My life abroad

My Life Abroad

Are you curious about life abroad? I don’t mean a beach resort vacation where you enjoy all the amenities familiar to you back home. I mean, raw, in–the-moment life in a different country.

Obviously, because of my experience, I am going to be focusing on my life abroad in SE Asia.

in total, I have spent over 4.5 years working, traveling, and living in Asian countries. And, I guess today I’ll explain the how and why…

How to Start a Life Abroad

The first step is to take the great, more exciting leap of your life. It might involve quitting your job, packing a few essentials, and booking the cheapest flight out of your home country.

For me, it all started with a crazy idea: to ride a bicycle from Japan to Europe.

It was that single idea that brought me out of my home country and into an entirely new world.

Once you arrive to destination unknown, well, there are a few big questions to answer:

How can I survive out here?

What kind of work can I pick up?

How can I keep my costs down?

If you start a new life abroad, you’ll probably have some cash savings (hopefully) to keep you afloat for a little while. I had just over $6 000 CAD when I first came out and I planned on becoming an English teacher somewhere along the way.

Over the first couple months, I burned through just $1 000. I’m a fairly frugal traveler, so I try never to dip into my savings too much.

Create A Career Abroad

So, it was time to teach English.

Getting an English teaching job in Asia is easy. Well, if you come from a Western, English speaking coutry, finding a company willing to hire you won’t be hard.

I know this may sound “racy” but anyone with white skin and a clear English accent can find a job without any kind of credentials. You can shop around various English companies and you’ll have plenty of offers to choose from.

I’ll write more about that later.

The golden rule to setting up any kind of life abroad is this:

  1. Learn a skill and get good at it.
  2. Start selling yourself as a service and focus on it.
  3. Slowly increase your wage so long as people still to pay for it.
  4. Always develop your skills until you become pro at it.
  5. Test and experiment with growing your “business” until you need a break from it.
  6. Hit up a new country and explore new places until you get bored with it (nah, you’ll never get bored!).

Once you can figure out a way to sustain your life here, what reason could you possibly have to go back to a “regular” life?

Why I Love My Life Abroad

Like I said, I have been living this work/travel lifestyle for almost 5 years. I never imagined having a life like this many years ago.

When I finished university, I picked up a lot of random jobs and worked as much as I could. Making money is never a problem. Simply grab a job. Do the work. Cash comes in. Cash goes out again.

It was that cyclical routine that stumped me. I kept thinking to myself, is this it?

So, when that crazy idea emerged in my head, to make my life an adventure and see the world for what it really is, I couldn’t ignore it.

Every couple of months, I continue my journey and explore new places. I get to meet a lot of incredible people, experience foods I never imagined, and see sights that always take my breath away.

My life abroad is a never-ending experience of fun, challenge, and personal reward. I work as much as I need to which allows me to travel as much as I want to.

I wouldn’t pass this up for anything. And, I’ll try in the near future to share more snippets of how I’ve done this for so long so that maybe you can too.

Until then, don’t be afraid to chase your dreams.

Jef van de Graaf
Canadian Copywriter & World Traveler
Business | Travel Blog | Connect


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