How Can Living Abroad Make You A Better Person?
Welcome to the first edition of the new blog carnival. Every month we hope to tantalize our readers with a wealth of different perspectives, views and experiences surrounding a certain topic. Instead of searching through countless web pages to find a number of blogs on a certain topic, we have made it easy for you, it’s all right here. Please enjoy our first entry, here you can read about how living abroad has made us all better people, the ups, the downs, the highs and the lows.
So I am going on living abroad for over 10 months now. 10 months, I cannot believe it! At times it has gone by so quickly and other times it felt as though it was dragging on (it was a long winter). But I truly feel that living abroad has made me a better person in so many ways
My name is Maggie Attoe, I graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies, Geology in 2008. Immediately went into sales, thought I loved it and stuck it out for over 5 years. But my passion for traveling abroad was stifled and I knew that overseas was calling my name once again. So I put everything I owned in storage and said hello to teaching in China. I wanted to live somewhere new, immerse myself in the culture and truly get to experience living in a completely new environment. The future for me, now that this door has opened, brings many new opportunities of traveling and teaching abroad and through it all a continued growth personally, in learning new cultures, opening up my mind and experiencing all that life has to offer! My favorite saying, “you only have this one life, but if you do it right, once is enough” I live by that now as my life motto!
Chris Schauner and Jennifer Burdge
Living abroad can be a very traumatic experience, but I am convinced it is beneficial trauma for the body as well as the soul. Before deciding to move to South Korea with my girlfriend Jenni, I have never been outside of North America. I was very anxious as to what exactly I was getting myself into, but after being here for almost two months, I can say that living abroad is an enlightening experience.
I am 24 years old college graduate from Pennsylvania. My girlfriend Jenni and I decided to venture to Korea to teach because we were unable to find teaching jobs in the States. Jenni and I are both certified Social Studies teachers, and plan to teach somewhere in the States when we have satisfied our desire to travel. I also plan to coach high school football when actually settling down somewhere. Jenni is also 24 years old, but hails from New Jersey.
What exactly is culture shock? Many people think of culture shock as a temporary feeling of disorientation in a new, unfamiliar environment. However, culture shock is far more complicated than that. It’s a year-long four stage process; an emotional roller coaster with extreme ups and extreme downs. My article examines this process, as well as the mental, social, and cultural challenges expats may experience while living abroad. My hope is that this article reassures weary expats that their struggles aren’t for nothing. In fact, whether your experience is good or bad, living abroad does make you a better person.
My name is Lisa Vinish and I’m a 20-something Canadian with a passion for education and travel. My first international trip was to Kenya in 2008 and I’ve been traveling nearly non-stop ever since. In 2010 a combination of disillusionment with academia and an overwhelming urge to travel again led me to abandon my graduate studies and move to Asia. This continent has been the greatest love affair of my life, and I’m not quite ready for the inevitable “break up” yet. Currently, I live in Pohang, South Korea and teach at a small private kindergarten.
Living abroad can challenge you in ways that you never thought possible. It puts you in unfamiliar situations and tests your reactions. During the process, a person will most definitely change, but it doesn’t necessarily make them a better person. It’s how we react and adapt to these new challenges that decides if we’ve truly become “better” or not. In this article, I’ve written a couple examples of the challenges I’ve faced, and how I’ve reacted in hopes of becoming a better person.
Liane is an independent foreign English teacher and travel writer. She graduated from Texas State University in 2010 with a B.A in International Relations. During college, Liane interned with the U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Institute, and volunteered as President of the International Studies Club and Sigma Iota Rho Honors Fraternity. Since then, she has been fulfilling her dream of traveling the world by teaching English in Thailand, Georgia, and the Czech Republic.
I have lived in 3 countries in the last year alone, and I have traveled through even more than that. I have been learning how to let go and just do. Follow my gut and my heart and my instinct and go, go, go, go, see, see, see, see, do, do, do, do
I have been, for the last 10 years of my life, living abroad more than at home. Living in Mexico for the last 2 years has been the longest I’ve been in one place for a while. Why would I possibly give up my lifestyle of jumping from place to place?
Carissa Peck has been teaching English since 2008 in North America, Europe and Asia. She believes that anything (e.g. her cat, bad dates, lame jokes) can be used as a jumping off point for teaching an involved lesson regardless of her location! When she isn’t planning her next lesson she is probably writing in her blog or exploring her newest location (currently Mexico).
This post looks at how reading, traveling, and most importantly, living abroad can add new dimensions—and thus innumerable lives—to your own life. It uses the analogy given by Yann Martel in his description that cats should envy us because they only have nine lives. He claims that reading books gives us an infinite number of lives. This post explores how we can take this concept beyond the pages of a book, as we broaden our horizons both symbolically and literally.
Kelly is currently living and teaching English in Taiwan. She comes from an anthropology and religious studies background, with a focus on studying food. Her blog, the Appetite Odysseys is about an appetite for travel, an appetite for learning, an appetite for adventure, and most especially: an appetite for food.
I believe that living abroad can help make you a better person. When you read about people and different events in the newspaper, or see a story on the news, “they” are just some random people from “somewhere over there.” Often times, we remain disconnected from people not in our immediate circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. It is easy to believe stereotypes or make judgments of people of different cultures and nations, whom we have never met. But when you start to travel, and especially when you start to live in a different country, your “over there” turns into “right here.”
Hello! My name is Tiffany Molyneux. I am a 28 year old from South Florida. I completed 6 years teaching in Florida, before moving to South Korea. I have just started my second year in South Korea. I love God, people, and adventure. I started my blog to keep friends and family updated on my experiences in South Korea. I use my blog mainly to share about my adventures here.
Living abroad can be challenging and the adjustment may take more time than you may have anticipated. I knew I was ready to leave my home country and explore living overseas, specifically Korea, and I thought it’d be so simple; just pack my bags and go, the rest will figure itself out….right? Not that I’m impulsive (maybe a little) but too much planning robs you from the fun of your encounter with the unknown. Not knowing what lies ahead or what you may discover is what traveling is all about!
Hi! I’m Faida. I am a Tanzania American living in South Korea teaching English. I see myself not as a citizen of any one country but one of this world and we all have a shared responsibility to make positive contributions to this large yet intimate community that we live in. I love learning through traveling, meeting different people and various cultural experiences. My biggest motivation in life is aspiring to be better than I was yesterday.
It’s now been two years since I moved abroad. I lived for over a year in Taiwan, and now here I am living in Vietnam. Looking back at the time I’ve spent living in foreign lands, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything. I know I’ve changed and grown as a person, even if just in small ways. How could you move across the globe and not change?
Samantha Baker is an American who has been living and teaching in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for 5 months. She previously lived and taught English for 15 months in Taipei, Taiwan. Samantha is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was a Special Education teacher for 4 years.
Shay Delagarza & Zach Zine
Ok, as you know if you’ve read anything on our blog, or even if you’ve only read our title, we live abroad. Taipei, Taiwan to be precise. It is a decision that we regret nothing about and here we will give you five, of the countless, reasons why we believe you should up and move.
Hello! Our names are Shay and Zach and together we make up the team that is “Internationally In Debt.” We are both Chicago natives, have been dating for over seven years, and have lived in Taipei for about 14 months now. We love our lives here and live them to the fullest despite the fact that we have a combined student debt load of over US$140,000. We hope to prove that you can do it, too!
Before I begin to share my thoughts on this topic, I should say that I’m only beginning my third week in Korea. I can by no means preach about the myriads of ways that living abroad has already made me a better person. However, what I can write about is how I hope it will make me a better person, and what I have noticed thus far.
Whatever path you choose in life, you have the opportunity to use those experiences in order to evolve and grow as a person. Or not. If you choose, the experience of living abroad can broaden and enrich your life. But it won’t necessarily make you a better person
Jamie Phillips is an inveterate Canadian nomad who has been living abroad and traveling for two years and counting. In August 2011, Jamie packed up, sold, redistributed all of her non-essential belongings, crammed her life into a backpack and wandered aimlessly into the world. She has felt the magic of Bali, gone caving in Laos, swam with alligators in the Amazon, eaten kangaroo tail in Australia, and felt deliciously insignificant on Machu Picchu. She is currently eating copious amounts of cheese and exploring the countryside by motorcycle in France. The Accidental Nomad is a collection of her stories, written to entertain and inspire others to follow their passions.
Before I moved across the world to teach in Korea, I was extremely nervous and constantly questioning my decision. ”What if I hate it when I get there?”, “What if I get too homesick?”…The “What if’s” were endless. About a month before I left, one of my friends was trying to ease my fears. She said “Even if you go, and it sucks and you’re miserable…It will still be a great life changing experience that you can be proud of doing.”
After 26 years in Texas, I decided to take a huge leap and move to South Korea to teach English for a year. As the time zoomed by, I quickly realized that one year just wasn’t enough time to spend in Asia. I currently teach at a public elementary school near Daegu, South Korea.
Stephanie Boedecker is a 24 year old travel, yoga, running and food lover who is currently playing teacher in South Korea. Born and raised in Wisconsin she got her first taste of life abroad after spending a semester studying in Sydney Australia at the age of 20. After working in a cube (prison) for a year she decided to quit, pack her bags and start a new life abroad. In her heart she’ll always be a Mid-west girl but hopes to have the opportunity to call many corners of the world home. What started as a method to keep friends and family in the loop has turned into a creative outlet and source of entertainment. Her blog “Midwest to South Korea” chronicles some of the interesting (or maybe not so interesting) adventures she has encountered while living in the Land of the Morning Calm.
A year and a half ago I quit my job, packed up my life and said goodbye to family and friends. My decision to move halfway around the world, to teach English in South Korea was met with many different reactions, both good and bad. Although most of the people I choose to surround myself with are fully supportive of my decision there were those that had their doubts or at least thought I was a little crazy. Although, good or bad they all seemed to agree on one thing, “This will be an adventure that will change your life”.