Moving abroad happens for lots of reasons and they are all very private and personal. Some people move to make a new start, others to get away from a situation that seems unchangeable, and again others because they are retiring. Whatever your reason is, we sometimes overlook the one and only most important reason to move.
When I was a child I had a seafaring uncle, whenever he was home attending a family gathering he used to tell me: The horizon never stops calling me…….I loved that remark. It had a nomadic romantic ring to it and it rooted in my heart. For I loved staring at the horizon, for no reason at all, or so I thought. it was only when I crossed it on my first world trip at the age of 17 that sentence came to life.
I know not everyone is like me
I love to explore and find out what lies beyond the next corner, over the next hill and beyond the horizon. It is something I am born with I think. A gipsy soul. But it came alive when I took my first solo trip to South America, passing through the UK and the Caribbean on my way to explore South America.
A continent that formed me and made me who I am today. My world vision, my opinion, my personality all was formed. I left when I was 17, please remember 1077-1979 with me: No cellphones. A phone connection through special services could take as long as 3 days and cost a fortune. DHL Express did not exist and parcels got lost in the mail. And losing touch with home was easy, for mail also got lost easily.
I grew up very fast in a foreign continent far away from my tiny safe home filled with clogs and windmills. Or so the South American thought in those days.
I always felt an outsider when I returned home
Coming home was a drag. There was the reverse culture shock, not named as a thing back then. And I had a totally different day rhythm, political view, world view and although I was more social orientated than ever I also was reclusive, self-supportive and felt a need to withdraw a lot. I did not fit in easily and it took a while to settle down. I think I adjusted but never felt home again.
It was by then I started to realize that maybe I was different int he core. In my soul. I was a wanderer and not a person to live in a house, go to work and live in an abstract world created by compliance and social acceptance.
But I became one of the herd and did what I had to do, with a longing in my heart for freedom
I think social pressure and obligation made me do what I had to do to fit in, I got a job, got married had 2 kids and finally divorced. In the search of freedom. But there were lessons to be learned and before I moved abroad in 2015 I learned quite a few.
Mostly about myself, and some about society and my place in it, about cruelty, bosses the laws of the urban jungle and about living alone. It shaped me. It formed to up to the point I could deny no longer that I was in the wrong place, doing the wrong things and I would never find the happiness I was pursuing so strongly,
Nothing I bought, nobody I mete, nothing I did, not even soul searching and mindfulness training brought me to balance and fruitful life.
I was denying my true self
My house int he Netherlands was close to the seashore, and I walked a lot on that shore, staring at the horizon, writing tales of longing for my Dutch website and denying what my soul yearned for. To cross that horizon, to discover what lies behind and to follow my heart.
Going on vacation 4x a year was not enough. I wanted t leave and never return, but I was so scared.
We live in a world where you do not escape easily, for there are obligations, there is rules and laws, there are prejudice about people that walk away and there is so much to hold us back from being our true self.
But most off all we are our own worse enemy.
My dream was always to live abroad
Ever since I remember I saw myself in a spot in France, Spain or Italy, living in a small farmhouse, or a grand castle, with some chickens and a goat. Far away from tourism, living among locals, visiting or even participating in small rural markets to sell homemade products.
But when the time was right for me to move I knew that that dream was not me, that was the safe me, the settled me. The me that was scared of following her true dream.
And so I changed my plans and did a really scary thing
I decided I did not want to settle down, and the moment I took that decision there was this tremendous peace in my heart. My gipsy soul and wanderlust did dance under the full moon. My being rejoiced. I knew I wanted a nomad life, but it scared the hell out of me. So I found balance in slow travel and that endless calling horizon, beckoning me to cross.
It was 2015 when I left my home for good to never return, and I do not regret it at all. I found my true reason to move abroad and that reason was me.
Your true reason to move abroad is your greatest motivator and guide
Once you become true to yourself you will find extra strength, motivation, courage, resourcefulness and creativity to overcome every obstacle on your final date in your home country. When you cross the border of your country or state and follow your true dreams you will come home. Home to yourself.
You are the only good reason to move abroad. You and you alone. All other reasons are add-ons to an already alive dream.
When you do this for yourself you do it for the right reason. And you will be content, you will be self-empowered, you will be happy, you will grow.
Do you want to read more inspiring articles on moving abroad and following your dream?
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.