not an open person, then I’d suggest rethinking your options. However, if you’re not an open person living abroad may not even be a consideration in the first place?
I say follow your heart and everything else will work out. Welcome Abroad!