1. Enriching, deeper and more intense experiences; The appeal of new experiences, pleasures and entertainment.
You are attracted by the perspective of living down a certain livelihood. You want to build self-confidence, to make love, to know other cultures, meet new people. That is of course an excellent reason. Nevertheless, this lifestyle can get addictive. You could end up needing a constant flow of novelty out of the fear to get in contact with the void of a life only based on self-development. In contrast the pace of a non expat life could feel boring. This endless process of knowing someone little by little, can feel so frustrating and tasteless compared to the high speed, quick opening up we can have between travelers, expat, backpackers totally available for a deep connection and in need of support. I call that the “taxi driver relationship”, in a few minutes you can open yourself up like never before and feel a great connection thanks to this short-lasting frame and the sense of safety it gives us.
2. Need to prove our autonomy.
You may feel the need to prove yourself you can live on your own. No need to have your parents’ arounds or partner around. You may feel it is a matter of survival to challenge yourself. It is a vertiginous moment. It is to be expected that you will feel completely lost. That is perfectly normal. This is exactly what you need to grow and gain self-confidence.
3. You felt like you didn’t belong.
Maybe in your hometown you were feeling disconnected to the people surrounding you. You felt desperate to live in a place with open minded people, that are okay with homosexuality, a colorful way of dressing, nerdy interests, people who are into environmental justice and veganism. It makes sense, we all need such places to get stronger to see we are not alone. The expat community is, in part, made out of the people that don’t belong to any special community. Their community is the community of people that feels proudly out of the box.
4. To escape from a demanding family and a crushing sense of responsibility.
Some of us have a great sense of loyalty and dedication to the others. Maybe you have a single mom that you are taking care of, or you have parents so loving that it feels stifling. Maybe you undergo constant arguments with the closest people around you. It would be a crushing responsibility to put up limits, while you still are geographically close to these dear people. It would make you feel guilty to still be physically close and at the same time putting an emotional distance. Living abroad, could be the perfect pretext. Despite your best intentions, because of the distance, you can’t keep on being the one that cares for everyone’s well being. The one that compensates the emotional void of a close relative or the one longing for attention and love while receiving constant despise and mistreatments.
5. To start a fresh beginning.
After a breakup, a traumatic event, an abrupt change that shattered your life, you want to start anew and leave your past behind. You want a new city that is not saturated with places that evoke painful memories. That could indeed help you take some distance and mourn your losses. Take notes, we can’t escape our memories without processing and digesting them. A mourning process is unavoidable, in order to feel at peace. It is legitimate to take holidays from your pain and help you with a lighter atmosphere that won’t make you dive too easily into nostalgia.
6. Unwillingly, it just happened progressively.
Sometimes we just go on a trip for a few days or we just visit a friend and unexpectedly that trip ends up being the beginning of a new life. Some of us literally just fall in love with a place or a city and boldly take the leap for a new life. As long as it works and doesn’t put you in danger it could actually be an amazing decision. Be careful with being impulsive and breaking irremediable valuable aspects of your life. What we see for the first time appears shinier and looks more appealing than it will after some time. It is deceptive. Don’t idealize your experience. Would you really enjoy going to that place or being around those people every day?
7. A better future for career opportunities.
Rationally, you received an excellent job opportunity and you don’t care so much about the place. It will give you a push to your career and you will probably earn more money in doing so. Remember to take into account the wellbeing of the people around you before accepting that kind of offer. Deciding on your own, for something influencing your partner as well is a big mistake and could break the trust in your relationship. Make sure that when you make that decision, be fully aware of the impact it will have on other aspects of your life, such as your relationship, family etc.
8. Following a loved one.
Maybe you happily followed your partner on their project to live abroad. Take into account your own decision, is your responsibility. Do it for yourself and give yourself the means to make it an interesting experience for you as well. Accepting this offer unwillingly, could cause you to resent your partner down the line.
9. Falling in love with a local.
Falling in love with a local is double sided, it means that you will have the great opportunity to be introduced to the local community and understand the culture deeply from the inside. The downside is that you will probably sometimes feel lonely, being the only foreigner in gatherings.
10. It is my way of living and I am a nomadic person, a snail.
Some people just feel this is their way of living. Living abroad, moving often, exploring. Maybe you grew up in a multicultural family or moved away a great deal of time. In your case, what would be exotic and challenging would be to stay where you are, to change from a nomadic lifestyle to stagnant one. Moving is what fits your restless, curious, passionate temperament. Don’t forget to take breaks and get some rest. You can’t escape some basic human needs such as safety, health, stability.