There’s a lot to be said for visiting versus moving. On vacation, your time is limited, therefore you spend it doing as many fun, adventurous and exciting things as possible. Your only priority is to have a good time. Moving is completely different. You’re on a budget, you have to make quick, smart, important decisions and your priority is figuring out how to have everything you need in a place that has everything you want.
Visiting versus Moving
Our goal in starting this blog is to not only provide information for traveling smart, but moving smart. There’s a ton of information on how to have a great vacation, but surprisingly little on how to have a successful move. To me, these aren’t unrelated ideas. I like to move precisely because I like to travel. The way I see it is if I’m interested enough to save money, book a flight, and plan a trip somewhere, why shouldn’t I be interested enough to live there for a while? If you don’t have anything stopping you (and even sometimes if you do), why not? The worst that can happen is you buy a plane ticket back home.
I understand that it’s a lot to give up. Moving requires so much extra work, extra commitment, extra planning, extra everything. It really does. It’s hard to explain why you want to move somewhere where you don’t know anyone, have no possessions, and have no clue about living there full time. But for good and bad reasons, it’s an entirely different experience.
Thoughts on Traveling:
- See everything with a fresh perspective
- Aren’t resentful of other tourists
- Location still retains its mystery because you haven’t seen and done everything
- If you hate it, you don’t already have a lot riding on the fact that you thought you’d love it. Move on!
- Don’t have to worry about learning a language, getting a work permit, finding a legal job, etc.
- Expect to spend a certain amount of money to do the things you want
- Easy to overlook the negatives of the day to day problems as a visitor
- Get to travel with friends and family members as opposed to leaving them
Thoughts on Moving:
- Opportunity to explore the culture, the attitude, the local way of life. You learn so much more about people (and the world) when you see how people and places function and react to things over time.
- No time limit on exploring everything and anything you want. Nobody gets everything done in one vacation.
- Can enjoy the tourist activities on a daily basis. Surfing, sunset walks on the beach, hammock lounging, hiking to a waterfall, whatever. That can be your Wednesday.
- Try to avoid spending money to do the things you want
- Forces you to consistently get out of your bubble and meet people, do things and be more adventurous
- More opportunities to learn things and actually excel at them (language skills, history, activities)
- Makes you more adaptable – learn to problem solve in difficult situations, communicate more effectively and take necessary risks.
I’m also glad I met someone who loves to move and isn’t afraid to take chances with me. Two years ago, I was planning on moving to Taiwan by myself to teach English, and had I done that, who knows what my life would be like today. All I can say is that it’s okay to live unconventionally. It may even be the best thing for you.