Why Everyone Should Live Abroad at Least Once in their Life

I don’t mention it enough on my blog (considering I am a travel blogger) but 6 years ago, I spent some time living in California as part of BUNAC’s Work America.

I had always wanted to spend some time living abroad and I KNEW that America was the ultimate goal, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be able to make it happen. I mean, me? A teenager? Living ON MY OWN? 5000 MILES AWAY?

It was a scary thought, but after a rough break up and a sudden burst of determination I signed up to the program, booked my flights, found a place to live and applied to EVERY job I could find in the local area.

It was a brave move, but having experienced it I can honestly say it is one of the things that has shaped me to be the person I am today. So, with only 26% of people in the UK taking a gap year and 16% taking a sabbatical, I thought I’d tell you why I think this number should be EVEN HIGHER.

It Boosts Your Confidence

Moving across the world to another country is incredibly scary and I can honestly say it increased my confidence ten-fold. Even small things like having to ask for help or finding my way around a new country meant I was talking to complete strangers on a regular basis. I discovered that 99% of the time people are willing to help you out, which really helped boost my confidence.

It is GREAT for your CV

Living abroad shows you have an array of desirable skills including determination, dedication and confidence – all of which are transferable in to pretty much any job. Having my time abroad on my CV has always prompted some great questions from potential employees and in certain cases it has helped me get that little bit closer to the dream job.

You Make Incredible Memories

I feel like this doesn’t need an explanation, but living abroad has left me with some memories I will never forget. Making smores on the beach, my first baseball game, getting a tattoo in Down Town Fullerton and so much more… they’re all things I look back on and feel so lucky to have experienced, no matter how small.

You Will Meet People That Change Your Life

Oh my gosh, the people you meet while living abroad will actually change your life. I have made lifelong friends from my trip abroad and despite the distance, I know they’ll always be people I’ll have in my life.

Travel is Good for the Soul

One thing I found while travelling (between shifts of course) was that travel really is good for the soul. Every time I discovered somewhere new I was amazed that I was actually living out my dream and if I am being honest, a few times I was so happy I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to cry. It’s such a great, heartwarming feeling when travelling somewhere new – one I never want to give up.

It Give You A Sense of Adventure (even more so)

I wasn’t always passionate about travel – in fact I was scared to do anything, even get in a car – but facing my fears and moving to California at the age of 19 really gave me a sense of adventure. It showed me I can do anything when I put my mind to it and from then on, I couldn’t stop imagining all of the places I could visit.

I hope that one day I get to experience living abroad again as I can honestly say, I have never known anything to be as rewarding as my time in California.ย 

Kirsty Leanne


If you loved this post don't forget to share:
This post is in collaboration with Netflights.


  1. January 19, 2018 / 6:20 am

    That’s great Kirsty, sounds like you did a great thing with living in the USA ! And so young too !! I was 26 when I started with a job in Nigeria, talk about culture shock. I too am an exponent of living/working abroad and would, for exactly the reasons you give, encourage anyone to give it a go. It can often be a challenge but the rewards are endless. Of course this sort of advice should come with a health warning as it’s so easy to become addicted ! I did and ended up spending half my working life overseas and in the end decided to permanently move and settle abroad – Nottingham just didn’t cut it after all that ! Funnily enough I too was hopelessly homesick as a kid, even on a holiday to Wales lol !! Happy New Year and happy travels to you !!

  2. January 19, 2018 / 8:49 am

    PS: Forgot to add that one of the great advantages of living abroad which you didn’t touch on is the ease with which you can learn a foreign language, and total immersion is one of the best ways to go about it !

  3. January 24, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    This is such a great post Kirsty. Whilst I haven’t lived abroad yet, I am sooo desperate too! Hopefully in the near future a quick couple of years somewhere would be great for me and my soon to be hubby!!1

    • February 20, 2018 / 1:30 am

      I hope you get to live abroad with your hubby soon! xx

  4. January 29, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    I think youโ€™re right, it would be an incredible experience and opportunity for personal growth, not to mention making some new memories and seeing some of the world.


    • February 20, 2018 / 1:29 am

      It’s such an incredible experience and has certainly shaped me to be the person I am today! xx

  5. February 1, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    Ah yes to this post! I’ve always seen myself living abroad for at least part of my life but I haven’t done it yet. For me I have to wait a bit till I can save up enough money and go career-wise, but I really really want to live abroad one day ๐Ÿ™‚

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • February 20, 2018 / 1:27 am

      I hope you get to live abroad at some point, it’s such an enlightening experience! xx