Working abroad allows you to travel longer (especially if you’re a budget traveller like us)
We, too, have dreams of travelling the world for years on end, but our wallets haven’t always supported that dream. We’re big fans of slow travel – really being able to breathe & take our time in a destination means more to us than checking cities off a list – but slow travel isn’t always possible when you’re not getting a consistent paycheck. Working abroad allows you to really settle down into a destination for as long as you need. Well, as long as your visa allows you to.
You get to experience the culture in a different way
We’ve been so lucky to visit some amazing places in the world, but we don’t know any culture as well as we know the Khmer culture. That’s because living in Cambodia gave us an honest and local view of what daily life is like in that country.
We had more time to study the culture, visit all of the sites, make local friends (see reason # 4), learn the language (it’s rough, but we’re still trying), and we even know the best restaurants to eat at because we got to try a whole whack of them.
Living and working abroad really gives you the opportunity to get to know a place and fall as deeply in love with it as humanly possible.
You still get to adventure, but your weekend trips look different
Just because you’re settled down into one place for a little bit, doesn’t mean you don’t get to travel! The only difference is, when you’re working abroad, your weekend trips look a whole lot different. Don’t get us wrong – we love our hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia – but when our weekend itinerary changed from ‘visit Lynn Canyon and Granville Island’ to ‘go to Songkran in Bangkok’ or ‘stay in a riverside bungalow in Kampot’, we certainly weren’t complaining.
Getting to explore, even within your new city, is an entire vacation on it’s own. It takes a wild for a new destination to get old. Plus, you’ll know all of the best places to take your friends or family when they come to visit.
You’re much more likely to make local friends
If you’re an extroverted, hostel-jumpin’, couch-surfin’ traveller, then you probably have no problem making friends in general. If you’re somewhat of a homebody like us, it can take a little bit longer. What we really loved about living & working abroad was that we really had the opportunity to make local friends. Nothing against travellers (we love us too!) but becoming close with locals gives you an entirely new insight into the culture and a new connection to the country that you’re in.
Hey – and it’s no doubt that knowing all the coolest local bars & restaurants can never hurt anybody!
You can save money for your next adventure
Sure, you’re staying put for now – but how cool is it that you get to save money while you’re travelling! At least, this has always been our perspective on working abroad. To us, living & working overseas feels like getting paid to make bank, and you know how much we love saving money!
You gain work experience as well as life experience
Travelling, in general, will always be one of the best sources of gaining life experience. When you choose to work abroad, you give yourself a whole other level of gaining life experience, as well as work experience!
Working overseas can give you a whole new section of skills to add onto your resume, both hard skills and soft. Teaching ESL, for example, helped us improve our communication, cultural competence, emotional intelligence and problem solving skills. Working at a public relations company in Australia was my first ‘in’ to the PR industry, and I am able to have that on my resume. Both experiences have helped shape my CV and my future career.
This is a huge benefit of working while you travel. You never stop gaining experience!
You find another home in this world
Home is where the heart is, and we’re learning that the heart can be in many places at once! What a blessing it is to be able to call multiple cities ‘home’ and know that we have experience and friends both near and far on this planet.
Renting, working, eating, and just living in a place can really give you a homey connection, and we are so lucky to say our hearts are scattered all over the world.