About Living Abroad
Let's get one thing straight: working abroad is not a vacation. Sure, you'll see magical places, do things you'd never imagined, and probably spend a night or ten under a stunning sunset, cool drink in hand.
But, those people will also tell you that it's worth every single toilet they scrubbed. You can expect a truly multicultural experience as you participate in the local rhythm of life, engaging in the community instead of observing it from afar. You'll gain firsthand knowledge of the food, the events, the language and the people. You and your new, international friends will look like a Benetton ad, and your bragging rights are endless.
Then there's the emotional aspect. Working abroad, whether teaching English in Japan or volunteering in South America, will push your limits in every sense. Expect feelings of wonder, freedom and exhilaration, but also loneliness, frustration and alienation. Making your way in a foreign land can be intimidating and exhausting. The knowledge that you can succeed anywhere in the world, however, brings a wealth of confidence, independence and satisfaction that few other paths provide. It's not easy, but its advantages are huge. Be warned, though: the travel bug is not a myth. Once the world is your playground, it's hard to get off that swing.
To sum it up, consider one traveler's perspective:
"Living abroad has been both amazing and difficult. Amazing for prying my eyes open to cultures that are so different but so similar, and difficult for trying to communicate, and being away from everything you love. Living abroad is the most humbling experience I've ever had: people don't know anything about you, and you learn to be okay with the judgments they make."