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Why You Should Live Abroad at Least Once in Your Life

February 17, 2016

Why You Should Live Abroad at Least Once in Your Life

February 17, 2016

In 2012 I was in my first year of University and after a couple of rough months I decided to move to America for four months on a J1 student visa, using BUNAC’s Work America Programme as my sponsor.

It had been my dream for as long as I can remember to visit, let alone live in the States, so when I finally had the chance to actually to live in California was possibly one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far.

Although it was a long time ago, my time in America is still something I talk about often so I thought I would share some reasons I think everyone should try to live abroad at least once in their life…

It’s a great way to gain independence | Moving to another country, let alone 5000 miles away, was definitely scary as a 19-year-old but it really allowed me to build on my independence. I had to find a job, find a place to live and pretty much learn everything I could about a foreign country in a really short space of time – and that was just before I left! When I got there I had to make friends, find my way around and completely fend for myself. It was such a great experience in that sense and I can honestly say I grew up a lot while I was there.

You meet the most amazing people | Living and working abroad meant that I got to meet loads of new and interesting people, most of which I still talk to today and consider my closest friends. I met some amazing people while I was there and they all helped me to have the best possible experience I could. They took me to all of the tourist places, their favourite restaurants and all of the secret little gems that you wouldn’t find on a tourist site.

You get to travel | This one is a little bit of an obvious one, but being in California meant there were certain places that were a lot easier for me to get to than when I was living in the UK. I managed to spend a long weekend in Boston and travel to Mexico for a short period of time – two places I wouldn’t have been able to visit anytime soon if I was still back home.

It enhances your CV | In pretty much every interview I have had since I lived abroad I have been asked a lot of questions about it, it definitely gives a competitive edge. The skills and confidence that you gain while living abroad are a great asset to a CV.

You get to try new food | I’m a huge foodie, and living in America gave me the opportunity to try loads of new things, especially when I travelled to Mexico. I discovered lots of new American favourites while I was there (Santa Fe Burgers from Veggie Grill – yes please!) and got to try some of Orange County’s local foods too.

You can learn a new language | You’re probably thinking “what? a new language in America?” Well, some of my roommates were Mexican and they helped me and encouraged me to learn some basic Spanish. I would spend a lot of time with their family, which is when I would pick up certain words or phrases. I even got to go to a Spanish church service, which was so interesting to experience.

Have you ever lived abroad before? Where would you go if you could?
Lots of love,
Kirsty Leanne xx
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  • Jenny K February 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I've never lived abroad, but I have immersed myself in other cultures for a week at a time through various school exchanges which I absolutely loved. I spent two weeks near Florence, a week just outside Paris, and a week working in a hotel on the French/ German border. I'm also going to be spending two months in South Africa this year which I'm really looking forward to! All these things have tested me in some way and although it's scary, it's always been worthwhile 🙂
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

  • Danni young February 22, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    I lived abroad in Spain for three months! I definitely agree it gives you independence and helps you grow up. I loved it! 🙂 xo

  • Kirsty C February 26, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I definitely think it's important to immerse yourself in other cultures – it's amazing what you can learn 🙂

    Your adventures all sound amazing! xx

  • Kirsty C February 26, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    That sounds amazing! I hope you had an awesome time 🙂 xx

  • I'M KIRSTY LEANNE

    My mission is simple. I want to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, I want to inspire and advise people like me on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences.Join me as I share my own personal experiences, my best tips and tricks and all of the challenges I face along the way. It won’t always be an easy ride, but it sure as hell will be a fun one.

    Together, we can change the way that travel looks today

    WHAT TO EXPECT

    Instagram

    • AD | Gifted 💫 Probably my last field photo for a while as starting this weekend I’M SHOOTING AUTUMN CONTENT. I’ve got a Pinterest board full of inspo, lots of amazing outfits to shoot and a million and one ideas about locations. I am SO excited. Can you tell? 🍂
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Also, the hill you can see in the background of this photo is called the Wrekin, somewhere I *used* to love walking up. Earlier this week my Mum told me that there’s a famous saying based on the Wrekin, does anyone know what it is? 🙊👇🏻
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❤️ Co-ord gifted by @boohoo @boohooplus #boohoo #boohooplus #boohoocurve #boohoouk #boohooplussize
    • AD | Gifted 💫 Although I love writing my travel content I have found lately the posts I enjoy writing the most are my guides to plus size travel. Whether it’s plus size travel essentials or surviving hot countries and warm weather whilst plus size, I LOVE sharing my tips and tricks with the world 🙌🏻❤️
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With over 100 posts on my *to write* list, I still have LOADS more plus size travel advice to come your way! What would you like to see next? 👇🏻
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❤️ Dress gifted by @yoursclothinguk #yoursclothing #yoursclothinguk #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltoo
    • Bosnia has easily been one of the most stunning countries I have ever visited. Even though we only spent a few hours driving through the mountains and exploring Mostar, I know it’s a country I want to go back and see more of when I get the chance 🇧🇦
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When we visited Bosnia, we were on a day trip from Dubrovnik. We spent a lot of time spent in the tour bus but I definitely think it was worth it to 1) cross another country off my list and 2) get the chance to experience Bosnia for the first time 👏🏻❤️
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Do you like long day trips when you’re travelling? Or do you prefer to stay in one place? 👇🏻 #Bosnia #bosniaandherzegovina #bosniatravel #visitbosnia #mostar #mostarbridge #mostarbosnia #starimost
    • AD | Gifted 💫 The irony of this photo is that although I am wearing a tee that says ‘Hello Sunshine’ - it was absolutely chucking it down when I took this photo ☔️
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With lots of things to shoot and no content, me and @unwrittenchloee thought it would be a great idea to shoot during nonstop rain. We packed umbrellas, hid in the car when the rain got worse and as expected, only managed to shoot one outfit each 🤷🏼‍♀️
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As excited as I am for autumn, I hope the rain isn’t here to stay 🤭🌧 •
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❤️ Tee gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Skirt gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Bag gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Trainers gifted from @fashionworlduk #fashionworld #fashionworlduk #plussizefashion #plussizebloggers #plussizeblog
    • AD | Gifted 💫 This weekend has been a super busy one so I’ve decided I’m taking the rest of the night off to relax with a Netflix Original and some Milkway Magic Stars ✨
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What are your favourite Netflix Original movies? I need some inspiration 🍿🎬
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❤️ Dress gifted by @lovedrobe #lovedrobeuk #lovedrobe #lovedrobeloves #plussizefashion #plussizeblogger
    • AD | Gifted ☀️ Yesterday I posted on Twitter that I had spent the morning pitching brands and PR agencies and had managed to score myself three high-paying campaigns, one gifting campaign and two potential collaborations for next month. After a couple more responses this morning, I’ve now turned August into my best month ever when it comes to blogging! 🙌🏻👏🏻
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I think it just goes to show that most of the time, people’s success is what they make it. If I hadn’t taken the time out to pitch the people that I have, I’d probably be having a very very quiet summer ☀️
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Although I have my ‘Guide To Pitching Products, Payments and Press Trips eBook’ that you can buy, I wanted to share some pitching tips with you on here. Whether you’ve been pitching for years or you’re about to send your first one, these could definitely come in handy.... 👇🏻
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1️⃣ Always find the right contacts, rather than pitching blindly. Whether you meet them at an event, find them on LinkedIn or see their details online - you need to be sure you’re talking to the right person.
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2️⃣ Pitch an idea. If you can’t see a way in which you and the brand could be working together, you probably shouldn’t be pitching them in the first place.
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3️⃣ Be specific about what you want and what you’re going to do in return.
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4️⃣ Whilst we’re on the topic, don’t promise the world. If you’re promising too much, you’re going to find that you under deliver each and every time.
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5️⃣ Finally, make sure you have a detailed media kit to send to brands. This should detail your key stats, what makes you unique and case studies of previous campaigns you have worked on.
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Do you pitch brands? What has been your biggest success so far? 👇🏻❤️
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❤️ Dress gifted by @lovedrobe #lovedrobe #lovedrobeloves #plussizefashion #plussize #psbloggers
    • EXCITING NEWS TIME 🎉
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This is a little different to what I’d normally be posting but it is DEFINITELY worth breaking the Instagram theme for one photo. After sending what is probably one of the scariest proposals I have ever sent, I can finally say that I’m going to be hosting a panel on ‘Pitching Brands For Products, Payments and Press Trips’ at the Women In Travel Summit in Riga, Latvia. Not only will I be spend spending the weekend with some incredibly inspiring women, but I’m going to have the chance to explore a city that’s been on my list for years. Who will I be seeing there? 🙋🏼‍♀️
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If you are planning on buying your ticket, there’s going to be a flash sale on Friday! #WITSRiga
    • Happy Friday! 🙌🏻 A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had to cancel my upcoming trip to Thailand due to the fact things had been a little slow when it came to freelance work and blogging opportunities. As gutted as I am, I also decided it would be best to put all travel on hold for at least six months - excluding the odd press trip, if I was to be invited on one ✈️💙
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Although the rest of my 2019 looks quiet in terms of travel, little trips and opportunities are starting to crop up. From speaking at Social Travel Summit in Italy to being on a panel at Borderless Live in London, at least I know I’m not going to be stuck at home the *entire* time. I’m also going to try and explore places that are a little closer to home, as honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen half as much of England as I should have 🏡 •
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What do you do when you don’t have the opportunity to travel as often as you normally would? 👇🏻 #travel #travelblogger #tbloggers #travelblogging #travelblog #tblogger
    • AD | This is the happy face of someone who has realised she can wear playsuits, short skirts and dresses all summer long thanks to Ivyverdure. As much as I stand by my trusty anti-chafing shorts, sometimes it’s just too hot to wear them with everything, right? 🤷🏼‍♀️☀️
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I’d honestly written off being able to wear playsuits and short dress for fear of chub rub, especially when walking around extremely hot countries all day. That was, until I used @ivyverdure irelief for the first time ever, of course 🙌🏻
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This magical (yes magical) anti-friction stick is designed to stop chafing and rashes. All you need to do is rub the formula where you’d normally experience chafing and then go about the rest of your day. I find I have to top up every now and again for the best results, but I know lots of people can go the whole day without having to reapply. It smells delicious, it’s easy to apply and it’s small enough to pop in your bag when you’re on the go. At just 60ml per stick, you can even pack it in your hand luggage for a flight! ✈️ •
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If you want to try Ivyverdure for yourself, they have kindly given me a discount code for you to use for 15% off - all you need to do is enter KIRSTY15 at the checkout ❤️🙌🏻 #Ivyverdure #Irelief #antichafe #chubrub #travelessentials #blisters #organic #vegan

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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️
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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️
    • ✈ PLUS SIZE TRAVEL PROBLEMS PT 2 ✈
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Although I talk a lot about the problems plus size people face when they travel, I wanted to go that one step further and show it in a way that would make EVERYONE want to listen. With such a long list of images I wanted to create, a couple of months ago I hired an incredible designer (@creatiffi) to help create them for me. She has done an INCREDIBLE job, as I feel they really get across how we may feel when we're travelling  even if we don't say it outloud. Whether it's being worried you won't fit on a ride or awkwardly laughing off that a tray table doesn't fit, deep down we're thinking something completely different to what we may be saying or doing.
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So, whether you're plus size and you can relate to these images or you're straight size and you want to help bring attention to the #plussizetraveltoo campaign, I would LOVE it if you could share this post far and wide. Tag your friends, post on your stories or even send them over direct message. Thank you so so much ❤
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