Minimalist approach to working around the world
Over life, people buy stuff. Then they live in a bigger place and buy even more. Most never stop buying and consuming. There are many happy couples with a house full of stuff, a cute baby and a family van. I chose to live abroad instead of buying – I consume on experiences instead of products. Everything is a trade-off, I’d have a house if I hadn’t traveled around or moved abroad. I chose this path and I plan to stay on it. For everyone that wants the same, I suggest staying flexible. That way, you go wherever and whenever you want.
If you’re in university, do internships abroad. Contact companies, wherever nobody goes to intern. It can be in Europe, lots to discover! I did internships in Antwerp and Bucharest, the time of my life. You learn to organize and to pack, and starting over abroad. You know you get to go home in a few months so should feel confident enough. Still, you build a network, organize the place you live. If you like this life abroad, go do more after University. Many don’t know what to do after they graduate. Do graduation research abroad, end up working for them. If not, find a company to work. Speak a rare language? Check Toplanguagejobs and submit your resume.
Find a recruiter. Send a message monthly, ask about positions. Make personal contact, don’t just send your resume. The man receives hundreds but has no professional relationships with the people – initiate the relationship. He’ll help you land a job abroad. In Europe, you move around freely. Unregister from your municipality, register in your new one. Learn the language. It opens doors when travel in your new country and your boss sees you’re an asset to the company. Learn about the culture and fit in. See your new country as a suit, wear it everywhere every day. It becomes a part of you. No matter how long you stay.
As a rule of thumb, if you want to move around, do not buy furniture. Rent furnished apartments. Do not own more than one rented van can move at once. Do not buy houses and apartments. You have no idea where you’ll be next year. Do not own anything that will own you. This includes cars, one of the worst investments for young people. Especially if you live in a city. Instead, negotiate with your nearest car rental agency. Make sure it’s a local one, not a Hertz. In Sofia, I work with a car rental. I receive a discount. I travel and write stories for their blog. I link to these stories from my own blog. I don’t have a car, don’t have to change tyres or do maintenance. I rent from Friday evening to Monday morning and am a free man. I feel better leaving the car on their doorstep than if I would own it.
Have friends but beware of settling down. If you don’t do serious dating, it’s easy to leave. Overall, you’ll be flexible with your job. Everyone is afraid to lose his, you don’t have to be. You don’t own assets so don’t worry. You keep the rule that you want to be able to leave the country in two weeks if you must. Look at it like this: keep the whole world as your job market. Stay with your company if you’re treated well. A job is a job and you can grow where you’re planted. Want another environment? Check if you can move to another office, another country. No need to switch company. When you buy anything, ask yourself if you need it. If no, think of the day you’ll have to stuff it in a van when you want to move. If you want this lifestyle, prepare for it in your teens. Do it smart and you’ll be adaptable as can be. You will be able to explore the world. Remember: Settling down is easy. Packing up once settled is not.
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