5 Meaningful Life Lessons For Moving Abroad

Young woman in ball cap sitting on a bench with trendy suitcase, looking at a mapMoving to a different country and living abroad is challenging, different and foreign, but it’s something everyone can learn a lesson or two from. If you’re contemplating moving abroad for a while, or maybe for good, find out what lies ahead! You may discover that these life lessons are exactly the nudge you need to set sail down an entirely new course.

1. Taking the path less traveled leads to discovery

Moving to Paris? You can only visit the Louvre and sustain yourself with baguettes for so long. Go beyond tourist traps in your new city. Explore small towns and stretch yourself beyond the city hub.

Try a new form of transportation or get lost in a lesser-known museum for a few hours. Learn about local culture through arthouse cinemas and indie concerts. Maybe even take a class or two at the local community college! You might find out you’ve been making guacamole wrong your entire life, or discover an appreciation for a new genre of music once you hear it live for the first time.

2. Traveling isn’t like it is in the movies

You can’t just pull a “Travel by Map” like the Muppets and effortlessly walk into a new country. Make sure you are prepared to deal with the visa process, set up a bank account, select an international phone plan, navigate the means of transportation, and find a place to live. It’s best to think of all of this ahead of time so you can feel welcome in your new home. This is a quick way to bone up on your dinner conversation skills, too. Foreign policy and immigration, anyone? You can speak from firsthand experience!

3. Packing lightly is important (so you can fill your bags with foreign candy)

When you do find yourself looking for a place to hang your hat, consider minimizing stress by renting furniture. You don’t have to worry about overseas shipping and you can simply walk away when you’re done.

Not sure about the size (and accessibility) of your future apartment? You may want to think twice about shipping your king size bed and beloved corner desk only to find out it doesn’t fit through the landing of your third-floor walkup. CORT is a great international furniture rental option to make the transition quick and easy. Plus, you’ll have room to pack all of those delicious local treats and trinkets you seem to have stockpiled during your time living abroad.

4. Maintaining (old and new) connections is tough, but worth it

Get to know the locals around you. You can volunteer or join a club to integrate yourself into the town’s culture. Making friends in your new home is a great way to share experiences and, as a bonus, you’ll have a life-long pen pal who can send you that to die for Spanish chocolate you discovered after you move away.

Life pro-tip: don’t forget your friends in your old town. Birthday wishes and Skype can help maintain friendships and cure homesickness during times of trouble. There will definitely be times when you need to take a trip down memory lane – make sure you have an anchor back home who can relive it with you!

5. Life isn’t meant to be taken seriously 24/7

Make sure you enjoy your time on this amazing adventure. You took a huge risk when you moved abroad; go ahead and celebrate it! You might mess up a translation and end up asking your waiter to bring you a plate of computers instead of bread. Laugh it off – you live and you learn. Think of all the stories you’ll have to tell when your next adventure calls!

Whether you’re moving abroad for work or a simple change of pace, CORT has relocation services and simple international furniture rental options that can make tough life lessons a little easier to learn. Let CORT make your global move easy, so you can spend more time exploring your new home.