Maybe your company wants you to manage a European branch, or you have decided to retire in Mexico because of the lower cost of living, or you want to complete your Asian studies degree in China: These goals require that you live abroad, sometimes by yourself, and often by taking your entire family.


Unless you hole up in some American enclave, living abroad means interacting with the locals just to obtain the basic necessities ,such as food, clothing, shelter and transportation. You will discover an alien way of life that looks for the same things you do: happiness, respect and love. This increase in understanding may allow you to act as a cultural translator between your homeland and the foreign land. You can see more about this at

Cost of Living

Your income may not go very far in the United States, especially if it’s fixed; forcing you to live near the poverty level. Compare what you pay in your city with an average monthly rent of $135 in Michoacan, Mexico. You’ll find similar reductions in the price of food, clothing, utilities and transportation: It’s a small wonder that US retirees flock south of the border.


A facility with languages is a big asset to travel and business, especially those with international customers. You will learn a language more quickly if you have to use it in your everyday life; which can only happen if you live abroad. Some countries in Europe, like Switzerland, may require you to learn various languages, since people there speak different languages in different areas.


Using your standard behaviour in a different country, may cause misunderstanding or be illegal, because you are initially unaware of what they mean. For example, talking loudly is considered boorish in Japan, entering a mosque wearing shorts is disrespectful in Saudi Arabia, and holding hands with your sweetheart in India is provocatively rude: You may experience social rejection and legal sanction without knowing why.


Not having the familiar around you;  like your favourite foods, or even running hot water, may make you homesick. Unless you happen to speak the local language fluently, you may feel isolated in your inability to communicate with people and develop relationships. Even if you do not understand the language, you may be dealing with the locals in a culturally inappropriate manner, making people avoid you.

There are pros and cons to any situation, but being aware of the pitfalls in advance, may help you to avoid them. Happy travels!

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