Going overseas

Traveling abroad can create many positive changes to your life


I still vividly remember the moment I stepped out of that plane. My entire life was packed in just two suitcases. After an eight-hour flight from Spain, leaving everything and everyone I’ve ever known behind, I asked myself, “What are you doing here, Maria?” 

Now, seven months later, I’m able to say with no hesitation that moving abroad has been the best decision of my life.

There are many different reasons for which people decide to relocate their lives somewhere new, but no matter what it is, living abroad is always worth it. 

Moving to a new country is not just stepping out of your comfort zone. It is more like jumping straight out of it. Don’t let this intimidate you. Once you have figured everything out in your new home, the personal feeling of satisfaction is priceless. Knowing that you can live in a totally unknown environment will boost your confidence for any other challenges in life.

For instance, you’ll gain new life skills that you were never aware of. Based on my own experience, this has gone from being able to travel overseas by myself to something as simple as cooking my favorite Spanish meal on my own, as now my mom is half a world away. This experience of living abroad forces us to learn new skills out of pure necessity, which is directly linked to our level of independence.

When you move abroad, being shy will no longer be an option. I am comfortable saying that I know how strong my communication skills have become ever since I moved. Putting myself out there and constantly introducing myself to people from all over the world has helped me build new social and professional circles that I can always use as resources in my future career. Trust me, having international experience, whether this is at a high school or college, or even at a professional level, will never go out of style in a resume.

Furthermore, you’ll learn how to easily adapt in new situations. Living abroad means that you will most definitely come across very unexpected situations and cultural differences. I’ve been there too. Having to adapt my body to the “American” way of eating has for sure put me through a lot of mental challenges.

Nevertheless, I would always try my best to appreciate the food that was offered. I realized that though getting used to those differences may feel very uncomfortable in the beginning, I had to keep in mind that adapting does not mean changing my beliefs or thoughts on anything. It is simply being respectful.

Sometimes you have to leave home to find a new one. That’s certainly happened to me. The most valuable thing I’ve gained throughout the past months of living abroad has been the friendships that I’ve built. After being able to develop those relationships, I could never put into words the feeling of knowing that you are so loved on the other side of the world. 

Don’t misunderstand my words, this experience also teaches you to be thankful. Being away from my family and friends for so long has only made me realize how much I appreciate everything I have back in Spain.

Moving to the US at such a young age has been, all at once, the biggest, greatest and scariest decision I’ve ever made, but most importantly, it has been the most impactful one.

In just three months, I’ll pack my life back into those suitcases and leave home again, but this time heading back to Spain as the best version of myself that I’ve ever been.