Don’t get me wrong, moving overseas has been one of the best experiences of my life, if not the best. But it’s also an extremely difficult thing to do and it will test you in so many ways you probably didn’t expect.
When I was growing up, I used to always dream about moving overseas. In a way I think it was because I never really felt like I fit in with my friends or in my school. I was just always trying to find something better. And I always found that something better online, usually overseas. The fact that I actually did end up moving overseas is quite funny to me, because I never thought it would happen.
Although it’s made me grow as a person in so many ways, it’s also been extremely challenging, and if you’re thinking of moving overseas, there are some things you might want to think about.
- You will lose friendships. This will of course depend on how long you’re away for, but if you’re going away for a few years, this is the truth. You might think that you’ll stay in touch even though you’re overseas, but the reality is that it becomes too difficult, and you’ll grow apart.
- You’ll miss your family like crazy. This one was extremely hard for me because I was very close with my family when I moved (and I still am). If you don’t move too far, this and the statement before this might not be totally accurate. But if you move to the other side of the world like me, you’ll quickly realise that you can’t afford travelling home nearly as often as you want to. And staying in touch in other ways is difficult because of the time difference.
- The culture might be different. For me it wasn’t a huge change, and if anything, it was a change for the better. But it can still be a bit overwhelming at times. People here in New Zealand are a lot friendlier and open (from my experience) and it’s easier to make friends here. But at the same time, I miss the way Swedish people interact and think.
- You’ll miss celebrating certain public holidays. This will again be different depending on where you’re from, but for me, this is quite a big one. We’ve got so many different things we celebrate in Sweden that doesn’t exist in New Zealand, like midsummer, the 1st of May bonfire, crayfish season, Lucia, Advent and more. Since I got to New Zealand, I haven’t really celebrated public holidays at all, and it makes me a bit sad sometimes. And don’t get me started about Xmas in summer. That’s just not right.
- You’ll make new friends that you might not get to keep. If you’re only moving overseas for a while, this one can be similar to my first point. You make new friends, but you know that you’ll be leaving at some point, and it’ll be really hard to stay in touch. There might be exceptions to this rule if you make really good friends, but the ones that you casually hang out with, are probably people you won’t see again.
- Getting a job in a foreign country can be difficult. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to get jobs even though English is my second language. But it can often be quite a challenge. This might be different if you’ve got a university degree of some sort. But if you like me didn’t go to university, it might be a bit trickier.
- You’ll have two homes. This might not sound as a bad thing, but it’ll create a feeling of being torn between two places. You’ll never feel completely at home in one country, and you’ll always miss the other.
These are a few things I’ve thought about, I’m sure there are more. The point I’m trying to make is that a move overseas is not nearly as simple as it may seem sometimes, and it’s something that’s worth thinking twice about.
Have you been in this situation? Do you agree or disagree with my statements? 🙂