Moving to Bali, Indonesia has been one of the most exciting but equally terrifying things I’ve ever done. Everything changes and everything has to be relearned. Starting with things as simple as how I shop for groceries, to the much larger things like learning to assimilate to a society where I don’t share the common thread of language or religion. While all of this may sound stressful (and it can be), I’ve quickly realized that my time spent living in Indonesia can be a pivotal part to the growth that I’ve been seeking if I allow it to be. Here are my reasons for making the big move and a few reasons you should consider making one of your own:
Actively Participating in Life
After spending the first 5 months of 2018 traveling through Europe, I quickly realized the world has people and experiences it wants to offer us but we often limit ourselves to what is only within arms reach. While I was experiencing different lifestyles in each country I landed in, I began to notice the people in my life were growing content with their work-life routine. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a job and life you are content with, but to put it plainly; it seemed like life was happening and that it was happening without them. After returning back to the US, I just couldn’t imagine jumping back on the hamster wheel.
Perhaps this is a very millennial thing of me to say, but I’m going to say it: financially, young people in America have it tough! From the job market to student loans piling up, many young people in America are making it by the skin of our teeth. It is challenging to pay monthly expenses, pay off debts, save, and still have a disposable income left over. By moving to a country with a lower cost of living, I wanted to give myself the advantage of being able to do all of the above. I also wanted to find a realistic way to pay off my student loans in 1-2 years.
24 Years Too Long Similarly to reason #1, after returning from a 5-month trip abroad it occurred to me that out of 195 countries some of us will only remain in 1 our entire lives. That’s not even 2% of the world. I personally figured if I have happily lived 24 years in just 1% of the world, then surely I could live happily in another part of the world for just 1 year.
Growth I have personally experienced the way traveling abroad can change one’s opinion about themselves and the world. However, traveling with the intention of returning home didn’t require me to be committed to changing. After exposing myself to so many new cultures, I felt like the next challenge would be to learn how to adopt a new lifestyle through regular everyday experiences. Overall, I wanted to place myself in an uncomfortable situation that would force me to practice patience, tolerance, and understanding for myself and for others.
Most Great Leaders Have Some International Experience Along with growing into a better version of myself, I chose to live abroad because I want this experience to give me a new lens. Every year, millions of people immigrate to new countries due to their own personal reasons, or perhaps they were left with no other choice. By moving to a new country, I want to be able to further understand and walk in the shoes of those who had to make similar changes. There will always be certain things I miss about living in the US, but moving to Indonesia has been one of the greatest choices I’ve made for myself. The more I remain grounded in my identity, the more at home I feel regardless of where I am. Whether you are considering moving abroad, or simply just changing career paths; remember growth is found right at the end of your comfort zone.
Until next time,
The Pint Sized Traveler