Welcome 2016! To start the year off right I have decided to participate in a 6-week Boot Camp Blog Challenge hosted by Blogging Abroad. The first prompt of the challenge, “My Why.”After 581 days abroad it was a nice trip down memory lane to think about what was going through my head as I sat nervously in Texas preparing to take a leap of faith. The following are 4 reasons why I love living abroad, why I decided to move abroad and a little bit about my experiences along the way.
1. Expand My Circle of Family and Friends
In college I studied abroad for a few months in Spain and my favorite part of the experience was becoming the “hija” to an older Spanish woman. Now in Peru my family has expanded even more with a host family from training, my first town, and my current home. There is nothing like the feeling of receiving calls from five different “mothers” on holidays!
Aside from immediate family figures, one of the greatest reasons I choose to live abroad was the opportunity to meet likeminded travelers. Believe it or not there is a whole network of people who also like to sleep in hammocks on the beach, trek through the desert, and bathe with a bucket if it means a new adventure.
2. Live to Learn
Whether it is a new language, cultural norms, or typical dances, when living abroad learning and personal growth never cease. There is no better way to learn a language than immersing yourself in sink or swim situations. I went from not knowing basic greetings to giving presentations in front of 20 government workers in Spanish.
The feeling of trying to keep up feeds my soul as I’ve learned everything from how to share one glass between ten people, to the proper way to kill and eat a guinea pig. The never-ending learning curve pushes one to develop new skills.
3. Desire to Explore
One of the greatest incentives to living abroad is easy accessibility to new places! From ancient civilizations, to chocolate farms, to beautiful cathedrals, the possibilities to explore are bountiful. There is no better way to truly explore a country than to take the leap and move there. My eyes have been opened to different ways of life. The opportunity to experience the beauty of the world first hand is priceless. There is a thrill in getting lost and finding something new!
4. Service to Others
“You can’t help everyone everywhere, but you can help someone somewhere.” The most important reason I decided to move abroad was to do my little part in this big world to make it a better place. I am a realist who understands I can’t change the world, but the impact I can make on a class of 26 or a town of 2,000 is worth every second.
“So often, we get caught up in the day-to-day realities of our life that we forget to sit back and look at the big picture.” –Blogging Abroad