Taking a Risk and Living Abroad for 6–12 Months

Introduction

Living in a new country is an interesting and amazing feeling. There is nothing else quite like it. Many people have experienced it and many people have not. And I mean specifically living somewhere for 6 months or longer. It definitely hits differently than travelling. Even if one travels for 6 months and sees many different countries, which is great of course. But I mean going to one place and living there for 6 months or longer. And of course it’s great to do trips from that location too. That would be silly without that.

There are different visas to allow for this, typically 6 months is the limit anyways, so it works out. There are ways to extend these visas too with research and bureaucracy visits. But it is certainly possible. Visa runs are also typical for these kinds of situations and they are not too terrible to do.

Athens 2018

Part 1: Funds

For income there are multiple ways to do this. Of course working online would be perfect and is the dream. But this isn’t always possible for everyone. It is typically possible to work in a host country. Either with a working holiday visa which is a great system to be able to work along they way of your travels. And these visas typically only allow for 6 months of a work at a specific company. Or another working visa if that can be lined up.

It is also possible to find cash jobs but that isn’t always the straightest route to go, but it is certainly possible. Just depends on what is typical in the host country.

Volunteering is also an option as in a work exchange. Work part time at a host location and get free room and board. This is also a possible route but there are definitely pros and cons to this situation too.

Another way is to work in your home country and save up then go to another country to live for 6 months and live off savings then go back home to work again. This is a good route in some ways, one is when you are living abroad you can just relax and enjoy the host country. But it isn’t possible unless one can save enough money to live for a half a year. And also, to be able to get a job again when you return.

Some typical situations are seasonal jobs, either construction in the summer or ski resort in the winter. I know people who work in service industry where they can save a decent amount of money working in the peak season from tips then take the off season off, since it is slow anyways. They are always welcome back in the peak season since they need to do a hiring round anyways.

Taken from the rooftop hostel in Athens

This is same for construction season in places where it isn’t possible to do construction all year round. They need to lay people off in the fall and hire people in the spring so having regulars works best for both parties. This is a great situation for people to live abroad in the off season.

Part 2: Culture

Learning another language is a great hobby everyone can do. Living in another land is a great place to learn a new language. It can be pretty difficult to learn a new language without practicing it so living in that country is a great way to learn a language.

Also experiencing different traditions and routines is also a great experience. Seeing how other people view the world from their perspective is a very enriching experience. There isn’t anything else quite like it, and definitely not very easy to get it when staying at home.

Trying different foods and drinks is always a great experience. Trying the different cuisine in a new country is one of the most fun things to do especially with local drinks.

Part 3: Meeting New People

I have always said the best part of travelling is the people you meet. This part of the experience can really make or break the travel experience. I have had situations where the people I met weren’t that special, so it didn’t leave that great of a mark on my memory and other times the people were the best. But typically, you meet some wicked people and have a great time.

Some of the best friends you will ever meet you will never see again. You’ll meet a group of people while travelling in a hostel and have a great family feel with the group, but we likely will never see each other again. Very interesting point I think. But maybe that is the beauty of meeting people while travelling. And if we ever do see them again we know it is special because it typically doesn’t happen. So it can be a very good experience to see them again.

The group of friends I met while in Athens

Conclusion

We’ll see you there at the next off-season location. Maybe Mexico if you’re from North America, or Canary Islands from Europe. We’ll grab a pint.

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Cory Hisey

Cory Hisey

I am a Mechanical Engineer graduate and I am currently studying masters of Mechatronics Engineering.