+
upworthy
Most Shared

A world-traveler shares 10 questions anyone should ask before moving overseas.

More and more people are starting to pick up on the “secret” of how to afford and fund long-term travel.

All photos by Gloria Atanmo, used with permission


The fact of the matter is, if you want to travel longer than just your standard paid time off (#Murica), you simply need to spend a period of time living and working abroad to take advantage of budget airlines and cheap intercontinental travel.

But even if you’re 90% convinced that a year abroad is exactly what you need to refresh your perspective and find your zest for life again, somehow, the idea of the big move can still be just a tad bit overwhelming.

So we’re about to do some soul-searching to determine if this is indeed exactly what you want for your life.

Get out a journal or open up a document on your screen and physically write out the answers to the following questions. Then send them to a friend — someone who can be your accountability partner. Sound good?

Here are the 10 questions you need to ask yourself before making a big move abroad.

1. How independent do you consider yourself?

Does the thought of being on your own scare you or excite you? Do you always need someone to help get you out of sticky situations? Can you go more than a year without being in a relationship?

These are all serious things you need to consider because no one will hold your hand through job searches, visa paperwork, or breakups. Life happens to everyone whether in the comfort of their hometown or halfway across the world. I’ve had to cry on my own shoulder, pick up broken pieces, and figure out plans many times on my own.

It’s all a part of your journey and you become so much stronger in the end. But know that this part of the journey is inevitable, so be ready when it comes.

2. What do you want to gain from this experience?

Besides seeing as many places as humanly possible, traveling without a purpose could leave you feeling emptier than your wallet.

You want to make sure you’re doing this for the best reasons. Not to find love. Not to make your friends jealous.

You need to find the deeper value in what you’re about to embark on, so that you don’t come back with your money depleted and an opportunity wasted.

3. How will you fund your travels?

In between traveling, you need to find a side hustle. What can you do or offer others to help sustain yourself on your travels? Do you own a digital camera? Are you a social media guru? Do you have a musical talent? Can you sing? Can you write? Are you multilingual? Do you like teaching kids?

All of these are legitimate skills that can make you some side money whether on the streets or doing freelance work for a major business. Never rely on just one income when living abroad because you need a backup for your backup when your backup is backed up.

4. What’s your Plan B? (No, not that kind.)

If you’re like me, your Plan B might be to keep trying Plan A until it works. This is the definition of insanity, and I’m 100% OK with that. But again, life has a funny way of working out sometimes, and you need to be prepared to switch gears and take a detour if necessary.

Whether a local employer is going out of business or you have a minor injury that inhibits your ability to get around, life happens to all of us, so always hope for the best, but definitely prepare for the worst.

5. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do before you die?

And can this be fulfilled while traveling? What better time to do this than while on the road creating memories of a lifetime anyway?

I think there’s a liberation you gain from traveling in general, and the idea that we should wait for the right time to reach our goals is something people take to their grave and might never fulfill. Use this time abroad to accomplish as many of your bucket list items as possible!

6. How can this experience enhance your next chapter?

How can you use this experience to land your next job or plan your next trip? How can you format this on your résumé or CV to make this experience look like a million bucks to a potential employer?

Never underestimate the power of life abroad when talking to CEOs upon your return. That experience says so much more on paper than a 4.0 GPA, and there’s a global market for just about anything these days. Network to get work, my friend.

7. Will the job you have now still be there when you return?

If the answer is yes, then good. If the answer is no, then even better!

Chances are, you’re in a job you’re not too passionate about anyway. It pays the bills and gets you by, but do you rush to get out of bed to get there every morning? Didn’t think so.

8. What second or third language can you pick up?

Outside the U.K. and France, most people you meet in Europe will speak (at minimum) three languages. It’s amazing. It’s inspiring. It secretly makes me sick!.

So many doors of opportunity and communication open up when you’re able to connect with more people of more cultures.

So if you have the time, try picking up another language before you move. I’ve found it takes about three months to get the basics and six months for intermediate proficiency. So there’s that!

9. What “luxuries” can you cut back on now to help pay for the flight and getting on your feet after the move?

You’d be surprised how little you actually need to survive. Believe it or not, there was actually a time Starbucks didn’t exist. Or nail salons. Or overpriced gym memberships. But some way, somehow, people managed.

Cut back on your Starbucks coffee and brew your own at home. Quit the nail pampering and buy $1 polish that will last you over two months. Cancel the gym membership that you haven’t used in a year and buy a home workout DVD and a couple of weights. BOOM! What’s up, new savings of $300/month? I see you!

10. And most importantly: Are you ready for your life to be changed forever?

Are you ready to take the good with the bad and remember, no matter what happens, this experience, this moment, and this journey is something you will never regret?

It’s hard to imagine what I thought of the world and life in general before globetrotting across 30+ countries so effortlessly ripped my mind apart.

It tore up all the narrow-minded stereotypes and replaced them with gems of light, compassion, and understanding. It helped me see people and life with a new perspective.

Life abroad is every bit of what you make of it. And me, personally? I choose to continue making this life nothing short of extraordinary.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

Can flying to college twice a week really be cheaper than renting?

Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.

For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Man goes out of his way to leave tip for a server after realizing he grabbed the wrong receipt

Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.

Man goes out of his way to leave forgotten tip for server

Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.

One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.

The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Scientists have finally figured out how whales are able to 'sing' underwater

The physical mechanism they use has been a mystery until now.

Baleen whales include blue, humpback, gray, fin, sei, minke whales and more.

We've long known that baleen whales sing underwater and that males sing in tropical waters to attract females for mating. What we haven't known is how they're able to do it.

When humans make sound underwater, we expel air over through our vocal chords and the air we release rises to the surface as bubbles. But baleen whales don't have vocal chords, and they don't create bubbles when they vocalize. Toothed whales, such as sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins and porpoises, have an organ in their nasal passages that allows them to vocalize, but baleen whales such as humpback, gray and blue whales don't.

Whales are notoriously difficult to study because of their size and the environment they require, which is why the mechanism behind whale song has remained a mystery for so long. It's not like scientists can just pluck a whale out of the ocean and stick it in an x-ray machine while it's singing to see what's happening inside its body to create the sound. Scientists had theories, but no one really knew how baleen whales sing.

Now, thanks to researchers at the University of Denmark, that mystery has been solved.

Keep ReadingShow less