As I get closer to my mid-twenties, my advice to my younger self would be to take advantage of my early twenties. It seems that for the majority of those approaching 20, our hometown and our circle of familiar friends is our comfort bubble. Of course, there is nothing wrong with comfort. It is human nature to seek security. Yet, we are becoming increasingly mobile, modes of travel are so widely available and vacation inspiration is a scroll away. It is so much easier to visualise our lives by seeing snapshots of somebody else. We have easy access to information, at the click of a button. This button is not exclusive to only travel, but jobs, universities and our homes.
With this in mind, friends that have become a solid part of your comfort bubble may no longer feel it necessary to stay within the boundaries of their own. The uncomfortable truth is that whether you stay at home, or move away change is inevitable. If it is not happening because of you, it’s being created by others.
This is where perspective is key. Your early twenties will be more satisfying if you see it as a period of transformation, rather than fearing change. Once you welcome change, you will also welcome growth, confidence and discover who you are as a person (my only regret is that I wish I would have known this sooner!)
At twenty-one, I made a rush to get all my work done for university so that I could spend the next six months of my life overseas. My friends, who knew me as the quiet, homely, person that I was were shocked. But ultimately I knew that moving away would be the best thing for me and still to this day, I believe it to be. Would I still be living in the same town with the same daily routine as always, if not? Would I live my life without being exposed to any other cultures than my own? Maybe you have similar doubts about whether you are the kind of person that can move away and leave comfort behind. Perhaps now is the time to start believing you COULD be that person if you take a chance.
So, why take a chance and try moving abroad in your Early Twenties? Let me tell you a few of the many reasons why you should leave home:
#1 Discovering beautiful places
One of the main reasons to travel abroad and work is that you are able to discover so much more of an Island or country than if you were just to visit on Holiday. Car hire, excursions and walking tours are some of the best ways to discover some truly beautiful places. Whether you like sea caves, quaint towns, history-rich sites or just perfectly untouched beaches, each destination brings its own unique character and talking points. Spending months at a time in a place allows you so much more time to discover than on a short vacation. You will gain a totally different perspective than you would from a tourist point of view. It is likely that the locals will be able to recommend so many things to see and do, that you will always have things to do on your day off. I guarantee this will stop you from ever being ‘bored’, like on rainy weekends at home.
#2 Unexpected Friendships
One of the best parts of moving abroad is that you will come across people you would have never have met at home. Your work colleagues will become like family and you will create some amazing bonds that you will have for life.
One of the reasons, I love to work abroad is that it gives me a sense of independence. When in the UK, I live with my family- I love them to pieces. But moving away was the kick I needed to feel so much more confident through gaining more independence. I needed to stop depending on my family and learn to depend more on myself. I learnt valuable life skills, budgeting, time organisation, looking after your own space etc. I learnt how to be comfortable by myself and truly felt like I developed into an adult.
Before I worked abroad, I was very much faking it until I made it when it came to confidence. I knew that everybody thought I was too shy to make a big jump like moving away, but if you have belief in yourself then you can disregard the High School mentality of being judged. Since then, I have developed my confidence so much and I feel much happier in myself and my abilities. That is exactly what going outside of your comfort zone will do.
#5 Amazing Food
Working abroad, you will become exposed to a whole culture that is most likely a lot different to your own. One shared thing across all cultures is food. Being abroad has strengthened my relationship with food and encouraged me to try some of the many amazing flavours and dishes that the world has to offer. Each country will have its own delicacies and tastes and you are sure to find something delicious and authentic, home-cooked food.
Of course, this is not an exclusive list of all the reasons why you should work abroad in your early twenties. But hopefully, you can see just how beneficial it can be to embrace change, dive into a new culture and experience life inside another country. So, how about it? Will you make the change?