Why You Need to Live Abroad At Least Once

Q. Do you think there is a special significance to traveling/moving abroad as a young woman?

A: Everyone, who is interested and able, should move or travel abroad before they get tied down. It’s easier said than done, especially when you have relationships that may tie you down. I have had romantic relationships end miserably after I have moved to different states or countries, but looking back, I have never regretted following my passion for traveling. I’m a restless person who craves mobility and adapting to different settings, and I can’t see myself settling down.

As I write this, I realize who privileged I am to be able to do what I want without worrying about how others will be affected. I have no one to take care of but myself, and I know that it may not always be this way, so I travel.

Mita, my host grandmother, making beef soup on a Sunday. Acrylic Painting by Char Stoever.
Mita, my host grandmother, making beef soup on a Sunday. Acrylic Painting by Char Stoever.

I have lived in Southern France and am currently in Nicaragua, and I’m so much physically healthier than I was in the states. I walk around a lot in my hilly city, and while my food consists of simple foods like beans, rice, fried eggs and plantains, my portions are smaller, and the food isn’t laden with chemicals. It’s not as processed.

Living abroad is refreshing. When I’m abroad, I’m healthier.

I’m also not chained to a desk and constantly counting down the days until Friday. I teach English. I design my own projects, and I’ve led LGBTQ safe space trainings for Peace Corps staff. I also have more time to write and paint. Everyone should live or travel abroad at least once.

What advice would you give someone who is nervous to travel or live abroad?

This excerpt is from an interview with E. Manville.
Featured image of Char enjoying a waterall at Cerro Musún, Matagalpa, Nicaragua.

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