What does living abroad means to a 30+

Nearly three years ago, I decided to pack my bags and leave my country for a while. The main goal was to study abroad and then, make my great comeback to the warm and welcoming arms of friends and family. However, living abroad has shown me how fragile our strongest goals are — and I will let you know all about what is living abroad.

At first, I thought I would be living abroad for a year or two. However, I have found myself on a new path that led me towards a whole new world of possibilities I wasn’t even aware of. That includes the most important universe we can ever live on: our own destiny.

When you leave your home, you automatically put not only your material belongings to the side when those are not going overseas with you, but also a very complex part of your life context. Living abroad makes you get out of your bubble, where people — and yourself — are meant to behave and follow a certain path. But when you are living abroad, that’s no longer necessary. You don’t have to keep what you kept just because it was expected that you would, and here we have the first meaning of living abroad: sweet freedom.

By living abroad you can finally be alone with yourself (spoiler alert: that is the hardest relationship you will ever have, but it is totally worth it). Living abroad sets you free to reach for what you truly want to be, it makes your mind way wider to catch for the references you would never have when you were so used to where you were that you couldn’t appreciate what surrounds you. Well, and here comes the bitter side of sweet freedom: living abroad makes you not feel like yourself anymore.

Don’t be afraid, though. The existential crisis can benefit you a lot more than you think. As you get more open to new experiences, cultures, and references, living abroad will help you reach for that version of yourself that was hidden under many layers of your unconsciousness. It is a little messed up to dive deep in there, but it will make the world a lot brighter after you do so.

What nobody tells you about living abroad is that it will transform you in many unexpected ways. It is an amazing journey towards your own truth and I definitely recommend living abroad to people over 30 years old. You may think this is something for twenty-somethings, but I can assure you that living abroad when you are over the thirties will be life-changing in a much more mature way.

Here is a picture I took in one of my favorite walks around Lisbon – 2020 (“Because any decision looks too small to be the decision of your life”, @paulosar)

See, when you are younger, tendencies are that you will be all about enjoying life, being a little careless, and more playful — it’s absolutely okay to do so. However, when you hit a certain age that is settled in between adulthood, you will find yourself making smart and consistent decisions on your life abroad. Living abroad is trespassing the borders of what you thought could not go farther and, trust me, there is so much more beyond our horizon to see and experience.

Either by working abroad, studying abroad, or just adventuring yourself and destiny for new perspectives, the self-growth of someone that decided to live abroad is a school of life that no other experience will be able to reach out to. There is no correct age to put yourself out in the world, but there is the right mindset to it: make sure to gather all your patience, excitement, and willingness to dive into a whole new world. Living abroad will let life as you know in the past.

Published by flaviastamato

Publicist and writer, a citizen of the world trying to free herself from writing cliches (but it's so tempting....)

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