Life is about changes and choices, and therefore, decisions. Since the very moment we wake up and take our first conscious breath we are choosing, all day long. Of course there are certain decisions that can be bigger and harder to take. It all comes down to the effect they would have on your life and health, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.
It’s not strange news that decisions can cause stress, maybe because they involve giving up something else at the same time; simple example for me is choosing breakfast… I have to daily choose in between having a healthy-balanced breakfast OR a delicious triple chocolate muffin with an extra large cup of coffee and milk.
Of course not all decisions are that simple… especially when it comes to moving abroad, which is probably the reason why you’re reading this. Now, I can imagine you know quite a lot about cultural shock and the ‘process’ of getting used to the new place and so on.
I’m not here to repeat what theory says about what’s going to happen and what you should do in every stage… I’m only here to confirm you that, no matter how dark the path seems to be at times, you’ll find the light to walk it all the way through, honest.
Being an expat is always challenging, and as many other things in life, it comes with pros and cons… but I’ll focus on the positive aspects today and I’ll later close (part 2) with my personal suggestions -based on absolutely subjective and personal experience-.
The bright side of living abroad:
+ You develop new neuropathways: It’s been scientifically proven that new and/or challenging experiences enhance your brain’s performance and foster the development of new connections within and between the hemispheres. You’ll instantly enter the Growth-Zone!
+ You become an Ambassador without the diplomatic responsibilities: You’ll have the chance to promote your country, culture, costumes, traditions, delicious recipes, etc. with a whole bunch of other people that might, or might not, have the chance to later visit your country on their own.
+ You exercise and widen your critical-thinking skills: You’ll be automatically inserted into a place in which people and companies reason, analyze, evaluate, take decisions, and solve problems differently from you. I know, I know… this can be quite a challenge, but you’ll become a better thinker anyway!
+ You’ll automatically become Interculturally Competent: Whether you like it or not; regardless of the time you spend at a place -6-12 months, years, or a lifetime- you will develop abilities that were not available to you before your arrival in the host country. You’ll heighten your senses in ways that you probably couldn’t imagine before.
+ Your Network will expand: Unless you decide to stay behind doors at all times, your network will widen effortlessly. And so will your opportunities; therefore it is important you keep both, your eyes and mind open.
You probably didn’t think of those, right? Or maybe you did, in which case keep your positive vibe going.
I’ll ‘see’ you next time with my simple ways to stay in the positive zone whilst managing the task of living abroad…