Moving to a new country is an extremely daunting process. Some people find it an absolute joy, but some people, those with deeper roots, find it a terrifying experience. It is, however, increasingly becoming a way of life. The workplace is much more global than it used to be and in times of global recession it is just a reality that some countries offer greater employment opportunity than others.
There are, however, a number of perks and advantages to relocating. If you focus on the wonderful opportunities that such a large change can bring, the whole process becomes so much easier.
Getting out of your social comfort zone
This is especially important if you have lived in the same city your whole life. Regularly seeing the same people for the same activities may be nice and familiar but slowly and surely it begins to narrow your horizons. A new country means being forced to meet and socialise with an entirely new set of people. This can, of course, be a bit of a mixed blessing but will nonetheless broaden your horizons and show you a way of life you would not otherwise have been exposed to.
Learning a new language
This one is often chalked up as a chore. But, learning a new language not only has excellent neurological perks – researchers have recently shown that multilingualism may prevent Alzheimer’s and other neurological degenerative diseases – but also has great social advantages. With a new language comes a new culture, new experiences and a new way of seeing life.
Traveling to different parts of the world
This is more than just seeing the new country you are relocating to. Moving to a new country opens up an entire region for travel that may never have been accessible before. Australia and New Zealand open up travel opportunities in Asia. Moving to the UK opens up all of Europe to cheaper and more accessible travel.
There is nothing quite like wiping the chalkboard clean and starting again. When you move to a new country you can reinvent yourself. Nobody knows you or the school you went to or who your family is. There are no preconceived notions of you in your new home. This is a beautifully refreshing experience. You can also internalise this opportunity and use it to leave behind all your old bad habits.
Sometimes people move to new countries solely for the reasons listed above. For others, however, it is a question of necessity, and when there is no choice in the matter it can be more difficult to see the value of the experience. Hopefully, the reasons listed above can make those who are forced to relocate look at the experience with new eyes.
This post was written by Natalie Simon, a freelance writer and journalism student in Cape Town. Natalie is building a portfolio of online articles and guest posts on a range of topics, including popular locations where immigrants can find mining jobs listings.