The hidden benefits of living abroad
When we decided to move to Denmark for an expat assignment, everything happened fast. One thing we came back to often was, “what will we miss if we move abroad to Copenhagen.” Even in a short term expatriate assignment, we knew we would miss out on family birthday parties, friend’s bachelor parties, weekend trips to the beach and almost every holiday besides Christmas. But what would be the benefits of living abroad?
What we found was some incredible trade-offs to missing these events. This week, while we were missing Easter with our families, Mike and I spent time talking. We discussed what we gained in exchange for missing those events. These “expat trade-offs” really mean something to us. We focus on them when we start to get down about missing things back in our native country, America.
At times, I think about what I would do differently now that I’ve been living in Denmark for over two years. Being an American expat in Copenhagen has been thrilling. Mike and I often describe it as “really high highs and really low lows”. There’s a lot more than what you see on House Hunters International. Expat life is intense! Most of this adventure, I would never change but there are still things we could have done better. One of those is something we look back on and call “the travel trap.” Here is some expat advice on how to avoid the travel trap.
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My aunt moved to California from Philadelphia when I was young. I didn’t really comprehend what that meant. I just knew that she wasn’t around as much and missed things that I wish I could have shared with her. She was far away for birthdays, soccer games and even some holidays. As I was planning to move to Copenhagen I thought back to those times. I wondered how I would feel leaving my two nephews like she had done herself years before. Life has a way of teaching you things whether you’re paying attention for the lesson or not. Here is some expat advice on leaving loved ones behind.
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