5 Things No One Tells You When Moving Abroad
Hello beautiful soul! Hope you are well today! Have you ever felt bored in your life, thinking the grass might be much greener in another country or even continent? Or have you actually decided moving abroad and now are wondering whether this decision was the right one? Whether you have answered yes in the first situation or the second, this post is for you!
Throughout the past 8 years, I have lived in 5 different countries on 3 continents. I truly enjoyed each single day and moment of this amazing journey. These experiences of moving abroad around the globe, ended up teaching me more about my deepest fears, the purpose of life, the meaning of friendship, the discovery of love and what truly matters to me, than any book or school ever could.
I have always been one of these kids who learned through experiences rather than from the books. I also always believed that traveling broadens our horizons, makes us more open-minded and is probably the best way to discover what truly matters to us in our life.
What I ignored however, were the various side-effects of moving abroad alone. Now there are not many expatriate who will admit it, but the expat world is far from being a fairy-tale.
Thus, although I have truly enjoyed living on the North American, European and Asian continents for the past 8 years, I would like to share with you 5 inevitable things that will happen if you decide to move abroad alone and start a new life far from your home.
5 Things No One Tells You When Moving Abroad:
1) Real friends will stay, others will fade away
This is inevitable as it is simply part of life. A few of your friends will encourage you and will be visiting you as well as throwing a farewell and welcome back party for you but the others will soon grow apart and that is normal. After all, you have decided to embrace a journey that most people don’t dare to take or are simply not interested in, so it is important to respect their choice too.
Of course there are reasons to be sad about this change but you should not, because you should take this as a blessing. The friends who will accept who you are and keep on following your adventures via social networks, blogs and Facetime or Skype calls will be your friends for life. They won’t be many, but that’s better right?! As when your big day will come, I like to think that a smaller wedding with your real friends and closest family members will always be much better than a bigger one full of hypocrites.
2) You will leave the people you love the most behind
It is famous that our 20s are the selfish years of our life and I could not agree more with that. Also, I won’t lie to you, it feels amazing to just go for it and take actions in order to live your dreams. After all, way too many people around us keep on dreaming but never make the necessary steps to make their dreams happen once for all, so they end up frustrated and jealous, don’t be one of them! However, having said that, we should keep in mind once again that choosing the life we want or at least we think we want, in this case by moving abroad, won’t make anyone happy but ourselves.
Although it can be heartbreaking for your relatives, it makes you grow and the only thing you can do is to think about the positive sides. Imagine how happy and proud your family will be when you will welcome them at your new city’s airport, jumping in their arms and telling them all about your fun adventure, while taking them around in your new country and spending some true quality time with them!
3) You will be surrounded by people yet feel so lonely
One of the thing I loved the most about each single time I moved to a new country, was the amazing people I met there and the friendship we built. When you are far from home, it feels really great to feel close to people with who you become like a happy little family. At least, until some of these lovely people leave you one after the other for their next adventure somewhere else. The only thing you can wish for, is for them to be safe, happy and not to forget you completely. There are even a few who touched your heart so deeply that you hope to stay in touch with and see them again in a near future.
However, even though you realize that you are never really alone when living abroad, you will sometimes experience some moments of deep loneliness which you most likely had never felt before.
4) Guilty and Selfish will be two adjectives that will define you daily
Remember your childhood friend? The one with whom you spent all the funniest moments with? Well she is getting married and you are invited! The problem is, it is on a weekend but chances are you will be working on that weekend and it would take you at least 2 days of travel to be able to attend this happy celebration, without saying that your job far from home does not pay you well enough to afford a long haul flight this month. Your friend can’t wait for you to attend because remember, you promised you would be her bridesmaid since you were 4 years old… GUILTY feeling all over you!
Then, when your beloved 95-year-old Grandma fell down on the floor at night and needed an urgent ride to the hospital, all hurt, sad and lonely, she calls you and asks “When are you coming back from holidays?” (She could not understand that you being outside your home country could be for anything else than being on holidays… and it makes total sense for her generation.)
Even though it is our life and we get to decide how we live it, risks are, moving abroad will make you feel like a terrible daughter/son, friend, grand-daughter/son and an awful human being sometimes all at once.
5) Fitting in again won’t be easy
Everyone who has moved abroad will agree that they have left a piece of their heart in every places they have been living in. By leaving your heart in different cities and countries around the globe, it does change you in so many more ways than you ever could imagined it would. Actually, this is a moment when you discover deep feelings about love, passion, excitement and fear you never knew could exist. It opens your eyes and mind, realizing that some beliefs that our parents, friends and society back home taught us, just do not feel right anymore.
To me this is a great change but it certainly is a real and constant struggle when it comes to move back to my home country. Especially when my friends back there have been living a “normal” life, with a 9am to 6pm job and already live in an apartment with a cat and the love of their life. I guess that’s probably why most of the globetrotters I have met during the past 8 years tend to escape this “routine normal kinda life” and struggle with deep questions such as, what is the place I call home? Where do I truly belong to? Where do I want to settle down and have a family and so on. Now these are never ending questions, until we tell ourselves: “Ok, I don’t know about this yet… I will just keep on traveling more and maybe I will find this happy place I will call home the minute I see it.” (Which let’s be honest does not exist.)
Now you may ask yourself, will moving abroad be worth it? Well my answer to you is YES. It will be worth the struggle because I personally would not be the person I became if I would not have chosen this path. This does not mean that I do not have some sincere regrets but this globetrotter life has taught me wonderful things about life. Things that nothing but experiencing and living this journey could teach me.
If you have any question in regards to taking the step to move abroad, feel free to ask me below in the comments and I will be delighted to get back to you!
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to click on the heart button below if you have enjoyed this post, it would mean a lot to me. 🙂
Discover more about my experiences abroad HERE