Almost everyone has thought about living abroad at least once. It is the ultimate wanderlust moment. You see yourself strolling down the cobbled streets in a vintage Italian town. The chilly spring wind brushes against your skin as the hairs in the back of your neck begin to stand. The aroma of freshly brewed espresso awakens you, only to pause after each sip as the steam fogs your glasses. You hear the rumble in your tummy, almost as if it tugs at your skirt, begging for you to follow the unmistakable delightful crunch of the pizza bianca. And you duly oblige, like a kid pursuing an ice cream truck. You follow the voice in your head. “Run, Forrest, Run!”.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This imagination of what it must feel like living abroad, is probably a one in a million. However, sometimes that glimmer of hope is all we need. As described above, living abroad can be intoxicating. It feeds the soul and fuels the ideas for most creatives out there, be it writers, photographers, illustrators or designers. Therefore, here’s five reasons why every creative should consider living abroad, at least once.
1. Learn How To Hit Reset
Sometimes it is best to put a stop and take a break.
Being burnt out from work is something almost every working adult deals with. Sometimes all you have to do is to take a step back. There is a negative stereotype in that. It seems as if you are running away from the problem. That is untrue. Of course, we are not suggesting for you to drop that creative project just because your superiors or clients are being anal about it.
When you do have some free time, do consider moving abroad. Just save up some cash and do it. Because the more you ponder over it, nothing ever happens. Your bills will continue to be there regardless if you live in Memphis, Tennessee or Memphis, Egypt. More often than not, it is about being able to hit reset, and to reconfigure your mind and body.
2. Cash In On The Creative Freedom
Break the shackles and unleash your creativity.
One of the biggest conundrums faced in the creative industry is the lack of creative freedom. Some projects have a super tight schedule and it runs on regulations which are simply too strict. There is simply no room to express your ideas, and everything becomes like a boring routine. And this is never a good thing, as it is exactly how work starts to become mundane.
Soon enough, you will hit the dreaded wall. Thus, affecting other areas of your life before you even realize it. Living abroad will enable you to break free from these shackles. Eventually, your creative output will benefit from this sense of liberation. You start to fall in love with what you do all over again. The passion is ignited and your creative juices start to seamlessly flow.
3. Be Inspired By Your New Surroundings
Give in to your new environment and let it inspire you.
Living in the same location as the one you spent your entire life has plenty of benefits. The place is filled with memories, both sweet and bitter. The oozing sense of familiarity is always comforting. Nevertheless, this can also be holding you back when it comes to creative inspiration. Because, chances are, you would have already exhausted the place for all its value. Hence, aside from nostalgia, this location does not offer much for your career aspirations. Moving to somewhere new enables you to take in your surroundings.
Maybe it’s the gothic architecture of the buildings, or the vivid colors of the graffiti just two blocks away. Perhaps it could be the life story of your neighbor who once survived for weeks without any supplies, on a raft in the middle of the Pacific and with a tiger for company. Or maybe, it is in the attention to detail of the food in your local family run diner. Whatever it may be, living abroad enables you to take in new experiences and to immerse yourself into fresh memories. Memories which will serve as your creative inspiration until you exhaust them once more.
4. Embrace New Networking Opportunities
New connections are essential to make it big in the creative industry.
Being able to make ends meet in today’s world is often a problem faced by many. But to some, just getting by is does not suffice. Networking is essential to thrive in the creative industry, especially if you work mostly as a freelancer. You are always at the mercy of your editors, creative directors and clients. The equation here is fairly straightforward, the bigger your network, the better the opportunities for your career. Therefore, living abroad offers you the chance to be successful.
Here, you are bound to meet new people, who could then turn into prospective clients. Just remember to keep in touch with your old contacts even though you have moved on to new ventures. A quick friend request on Facebook or connect on LinkedIn goes a long way.
5. Boost Your CV and Resume
Take up soft skills to enhance your career prospects.
Finally, living abroad will also provide you with an advantage over your competition. Employees are known to look for skills like resilience and flexibility. And both of these will be put to the test when you move to a foreign land. You will have to start from scratch and adapt to your new surroundings.
In addition, learning a new language also illustrates the will to grow and to embrace knowledge. This skill may also come in handy when you are assigned to handle international clients and businesses who would feel a lot more comfortable in dealing with someone who speaks their native tongue.
For creatives looking for inspiration, living abroad is an option worth considering. If it helps, try traveling to the country for a week or two before deciding to take a plunge and make a permanent move to your dream destination.
For those fearful of living abroad as it might be counter-productive due to the urge to constantly wander, check out 7 foolproof ways to stay productive and quit procrastinating. Meanwhile, if you are unsure about your new home, consider one of these 16 creative cities in USA, Canada and Mexico. Finally, if you are in search of a one stop design solution to all your creative needs, check out our #designyourstory campaign on instagram!