The Benefits of Moving Alone (from someone who’s done it 4 times)

One of the biggest stigmas in the Western world, is the inability to do anything alone. It’s a ridiculous phenomenon when half of our activities don’t actually require somebody to be stood by your side.

From everyday activities like going to the movies, to bigger life choices such as moving, the idea of admitting you’ll be alone can be daunting and, honestly, a bit embarrassing.

For this reason, many people turn down the opportunity or hold off on moving abroad until they have somebody to do it with. And, I get it, the security of having somebody by your side whilst you prepare and undergo the biggest transition of your life does, admittedly, sound appealing.

But if you’re looking for a sign to do it alone, consider this one. Because moving abroad alone will probably be the best thing you ever do.

Dare I say, it may even be better than doing it with someone.

Here’s why:

You can be whoever you want to be, on your own terms

If you’re moving somewhere completely unfamiliar, you’ve got a fresh start. There’re no people from school shadowing your every move, there’s no ex in the region (or even country), and your family name won’t ring any bells with the locals.

It’s time to kick bad habits and start new ones, try new hobbies and be the best version of yourself for your new home.

The opportunities are limitless – and they’re all your own!

If you’ve been offered a job in multiple locations, or you’re umming and ahhing between a couple of locations, the only person you need to consider is yourself!

Which city can you see yourself in? Do you prefer the beach or the mountains? Do you want to get a car or are you happy to walk and use public transport? All questions which would need two people to reach a compromise, only involves you.

Once you’ve chosen your destination, this rule of thumb also includes weekend activities and trips! You can go wherever you want to go, and do whatever you want to do – what a dream!

You’ll make more effort to meet locals

Being in a country by yourself means that in order to socialize, you need to get out and interact without hiding behind anyone.

Even if you surround yourself in the expat community, you’ll still be meeting locals in everyday scenarios, from the grocery store to calling out contractors for maintenance, to finding a new job.

The more locals you meet, the more immersed in the new culture you’ll become, which is great for culture shock and settling into your new home.

Moving abroad is attractive to employers

If you’re not moving abroad for a job already, and purely for the opportunity, you’ll be relieved to know employers love a resume which has travel in it.

Whether you’re applying for a role in a law firm or at a bar, the transferable skills of someone who has moved and lived abroad are invaluable. So if you’re looking at moving back home eventually, don’t be concerned it will hinder your application.

People who can live abroad alone show independence, self-sufficiency, motivation and adaptability – why would you not want to hire someone who can make a life for themselves in a whole new environment?

You’ll realize what are necessities, and what are luxuries

When you’re packing your life up to move to the other side of the world, the chances are, not everything can come with you.

Sure, there are options if you choose to ship your whole house and the car… but for a cost-effective move, it’s usually better to look into moving a smaller number of belongings, and then building your new home using local furniture shops.

This process of elimination really opens your eyes up to what you use and don’t use, what you wear and could live without, and most of all, how much ‘stuff’ you really have!

You’ll become more self-confident

The most invaluable lesson of moving abroad alone is how much you will grow.

Not to state the obvious, but when you move abroad alone, you are the only person you have. You have to trust your own judgement and gut instincts, two things which you will be undoubtedly honed during your time abroad.

One of the biggest realizations I had when moving abroad, was that every connection and interaction was genuine. There is no reason for people to pretend to like you because of school, or mutual friends, or proximity. Your friends become your friends because of who you are, and that is the best feeling in the world.

Don’t forget, moving abroad in the first place by yourself is extremely brave – so many people fantasize about it, but not many actually have the courage to turn it into a reality.

There will come a time, during the process of settling in, where you’ll be able to step back and say, “Wow, I really did this”.

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