Maybe you've fantasized about living abroad since you were little. Perhaps you're just at loose ends and not really sure what to do next. No matter what your motivation, there's a lot to be said for picking up and moving overseas. The benefits can follow you through the rest of your life.
American millennials are getting older, but many of us want to travel and regret not taking that gap year when we could. New research from a team representing a trio of universities might help tip you over the edge: It finds that living abroad "increases 'self-concept clarity,' the extent to which individuals' beliefs about themselves are clearly and confidently defined and consistent and stable over time." Translation: Immersing yourself in a new culture can help you understand your own values and priorities much more clearly.
We constantly talk about self-assessment and mindfulness in trying to align your personality with your interests, which is a continuous process. The researchers found that having a clear sense of self can have long-term positive effects on everything from your stress levels to your job satisfaction to your general happiness in life. If gap years make you more hireable to 80 percent of employers, living abroad should present even more opportunities.
If you're thinking about finding a new perspective and experiencing another part of the world, check out the top 57 countries for budding entrepreneurs. If you're worried about the logistics of becoming an expat, the internet is full of organizations, companies, and communities to help you get your big move in order. It's all kinds of work, but the payoff is forever.