+
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.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less