Life in a familiar place, with our routines and daily autopilot, can often become a comfortable bubble that we rarely step out of. However, when we embark on a journey to work abroad, that bubble bursts, and we are thrust into a world of new experiences, challenges, and endless possibilities. Working in a foreign land can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but it's a ride that's worth taking.
After spending a month living and working in Portugal, I wanted to share a few things I learned.
Time Differences: One of the perks of working overseas, especially in Europe, is the time difference. With your day typically aligning with night back home, you have most of your day to yourself. It's a unique opportunity to explore, take tours, and see things you wouldn't usually have the time for. You're essentially enjoying a flexible work schedule that allows for both productivity and adventure.
Missing the Office Routine: For some, working from the same space where you rest and unwind can be a bit too cozy. If you're used to the separation of home and office, this might feel like a con. However, the rise of co-working spaces in many destinations allows you to maintain that separation, offering a structured office environment while you're away.
New Neural Pathways: The absence of autopilot forces you to think on your feet. You become a problem solver, a quick thinker, and a creative strategist. These are the skills that help create new neural pathways in your brain, making you sharper, more adaptable, and ever ready to face challenges. “According to University of Pittsburgh neuroscientist Paul Nussbaum, traveling can stimulate your brain and encourage the growth of new connections within cerebral matter. The key concept is the link between new experiences and the generation of dendrites within the brain.”
Freedom to Work from Anywhere: One of the most significant advantages of working abroad is the ability to work from anywhere. Whether it's a cozy coffee shop, your Airbnb, or a local co-working space, as long as there's a solid Wi-Fi connection, you're good to go. The flexibility to choose your workspace adds an element of adventure to your work routine.
Balancing Work and Exploration: Perhaps the most significant advantage of working abroad is the newfound balance it brings to your life. Unlike your routine back home, working while traveling allows you to infuse everyday life with the excitement of exploration. You're not just on vacation; you're actively bringing new experiences into your daily existence.
No Autopilot Abroad: One of the scariest aspects of daily life in a foreign country is the absence of autopilot. Tasks as simple as figuring out how to get from point A to B become daily adventures. You find yourself questioning: How long will it take? Can I communicate effectively? What if I have questions or need help? The absence of familiarity can be intimidating, but it's also an incredible opportunity for personal growth. Although we would all prefer to not have any unanswered questions, quickly understand all new situations, and have our flights be on time, “a degree of stress and anxiety can play a positive role in promoting dendrite growth. This is because when we come up against an obstacle or problem, our brains are forced to process the situation at hand and devise a solution. This promotes dendritic growth, and also gives our general problem-solving abilities a boost.”
Working Through the Night: The flip side of this time difference is that you might find yourself working through the night. The main thing is that most of us are hardwired to NOT be working at midnight. If you're not a fan of staying up late or prefer an early bedtime, this can be a downside. Your optimal working hours might clash with your preferred rest and relaxation times.
And…the Conflicting: The Urge to Explore
The flip side is that you might find it challenging to focus on work when you're in a new and exciting place. The desire to explore and see the world might sometimes clash with your work commitments. It's a fine line to walk, but with proper planning, it's entirely manageable.
Working while traveling abroad is a journey filled with the new, the good, the scary, and the conflicting. It's a path that challenges you, rewards you with new experiences, and ultimately leaves you richer in ways you might never have imagined. So embrace the adventure, step out of your comfort zone, and watch your horizons expand. Follow Me On Instagram or Linkedin to hear more about my travels.
All Photos Were Apart Of My Journey In Portugal.