If You’ve Ever Dreamed of Living Abroad, Now Is the Time to Do It

If you haven’t seriously considered leaving this crackpot country in the last couple of years, then god bless you and god bless America. But if you’ve dreamed of a life abroad, then the time is now. It might be the best thing you can do for yourself—and your career. Seriously. Science says so.

New research from Rice University finds that living abroad for a long period of time can give you a stronger sense of self—something anyone trudging through their day-to-day life craves. Immersing yourself in a new country allows you to decide if something is important to you because you were brought up in a society that values it, or because it’s actually important to you.

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Say you work your ass off to get ahead in your career. Are you doing it because you have innate drive and passion, or because every other American around you is doing it and you don’t want to get left behind? If you transplant yourself into a European society like France where people give less of a damn about working hard to get ahead, then you might discover you don’t give a damn, either.

And these types of realizations are likely to give you “career decision-making clarity” to find what you’re truly passionate about and get paid to do it.

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But you can’t just backpack your way across the world. The research, which pulled from six different studies on over a thousand people, also found that living in one foreign country for a long period of time was better than living in a number of foreign countries for shorter periods of time—you have more time to get used to that one country and reflect on what you value.

So if you’ve got the resources to pack it up and move abroad, then get the hell out of here. Portugal is waiting. Or Denmark. Or Argentina. Or South Korea. Screw it, we’ll go get the map.

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Lifestyle – Esquire

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