39. Live Abroad for a Year

Reader Poll: Lifestyle

Sep 1, 2010
Outside Magazine

All things Paris    Photo: Courtesy Dimitri B on Flickr.

From longtime contributor Mark Jenkins, who moved his family to SalobreƱa, Spain, for a year: "It doesn't really matter where you go, to be honest. Just get out! Find out if your employer will let you work from abroad. Or many companies will give you leave without pay. Once you know where you're going, you need to do recon. Fly over and spend two weeks doing homework. Find the place you want to live and sign papers to rent it. You can do a house swap, but then you have far more limited options for where you're going. I know a lot of people who hate renting their home, but you don't really want to leave your house empty for a year. Think carefully about how to do your banking. You also have to figure out how you're going to get around. Are you going to have a car? Then you need an international driver's license and insurance. Always go light. You're encumbered by your possessions so often. Buy a pocket dictionary. People will be helpful if you smile and try."