How to live abroad – What are we trying to gain?

living abroad, what were we thinkingWhen making a decision about how to live abroad, it wasn’t done without oodles of discussion, soul-searching and research. Prior to coming up with our plan, we needed to answer to ourselves “Why are we doing this? What do we want to gain from the experience?”.  This is really the first step in the process of How to live abroad.

How to Live Abroad – our first step

Are you dreaming of living abroad and having an international life? What is driving this dream?  Is it wanderlust and that travel bug or is it to “get away” from something or someone?   You need to have a clear understanding of what is driving your decision and why you wan to live overseas, live abroad, or live in another country.  In other words goals and objectives.   First we had a brainstorming session, just shouting out everything that came to mind. We then grouped in a spreadsheet to come up with our “take away’s” or things we wanted to gain from this experience.

How to live abroad - Our going to Spain corner

Our wish list of take away’s from our experience:

  1. To experience Culture, appreciate that things are different around the world and respect others for their traditions and ways of life
  2. Learn Language – Prefer Spanish
    Assumption: need to be gone a min of 1 yr for fluency
  3. Life time experience for us all, make an impression on the kids that can help shape their lives to be globally minded.
  4. Experience Diversity- Travel to several locations/countries
    Experience new foods, languages, music, cultures.
  5. Learn to “adapt” to change, knowing this isn’t the “easy path”, it will be a great life lesson to learn to accept and work through change. Going from well-known social kids in USA to the “new” kids with different language in another place. It will be and adjustment for Alan and I as well. Change is good and means growth.
  6. Alan and Heidi to take this opportunity for further self paced education and skill building.

There is far more involved in the process on how to live abroad, but getting this first step right is key.  Do some digging and really figure out how you work, what you want and why you are doing it.   Once this process is complete, things become much clearer and easier.  You really need to ensure there is a positive reason for the move and not escaping from something.  If you have any problems before living abroad, they can just get worse living away from your home country and network of family and friends.  Be very honest with yourself and with your desires.

Come on and tell us what you think!

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