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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 💫 I am back in England and after a couple of days off to recuperate I’m excited to get back to work on Monday. I’ve had the most INCREDIBLE three weeks exploring some bucket list locations, so expect lots of USA content coming your way. Whilst I don’t have many more photos to share on Instagram, I do have A LOT of draft posts ready to finalise and publish. I can’t wait to share everything I got up to 🙌🏻🙊🇺🇸
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❤️ Disney body gifted from @primark
❤️ Skirt gifted from @primark
❤️ Disney bag gifted from @primark #disneyworld #epcot #worldshowcase #epcotmorroco #epcotdisney #epcot🌐 #primarkdisney #primarkxdisney
    • AD | Gifted 💫 If anyone knows how people get WDW photos without looking like a sweaty mess because of the humidity, let me know. Also next time I say I’m going to go to Florida in June, please remind me that 36 degrees heat is not the ideal temperature for walking around a theme park. In an attempt to get as much done as we possibly could, we did both Epcot and Magic Kingdom on a 1-day park hopper. After 9 hours in the heat, I gave up. Whilst I got to see the parade and go on my favourite rides, I am gutted I didn’t make it until the end of the day for Happily Ever After. At least we left right before the storm hit, right? Now I can see why people need two weeks at the parks, air con and storm breaks are necessary 😂😂
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❤️ Bodysuit is gifted from @primark
❤️ Skirt is bought from eBay ❤️ Mickey bag is gifted from @primark
❤️ Ears from Disneyland Paris #disneyworld #waltdisneyworld #wdwflorida #wdw #magickingdom
    • AD | Discounted 💫 Although I spent most of my time on my Trek America trip with my hair in braids and absolutely no makeup on, there were a few opportunities to get dressed up for a night out (even if it was difficult to get ready in a tent and camp toilets). I thought I would absolutely hate not doing my hair and makeup, but I’ve actually enjoyed the break! My face is 100% thanking me for the lack of makeup I’m using, but I definitely miss being able to straighten my hair as I’m not a fan of my natural fizz. Also flip flop we’re not my original choice for this outfit, but after being stung by a wasp it was all that would fit on my foot 😂🙊🐝
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❤️ My @trekamerica trip was Discounted in return for content
❤️ Dress gifted from @fashionworlduk #trekamerica #itrekhere #trekmoment #visitusa #fashionworlduk
    • AD | Discounted 💫 After 14 incredible days, I said goodbye to the rest of my Trek group a few hours ago. They were heading to Miami to end their tour but me and my brother decided to stay in Orlando to explore some of the parks. With just 5 days left in the States, I can honestly say I’m going to be sad to leave. From the quirky streets of NOLA to the live country music in Nashville, my Trek America trip has been one of my best travel experience to date. Can I book the next one now please? 🇺🇸
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❤️ My @trekamerica trip was Discounted in return for content #trekamerica #itrekhere #trekmoment #visitusa #travelusa
    • AD | Discounted 💚 🎶 You're as smooth as Tennessee whiskey, you’re as sweet as strawberry wine 🎶 Even though Jack Daniels gives me horrible flashbacks to pre-drinks at Uni, I loved seeing the distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. I had no idea that every single bottle of Jack is made at the distillery, as I thought it was so commercial it would be mass produced in the countries that stock it. Still didn’t find out why it’s called No7, though. 🥃🤷🏼‍♀️
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❤️ My trip with @trekamerica was Discounted in return for content
💚 My dress is from @forever21 #itrekhere #trekmoment #trekamerica #jackdaniels #jackdanielsdistillery #tennessee #tennesseewhiskey
    • AD | Discounted 💫 The Instagram theme has gone well and truly out of the window because all I want to do is share my favourite photos from my trip, and that’s exactly what this view of Broadway in Nashville is. On our second night in Nashville we celebrated my brother’s 21st birthday in the city. After a couple of drinks and a lot of dancing, we went up to the roof of Kid Rocks Honky Tonk for a view of Broadway from above. Hands down one of my favourite moments from the whole trip so far. ❤️🙌🏻🇺🇸
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❤️ My @trekamerica trip was discounted in return for content #trekamerica #itrekhere #trekmoment
    • AD | Discounted 💚 After a walking tour of New Orlean’s French Quarter I definitely needed the chilled out morning I have had. We tried some of Bourbon Street’s most famous cocktails including a hurricane, purple voodoo and a hand grenade. As some of the strongest drinks I’ve ever had, I was gone after the first two 😂👏🏻
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Now, time to explore the rest of the city before a voodoo tour tonight 🔮
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❤️ My tour was discounted by Trek America in return for content
❤️ Dress and bumbag were gifted from @boohoo #trekamerica #itrekhere #trekmoment #boohoo #boohooplussize
    • AD | Discounted 💫 After a busy few days we are heading out of Nashville, as much as I’d love to stay. Although I was excited to visit Tennessee, I wasn’t expecting to love Nashville as much as I did. From the line dancing and live country music in every bar to the great food and beer, it’s definitely made it into the list of best places I have ever visited. 100% coming back 🇺🇸
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❤️ Dress is bought from @boohoo who I have worked with in the past
❤️ My @trekamerica trip was discounted in return for content. Head over to their Instagram stories to see more of what we’re getting up to. #trekmoment #itrekhere #trekamerica #nashville #nashvilletennessee
    • AD | Discounted 💫 I’ve been VERY quiet the last few days but I promise I’m alive! I’ve been busy eating cheesesteaks in Philly, cycling around the monuments in Washington and breathing in the mountain air in Shenandoah. Although I’ve been taking photos, I haven’t had a chance to update Instagram until now. It’s been the best few days exploring and we still have so many amazing places to come. Best. Trip. Ever. 🇺🇸💙
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❤️ My Trek America Trip was given to me at a discounted price in return for content #trekamerica #trekmoments #itrekhere #shenandoah #shenandoahnationalpark

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Changing the way Travel looks ❤️✈️
    • ✈ PLUS SIZE TRAVEL PROBLEMS PT 1 ✈
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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 (@creatiffy_) 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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