The challenges of moving abroad are many. But with the bad, also comes the good. And in the case of moving abroad, the good you derive from it definitely outweighs the bad.
Life in a new country can be quite challenging, especially if you are on your own.
Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to live and work in a different country. Although I didn’t get to study in a new country, I did achieve my dream of living abroad.
But I was never prepared for what the experience had in store for me.
Obviously situations are very different for different people, but the feelings are more or less the same…
So want to know what happens when you move abroad?
Here are 7 challenges of moving abroad I faced – do the positives outweigh the negatives?
1. You Lose Your Identity
When you enter a new country, you are so blown away with everything new – new culture, new place, new people – that you end up losing your own identity.
Without knowing, you end up following all the customs of this new country and do things that you would not have otherwise done.
And then you question is yourself, is that really what I’d do if I were back in my home country?
And just like that you start to notice the change in your identity.
2. You Feel Like An Outsider
This has to be one of the challenges of moving abroad that really made me quite depressed tbh.
No matter how comfortable people make you feel around them, you still get a feeling of not belonging there.
The feeling that nothing – the people, places, things – is yours makes the sense of ‘feeling-like-an-outsider’ even worse.
However the good thing about it (which I realized quite late in life) is that it ends up making you more self reliant.
It’s all about time and getting used to the new life.
3. You Wonder If Your Life Will Ever Be The Same
When life throws completely different and new situations at you, you suddenly feel as if you are changing as a person.
From the way you interact with people to the way you eat food, all aspects of life change and so do you.
Somewhere down the line when you’re still getting used to all these changes, you wonder whether you’ll ever go back to being the way you were?
4. You’ll Go Through An Intense Roller Coaster
Another one of the challenges of moving abroad is that you go through a roller coaster of emotions and moods.
At times, you feel like you want to embrace this new life and new opportunities and you take every moment positively.
Other times you feel completely broken, with none of your loved ones around you to comfort you and everything seems so, so negative.
But trust me on this, time plays a major role in getting you on track and making you realise that this new life is all worth it!
5. You Will Feel Home Sick. A Lot.
Needless to say, for those who have seldom been away from their families (like me), the feeling of home-sickness is only common, very common.
I remember calling my parents twice a day for the first few weeks I was in London.
But it was all about getting out of my comfort zone. Not only that, some of my friends who have been living abroad for years still get home-sick.
So when you’re abroad, at times there will be a very sinking feeling deep inside you to be surrounded by people you love and care about.
Editor’s Tip: In this case it is very important to get out and socialise. Even if you’re an introvert and really don’t feel like it at the time, it will be worth it in the end! This is how I met Dan and so many other friends around the world. If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today! Always check Facebook groups for expat/traveler meet-ups and get involved in community activities – join a yoga class, enrol in a work-shop, etc.
6. You Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Now this is one of the good things about moving abroad. Although a challenge in itself, you do end up stepping out of your comfort zone.
We all have set routines and breaking them is one of the hardest things to do.
But when you move abroad, you’re forced to break all your old routines and start fresh. This is what gets you out of your comfort zone.
Everything is new – from the streets you walk on to the way you purchase your groceries – there are so many opportunities to step you out of your comfort zone in every day life.
It only ends up making you stronger, more confident and a little more adventurous.
7. You Achieve Much More Than You Thought You Could
When you move abroad and are building a completely new life you want to ensure that you make the most of it.
With so many opportunities flowing your way, you become a completely different person and take advantage of most of those opportunities. Some of which you never though you’d take up if you were back home.
Most of the people I know who have moved abroad for one reason or the other, became very successful…
In their words, “we never thought we could achieve all this” and “if it weren’t for this experience we got in a new country, we may have never gotten this far in life”.
These are only some of the reasons why I urge everyone to at least try living or working abroad for a few months, and if you find that the positives outweigh the negatives along the way, do it as much as you can!
The experience that you get from moving abroad and the kind of person you turn out to be is incredible to say the least.
Yes, there are dark days when you live and/or work abroad, but that shouldn’t stop you from grabbing the many opportunities that’ll come your way and embracing them to make the most of your new life abroad!
I’m curious to know – Have you lived or worked abroad? What challenges did you face? What good came out of it? We’d love to hear about your experience. Let us know in the comments below..