There are all sorts of movies that romanticize living in another country. The idea of grabbing your suitcase and setting out to start a new life in a far off land is downright exciting! Living abroad is many people’s idea of the ultimate adventure.
Being able to combine your love of travel with having the chance to immerse yourself in a new culture is a magical opportunity. However, don’t rush into moving to another country thinking that it’s all sunshine and rainbows. You should anticipate costs, tricky immigration laws, and potential culture clashes. Here are some important things you should know before you make the decision to do it yourself.
You’ll Miss Your Family
Even if you’ve never been close with your family, there’s something about living abroad that makes you long for where you come from. You’ll find yourself thinking about your family back home and perhaps feeling blue on holidays like Christmas. If where you’re living is across the world, traveling home to visit may not be in your budget, making you feel even more isolated.
One way around this is to use technology to your advantage. Try to schedule regular phone calls and video chats, and you’ll feel more connected. However, it’s never quite the same as being with them face to face.
Work May Be a Challenge
Regardless of whether you’re already a specialist in your field or not, there will be a learning curve doing your profession in a different location. You’ll probably have to adjust to new ways of doing things that may not be the same back home.
It can also be challenging trying to make friends since you may feel a little out of your element in a new culture. As a result, it may take a while to feel like you’re fitting in.
You’ll Miss The Comforts of Home
Eventually, you’ll start to miss home no matter where you are. The comforts of home are part of what makes you who you are. Home will always be home and a part of your past.
Over time you’ll start to miss your favorite dishes that can’t quite be replicated abroad. You’ll also miss your favorite stores, and traditions. Sometimes all you long for is familiarity and living in another country is far from anything familiar.
Learning a New Language Takes Time
You can study a foreign language for the entirety of high school and be the best in your class. However, nothing prepares you for being able to speak the language in action. Some new expats arrive thinking they’ll be able to communicate right off the bat.
However, natives may speak differently than how you learned in school. Between slang and speed of speech, it can take some time to master understanding comfortably. You may find yourself in frustrating situations in the beginning just trying to get your point across.