I’m an expat. And I am very proud to say it. I’ve lived in Germany (with a tiny blip in Belgium) for four years now (just told another expat that the other night and he was blown away). We chose to live here. We love it. But wow has it taught us a lot.

I’ve met and had conversations with people from Germany, England, Finland, Scotland, Turkey, the US, Australia, Italy, Korea (am I forgetting anyone?). These conversations have ranged from where to buy baking soda or chocolate chips to life stories to in depth discussions about health care. I’ve made friends, real friends, who come from backgrounds that I may or may not understand. I’ve seen culture. Literally.

I am a staunch believer in experience, in seeing the world with your own eyes and pretending to be a local. My mind has opened to so many things, and I wasn’t a close-minded person before I moved here. But having to deal with a new language, and different customs, and the experience of it all–I have really grown.

Even if you can’t spend four plus years in a foreign country. If you can’t take three months off of work and other responsibilities and go wander the globe. Take the chance to travel to another country at least once. You won’t regret it. Even the terrible moments while I’ve been here have been some of the best of my life.

I highly recommend it.