Lifestyle

10 Reasons To Live Abroad at least Once

Posted on: June 26, 2017

10 reasons to live abroad (2)

Whether you have the travel bug, need for adventure, or want a cheaper cost of living, there are many reasons to live abroad. Sadly, many don’t take the leap afraid of the technicalities of moving to a new country. But, if you approach the move with an open mind, you’re in for a life of adventures and memories.

As a wife of an MBA student, we took the leap and I am here to tell you that living abroad is one of the most amazing/rewarding things I have ever decided to do. I’ve gathered my top 10 reasons and even if it is just for a few months, take the leap!

Culture Shock

There is no better way to open your eyes to how the world works, than to live in another culture. You will quickly learn that it is OK to be different and that EVERYWHERE functions differently.

When we first moved to Spain, I was surprised at the pace of life. Everything moved a bit slower and the locals knew how to enjoy their lives. As an American, I have been hustling since I can remember and I marveled at the those who could sit at lunch for two hours sipping wine with a colleague.

I shop for fruits and veggies from a local farmer, purchase my meat from the butcher, and fresh bread from the Panaderia. No target or bulk food stores in sight and the entire community spends Saturday out and about walking from this shop to that.

Europeans value experience and therefore everything is done in detail. From gorgeous parks, to monuments, to colorfully painting buildings, it creates a full experience.

Personal Development

Holly cow this should probably be number one. When you are placed in a new, uncomfortable environment, it forces you to adapt to your surroundings. You will face challenges on a daily basis in a new city, and most likely in a new language. I’ve had my share of tearful moments, but deep down that strength grows with every challenge.

Before moving I thought I was an independent person, but I quickly learned that I depended on the habits and ease of my familiar surroundings. As scary as it is to deal with government authorities, landlords, or even the doorman you learn to “just do it”. Nike style. It has to be done, and no one can do it for you, so you conquer little fears everyday!

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World Wide Community

You are now suddenly open to meeting so many people with like interests from all over the world. Whether that’s in a yoga class, a new job, or shopping at the market your community is far wider spread than before.

Friends will become family and community will be more important than things. Life long bonds will be formed as you need these people to navigate living abroad.

I’ve developed close friends while living in Spain and only one of them is a fellow American! My husband, (the student), has an even bigger network attending class with people from over 60 different countries.

Religion, political, and cultural discussions open your eyes to other issues in the world, and your perspective will shift for the better.

Resume Builder

If your in business moving/working abroad will look killer on a CV and open up international opportunities. I am not business woman but networking is just as important in my work and meeting people from all over the world could open all kinds of doors.

Even if you don’t plan to work abroad, the fact you speak a second language or have experience in a particular city could give you the upper hand in an interview.

Expand Your Vocabulary

Learn a second language! Most of the world studies at least 3 languages while in school and as an American, I feel silly only speaking english.

Yes, learning a new language is SO challenging but totally rewarding when you can carry on a conversation with the local barista. It’s essential if you plan to stay long term in your new city. Most government processes are in the local language and often times they don’t speak english.

I’ve gained a larger respect for those who are bi-lingual and I’ve learned to humble myself while stumbling through Spanish at the store. It will get easier day by day and a little by little.

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 Cheaper Travel

Trains, buses, and cheaper flights make seeing new destinations easy and more frequent. Imagine yourself eating pasta in Italy and the next weekend touring sights in France. Overnight trains or even a rental car take you from country to country in just a few hours.

This has to be one of my favorite reasons to live abroad. I’ve always loved travel and we have seen and experienced so many new places all thanks to living in Europe.

Your Taste Will Change

Discovering new foods, fashion, and lifestyle differences will change you. I can only speak for Spain in this respect but the food is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Produce is only sold during its fresh season, bread is baked daily, and food goes bad quickly because it isn’t shot full of chemicals. Restaurants take pride in their food and markets are the hub of the city.

Fashion is different and what you know to be in style at home will not be the case in your new city. It’s a chance to re-define yourself. A clean slate you could say. Your lifestyle will shift in what you find important daily from your morning routine, hair-do, and commute to work, it will all begin to feel like normal.

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Re-Define Yourself

I think the reasons listed above all apply here but it’s really is a chance to make and entire new life. You have a unique opportunity to start over and decide how you want to live abroad. New job, new life, new you. Essentially your walking into a new environment without expectations from any one else so make some big life changes. Dye your hair purple or start working for yourself. Options are endless and that’s what is so exciting about making a huge move abroad.

Learn to be Alone

This one sounds a bit negative but this is one of the MOST valuable lessons to learn in life. The first while will feel isolating and lonely but you learn to rely on what you know and you feel like a super hero accomplishing anything. Wandering the streets, museum hopping, or showing up to a cultural event alone will benefit your self development. You will be your own biggest cheerleader and traveling solo may become your preferred way of exploring.

New Experiences Daily

I wish I had kept a daily journal during the first few weeks living abroad. Each day presented itself with new experiences.

Driving around the city on a Moto instead of a car, shopping for groceries in four different local shops, and stumbling upon Churches hundreds of years old. These things DON’T happen in the United States and every day I found myself stopping and marveling at the city before me.

History around every corner and a chance to learn and be inspired presents itself often. As a creative person, moving abroad has pushed my limits and opened me up for so many new things.

It isn’t always a walk in the park. There have been really hard times. But I would say that the really great times out weigh the bad.

So what are you waiting for? Come join me abroad!

xoxo

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Learning How To Be Awesome [Inspo Link Up]

Posted on: June 1, 2017

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Happy Thursday online friends! I truly hope this finds you well and that are as stoked as I am for FRIDAY! It’s just something about the weekend that makes me swoon. If you want to jump to the straight to the goodies, head to the bottom of the post for the link ups!

I recently shared on my instagram that I started listening to a podcast called Awesome With Alison  and she is somebody I really look up to in the online world. We’ve never met but I really like her style, sexy dance moves, and killer confidence. Did I mention she runs her own business, throws epic parties, and is a mom too?! I’m sending her a virtual high five as I type this because she is kick a$! (gotta keep it G on the blog).

So why am I blogging about this cool chick today?

Two reasons. Reason number one is that I really want to learn how to be awesome. Sounds easy right? But how easy is it when you really stop to think about it? Do we speak to ourselves as kindly as we would our best friends? Or are we constantly self critical, judgemental, and all around self confidence killers? Is that helping us become more awesome? I don’t think so….

But I AM CULPRIT NUMBER ONE! Just today I stood in front of a mirror and tore my body apart. #guilty.  So where does that leave us? Well it leaves us with a choice. Continue on that destructive path or pick a new one.  Maybe this new path will surprise you. Kind of like your very own yellow brick road leading you to awesomeness. I’m on the search for a new brain, one that speaks kindly of me, some courage to find myself, and a bigger heart to love all. Wanna join me?

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That leads me to reason number two why I am blogging about Alison. I wanna make change like she is. I wanna be a positive force to be reckoned with on the internet.

I LOVE following her because she is REAL and aware of her imprint on the world. This recent need of mine stems from the desire to live in integrity with my self ALWAYS. One of my favorite quotes ( I wish I knew who it was by) says it best:

 I like messy people; people who don’t fit in a box or stay between the lines, but who’s integrity is greater than any rule book and who’s loyalty is stronger than blood”.

I wanna be that person. I wanna be messy, and creative, and true. So now what? …Well…

I just wrote it down for the entire internet to see so best I get to work then I think. You can all keep me accountable and jump on board if you’re ready for some soul searching. I’ve linked up some pretty awesome tools that I’ll be using to achieve this new “me” below!

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PODCASTS:

AWESOME WITH ALISON

HAPPIER WITH GRETCHEN RUBIN

MAGIC LESSON WITH ELIZABETH GILBERT (a few episodes are marked explicit so keep that in mind)

BOOKS:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (can you tell i’m in love with her?)

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Rising Strong by Brene Brown 

OTHER INSPIRING LINKS:

HeadSpace (favorite guided meditation app)

SuperSoul Sessions  (Inspiring talks hosted by Oprah)

How I lost my Identity but Found my Worth (TEDxUSU by Jeannie Woller)

I hope this helps you feel a little bit better about yourself today! Don’t forget to Shine On and let the world see who you really are without all the filters and carefully curated lives. Can we encourage each other to shine a bit brighter always?

xoxo

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My Favorite Summer Skin Care Products

Posted on: May 22, 2017

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Summer makes me think of BBQ’s, watermelon, swimsuits, and lots of sun! We all love the sun right?! I mean who doesn’t love a little glow and some Vitamin D?! Carson and I have found a new love for the beach and typically try to sit sea side every weekend! I like to call it freckle season and I wish they would stay year long. I’m not sure if it was the move abroad, or just growing older but my skin has become SO SENSITIVE! I can’t even use Dove anymore and i’ve switched to more natural products. Now this post is NOT SPONSORED so I am not trying to sell you anything, just spread the goodness of all natural products!

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5 Amazing Places to Eat in Amsterdam

Posted on: May 10, 2017

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We all love to eat right? If your answer to that question is “no” then you are probably lying because lets get real. #foodislife.  Whenever we are visiting a new city we make it our mission to find the best tasting food the city has to offer! With a little help from friends and family here are the 5 best places to eat in Amsterdam!

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How to See the Tulips in Holland

Posted on: May 3, 2017

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Street Art in Valencia Spain [ and other travel tips ]

Posted on: May 1, 2017

 

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Once you wander off the beaten path you’ll discover the famous Street Art of Valencia. Valencia’s “El Carmen” neighborhood is home to bohemian bars, adorable restaurants, boutiques, and the Institute of Art. It’s the perfect canvas for street artists with the plethora of concrete walls and old buildings. We wandered for an entire evening up and down the countless streets of art. On every corner we stumbled on something beautiful!

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A Day In Girona

Posted on: April 17, 2017

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We rented a car and headed up north to Girona for a day while my girl Katia was visiting! It was about time we explored a little bit more of Spain and I highly recommend a quick day trip if you are visiting Barcelona. The drive was about an hour and its gorgeous!

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How To See Rome in 3 Days

Posted on: March 31, 2017

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My parents flew into Barcelona to pay us a little visit! I was so excited to show them around Europe so we jumped on a plane and headed to Rome! We are a pretty religious bunch so Rome is something my parents have been dying to see and it was one of my favorite stops on my last Europe adventure years ago. We had three days to see it all so I thought I would share the best way (in my opinion) to do it!

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Paris With the #jamesgang

Posted on: March 26, 2017

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My last Paris recap post! I wanted to share a few more photos as well as the last bit of tips for visiting Paris! Is it just us or is it SO HARD to get pics with your significant other unless they are selfies? I am not equipped enough to set up a tripod and I really don’t want to carry that around. I’m pre apologizing for the bad quality selfies and iphone photos! I don’t trust anyone with my nikon! #firstworldprobs!

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Paris [Tips for Visiting The Louvre Museum]

Posted on: March 24, 2017

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