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The Expat Life Will Not Change You

Have you ever chatted with someone and walked away feeling inspired and elated at the contagious happiness that person emits? I have. In fact, I do it all the time! I have met so many astounding people who passionately live their lives to the point that merely being near them makes me also feel ready to take on the world to live my dreams.

Sometimes it’s a conversation with a person who has had hard times and yet has made the conscious decision to remain optimistic and to see the good in each day. Sometimes it’s a conversation with a person who has traveled all around the world who is still awed by a gorgeous sunset, despite having seen thousands of perfect sunsets in exotic locations. Sometimes it’s a conversation with a person whose positivity never wanes. A person who sees good in people, who brightens everyone’s day, and who ignores negativity altogether.

Those people are the people who inspire. They are the ones I choose to surround myself with because they remind me on a daily basis that a moment spent worrying or stressing is a wasted moment. Those are the people I admire and emulate.

Those people are not hard to find. They are not hidden away in some far-off corners of other countries. There are people everywhere who are living their dreams and loving their lives. Those people are not strictly the people I’ve met in my expat life. They are my people from each place I’ve lived in and each chapter in my life.

All this to say: if you think that becoming an expat or a nomad will help you to escape your problems, you are wrong. Moving to another country will not put you into a bubble of unicorns and rainbows where nobody complains and nobody judges and nobody hates. Moving to another country is not a panacea. Becoming an expat does not mean that you will solely find yourself surrounded by perfectly like-minded people.

Becoming an expat has incredible benefits, but it does not matter where you live in the world – you will always find good people and bad people. You will encounter negativity everywhere. But you can also very easily find inspiring people who will bring out the best in you. You can find those people everywhere in the world, just look for a bright smile and gleaming eyes. Those are the ones who see and speak joy everyday.

Those people are not hidden abroad, waiting for you to arrive to start your own expat life so they can enlighten you and unburden you. They are right next door to you, wherever you live. But if you are so miserably blinded by your current situation that you are solely focused on a light at the end of a long tunnel, you are missing so many wonderfully happy moments you could have with those positive people right now.

Don’t wish your life away with an end-goal in mind. Life is funny that way: you may never reach that end you’re aiming for. Stay in your present moment and make your dreams reality in whatever small ways you can where you are right now. The time that you wish away will never be given back to you. Don’t waste it.

If you want to move somewhere else, do it. But until you are ready and able to leave, you have millions of moments of life when you can actively choose to be happy. Wherever your path leads you, you can find whatever it is you’re looking for. Look for positive people and you will find them everywhere. Those people will inspire you every day – not just when you arrive at some distant location and achieve a long-held dream.

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