There’s nothing in the world that can broaden your mind and stimulate you quite like traveling. Seeing new places and people will fundamentally change your outlook on the world, and give you a broader appreciation for where you live.
But there’s a difference between dropping in to an exotic locale and living there for long enough to really absorb it. Here are some of the reasons why.
When in Rome, Do as the Locals Do
When you’re traveling somewhere and only have a few days to see it, you usually visit the can’t-miss tourist sites first. This is understandable: imagine being in Rome without seeing the Pantheon or the Coliseum.
But if this is your approach, you simply aren’t living the way locals there do. Many people decide to teach English as a second language in far away countries, like South Korea — this gives them an important job there, and throws them into the same routines as local residents.
Often travelers seek an “authentic” experience, wherein they try to get as close as possible to touching how different people understand their world. When you also commute to work, take the same breaks on the job, and are thrust into the same post-work culture as everyone around you, you’ll be closer to living life as the locals do – you can click here to learn more about what it’s like to drop the world you know, and begin to work in a foreign country.
If you decide to teach ESL abroad, look for a larger company that has been in operation for years — they have the resources and expertise to handle your travel logistics, living arrangements, and of course everything you need to become a great ESL teacher.
If you’re moving to a country where living expenses are lower, the money you make there will go further for you. From a strictly financial point of view, you can often make enough money to live very well and still have enough leftover to save. This of course depends on the nature of the job, and how much you like to budget or spend.
Culture Takes Time to Seep In
If you’re visiting a country as a tourist, you hardly get enough time to let it really seep in. It takes a while before customs, sights and smells that initially seem wildly different from yours begin to feel quite ordinary. You can really only get to this point if you’re there for long enough, and usually that requires living abroad.
Aside from simply being there, assimilating a foreign culture takes a very open mind and sincere willingness and determination to learn about the place. Learning how to speak a local language, or absorb some of its history, politics, and culture is important. Working instead of merely visiting doesn’t only keep you there for a while, it connects you with locals — spending time with people is the true key to understanding and appreciating any new place.
The world is impossibly vast, and being curious about it is natural and commendable. If you want a great way to really absorb fascinating and far-away countries, traveling is great, but living and working there is even better.