Why You Should Get Over Your Fears and Go Abroad

The following post was written by Stepabroad Ambassador Ian Saunders who has recently returned to Canada from his Working Holiday in Australia and wants to convince you to go abroad!

Let’s face it, the idea of moving abroad is scary. But it doesn’t have to be.

When first looking into moving abroad to travel and work, it is an idea that many of us consider, but never really get past the early stages of it being a possibility. There always seem to be a number of reasons why it can’t happen and not enough reasons why it can. But what if I told you these reasons are mostly mental barriers created simply by fear of uncertainty, and that overcoming them isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems. Using my personal experiences, I will briefly explain the barriers I faced, how I overcame them, and why you should too.

Life is an adventure on an Australian Working Holiday!

Just over three months ago I took the leap and flew across the world to begin a Stepabroad Australian Working Holiday having never lived or worked anywhere outside of Canada. I could say I had no worries in committing to this move, but like any major change in life, I was terrified.

What if something were to happen so far away from home? What if I can’t find work? What if I don’t make any friends?

These were just a few of the numerous thoughts racing through my head before getting on the plane and taking off for Australia. “Maybe it would be better if I just stay in my regular routine and avoid all the risks and challenges of moving abroad” was definitely a thought I was considering, but boy am I glad I didn’t do anything more than just consider it.

Many of us get caught in draining routines in our day-to-day lives that we are just waiting to break out of to experience something new and exciting.

Yet, why is it that when we are provided with opportunities to break away, we create exaggerated excuses and reasoning to justify why it’s better to stay in the usual routine?

Although it may get boring, humans have an incredible ability to find comfort in the familiarity of our day-to-day routines. We know what to expect, we know how to deal with it, it removes the fear and uncertainty that comes with breaking the routine. We get trapped in our comfort zones and often miss out on incredible opportunities simply due to the fact that we take the safe option.

One question I ask myself that has really pushed me to take risks and never settle for familiarity is, “would I be happy in 5 years if I was the exact same as I am today?” My answer is always no, and in order to achieve the improvements I want to see in my life, I have to put myself into new and challenging situations.

To grow as a person, you have to constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone and look for opportunities to gain new skills or improve on old ones.

Moving and working abroad has pushed me out of my comfort zone just about every day, yet it has been far and away the best experience of my life, one that I wouldn’t trade for all the familiarity and comfortability in the world. I’ve seen myself grow more in these past 3 months than years prior, and I can largely attribute it to the experiences and challenges I’ve encountered abroad that I never would have had I stayed in Canada.

Participating in a Working Holiday with Stepabroad also removed and eased a lot of the uncertainties I had with moving to a new country. Personally, one of the biggest barriers stopping me from working abroad was ignorance about the steps required to actually go about doing so. Stepabroad provided me with simple steps to follow that included everything from getting the initial visa to travel recommendations and everything in between.

Diving in is always going to be difficult, but with Stepabroad right there coaching you along you’ll find it’s nowhere near as scary as we make it out to be.

So no, taking the leap to live and work abroad is not easy, but it’s an opportunity that is guaranteed to provide you with life-changing experiences and is a risk that is absolutely worth taking.”

– Ian

You can read more about Ian’s experience in Brisbane in his previous blog post, Life on an Australian Working Holiday: What to Expect.

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