Adapting to a foreign culture, working out of your comfort zone and moving around the world where you don’t know a single soul gives you a confidence that allows you to repeatedly plunge into the unknown without the fears of “what if..” Once you try international living it’s likely you’ll be hooked. Yes you may move back to the U.S. for periods of time, even buying a house as I have. But your heart will long for travel and you’ll find ways to travel and live internationally for periods that satisfy you.
I’ve taken risks to live internationally. I’ve given up good jobs with benefits, stored my belongings and headed to international teacher recruitment fairs in search of a job. Twice I gave up jobs to pursue my international dream. For me it paid off, I received a good offer and my international adventures continued from Guam to Hawaii and on to Berlin, Germany for a decade.
Be Prepared With a Back Up Plan
Both times I gave up my job and moved I had a back up plan. The first time I had a substantial savings to last while I searched for work in Hawaii, having taught three years on Guam. The second time I had little savings as life in Hawaii was quite expensive. I did have the promise of a place to stay with my father if I wasn’t offered an international contract. Fortunately I attended a June job fair and received three offers. I chose Berlin, Germany and within a month I was on my way overseas again. Believing in yourself is critical. Be flexible, but don’t leave yourself open for disaster. Have a back up plan.
If this life is for you, you’ll know it. You’ll feel it and you’ll act on it. It will change you and it will enrich your life.