Gone Learning

Is Moving Abroad Right For You?

Kat Smith
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Living abroad isn’t right for everyone. Just like if I was an account, I’d screw up your taxes and if my husband was an explorer, he’d give up the moment he lost wifi. 

Sure, I could study really hard and do my best to stay focused on the numbers and he could get a roaming plan that might reach a little farther than most but we wouldn’t really be living to our full potential. We wouldn’t be as happy and I know neither of us would be performing our best because we wouldn’t be motivated. 

It’s the same with living abroad. It can actually feel like a job in itself at times. Every single time I’ve left my apartment, hostel or homestay these last 7 years, I’ve known something or maybe everything wasn’t going to go as planned.

And I LIVE FOR THAT SHIT.

Some people are fueled by this like me, others are terrified. There’s no right or wrong way you’re supposed to feel in this kind of situation.


There are ways to move abroad and stay in a bubble with expats from your home country, eat at the same familiar restaurant everyday and not even try to learn the local language. That can be a little easier of a transition if that’s what you’re looking for but STILL- you’re landlord is most likely not going to speak your language natively, driving rules might not exist and you’re going to be far away from home and daily comforts. 

Keeping an open mind and positive attitude does wonders in overcoming and understanding these differences though.

I feel like nowadays there is a huge push for you to take a gap year, travel extensively or move abroad indefinitely. While I highly believe travelling internationally is something every single one of us should experience at some point, I don’t think everyone would feel as fulfilled as I have by selling all your stuff and buying 1-way tickets over and over again.

Let’s say you’re on the fence about this. Is it for you or isn’t it? You think you want to move abroad but something- some gnawing thought- is holding you back. Maybe you’re worried to leave your family, are scared by living in a foreign language or have a good, stable job you’re not sure you want to abandon. 

is moving abroad right for you?
Taking in the sights in Hong Kong
I get it. I’ve been there before.

The first time I went abroad solo I was 18 and it was completely my parents idea. Long story short- I wanted to go to University like all of my friends and they urged me to take a semester off. I begrudgingly agreed and sat in my room listening to Rosetta Stone CDs while I haphazardly packed for what was supposed to be a 1 month trip to Guatemala. Fast forward a few weeks and I boarded the plane. My heart was pounding and my hands were a little shaky. The nice old man next to me was trying to have a friendly conversation but I didn’t understand a bit of what he was saying. Then the flight attendant came over the speaker in Spanish. I lost my shit. 

Repeating “Hola, me llamo Kathryn” in my room did not prepare me for this. 

I tried to get off the plane. Unbuckled, stood up and started moving. Another flight attendant had to coax me into sitting back down, explaining to me we were already on the runway. “Fuck,” is all I thought as I finally sat back down. 

My eyes have never been as wide as they were that drive from the airport in Guatemala City to Antigua. I had never seen anything like the landscape, the housing or the commotion in the streets and was in complete awe and disbelief that this was only a 4-hour flight from home. That month trip turned into a 3-month one and I only came home because I had blown all of my babysitting money on unforgettable memories. 

Before that trip, I would have never assumed only 4 years later I would permanently make the move abroad but after that trip, it was my 1 big goal. 

That push by my parents altered my life more than we were aware of at that moment.

Sometimes you need a leap of faith, sometimes you need to trust those who love you and sometimes a complete stranger needs to sit you back down in your seat, squeeze your shoulder and tell you it’s all going to be ok. 

You might be really hesitant to think this lifestyle is for you but I’d say go on a trip, for 1 month or even 3 and then ask yourself again.

Keep reading to learn more about my new mini-course designed to help you make these decisions.

Living abroad has been full of those tiny moments filled by people who I know and love and also those who I had never seen before and never will again. But a big key here, at the end of the day, it was right for me. That uncertainty turned out to be fuel and bigger than any other adrenaline rush I’ve ever known before.

is moving abroad right for you?
Being silly in a hidden spot in Thailand

Not everyone is like me though, and that’s definitely for the best. This is about YOU and what YOU want and I’m here to help you figure that out.

Moving abroad is a deeply personal decision and while I can’t tell you what to do, I can guide you into making your own decisions. Throughout these past years I’ve realized each time I prepare for yet another move, I ask myself a series of questions that help me decide what it is my priorities are in that moment, what I’m looking to gain and what I’m ok with leaving behind. 

Each year- hell, each month- my answers change, my priorities shift. I reassess where I am and where I want to be through this same method. Hence why I just can’t seem to stay put.

An important thing to keep in your mind while going through all of this is: nothing is permanent.

Why not go for it and see how you react? 

When I first moved to France and decided to jump into yachting, I soon realized it wasn’t for me. Yes, I had invested money into getting my qualifications and yes, I decided to give my new relationship a long-distance challenge but none of that happened to be irreversible. I made the money back and ended up realizing that I wanted to make that man an important part of my future.

Instead of beating myself up for not loving it, I reminded myself I got to spend a summer on the Mediterranean coast and take another step closer to figuring out what it is I wanted to do and the lifestyle I wanted to live. It wasn’t a failure, just a learning moment. 

If you’re on the fence or maybe you know you want to go but don’t know where is best, I'm here to help. I’ve made a mini-course just for you, packed with 10 challenging questions to ask yourself and in depth explanations of how to put your thoughts into actions. We're going to narrow down the entire world by thinking about what language you want to live in, if you're up for a new culture and how far away from home you're willing to be. Also, I’ve included a lot of resources designed to help make picking a location and finding a job that much easier. You also get privy to upcoming courses and insider tips and info.

Together, we’ll decide where you should move, what job suits you and really- if moving abroad is right for you. Don't wait, go ahead and give that link a click to check it out!

xx,
Kat


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