Here’s why you should spend six months living in a brand-new city:
- You Really Get to Know a Place
- It’s an Easy Transition into Full-Time Traveling
- You Develop a Local Community
- The City Will Start to Feel Like Home
Going traveling for an extended period can be daunting. The idea of constantly being on the go and the lack of stability is enough to put people off traveling entirely.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
One way to see the world without the stress that comes with changing cities every few days is to pick a city somewhere and stay put-— for at least six months. You’ll get all the newness of a new culture without feeling completely uprooted.
If you are already traveling then you might want to consider this option as well. Slowing down for a bit is a great way to re-energize and it’s bound to give you a newfound appreciation for being on the road.
After all, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve already been traveling for a while, moving to a brand-new city for six months or more comes with an abundance of benefits.
1. You Really Get to Know a Place
Visiting somewhere as a tourist is wonderful. You eat in a few TripAdvisor-recommended restaurants, visit some museums, and check out the famous sights. Voila. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.
Living somewhere new, however, is completely different. You begin to understand the city in a more intimate way. You learn the cultural quirks in a deeper way than if you were just traveling through.
You work out where the best lunch menu is and which bars do the best happy hour. You also learn where to avoid and how much a taxi should actually cost. In other words, you’re not just traveling through anymore. You become a local. And that can be an incredibly enriching experience.
2. It’s an Easy Transition into Full-Time Traveling
Moving abroad is like dipping your toes into the pool of full-time travel. You learn to adapt to new surroundings, but without the struggles that come with constantly moving.
You won’t need to deal with confusing bus timetables on a regular basis nor will you have to search for hostels at 2 a.m. in a foreign town.
Once you’ve lived in a city for a while, you’ll feel like you’ve conquered it. The confidence you get from that feeling is refreshing and can impact the rest of your life. If you can do it once, you can do it a thousand times.
And, of course, you never forget your first time.
3. You Develop a Local Community
Everyone makes friends while they travel, but travel buddies tend to be much more transient. You might stay in touch for a couple weeks, a couple months, or even a couple years! But these friendships can easily fall off. After a while, you start to crave something deeper.
Naturally, when you live somewhere long-term, you develop a community of like-minded yet different people. The friendships you forge while living abroad are bound to last longer and be more profound than the friendships you acquire while on the road.
4. The City Will Start to Feel Like Home
One of the biggest reasons people choose not to travel is because they fear the homesick feeling. There’s no denying that traveling — especially solo — can make you pine for some home comforts.
The nice thing about settling down in a city for an extended period of time is that you get into a new rhythm. You’ll probably have your own apartment. Maybe you’ll get a local job or do some volunteering while you’re there. You’ll have a favorite coffee mug in your cupboard and your favorite cafe right around the corner.
Living abroad means you get to keep some familiarity and routine in your life while still enjoying the benefits of traveling.
Picking up and moving to a new city may feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you take the first step forward, the rest just falls into place.
So, the next time you come to a city that makes you think, “Wow, I could live here,” don’t just think it. Do it.
About the Author
Jeremy Scott Foster// Travel Freak
Jeremy Scott Foster is a travel writer, photographer, and professional adventurer. He has been traveling the world for 7 years, asking the hard questions, and learning about both the world and himself in the process. His adventure travel blog, travelFREAK, has taken him to 35+ countries on six continents—he’s hiked glaciers in New Zealand, partied until sunrise on the beaches of Montenegro, taught English in China, conquered the highest bungee jump in the world, traversed Europe by train, and climbed inside the great Pyramids of Giza.