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7 reasons why moving overseas is really difficult

August 24, 2015

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.

Moving overseas

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? πŸ™‚


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  • Steve Schwartzman

    You wrote: “I miss the way Swedish people interact and think.” In what way is that different from people in New Zealand?

    We spent three nights at a homestay in Karori when we visited New Zealand in February.

    August 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm Reply
  • Vibrant

    We are all searching our true homes. I would love to stay in Sweden. πŸ™‚


    August 25, 2015 at 1:05 am Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      You should definitely visit sometime, it’s a beautiful country! πŸ™‚

      August 25, 2015 at 6:29 am Reply
  • ditajessica

    I’m gearing up to move abroad in just under two weeks so I found this really helpful and interesting πŸ™‚

    August 25, 2015 at 3:25 am Reply
  • sudhirsuvarna

    Excellent post . Pleasure to follow your blog. Look forward to more posts from you.

    August 25, 2015 at 3:37 am Reply
  • pursuitofanewadventure

    I love your honesty! I’ve moved all over the States – CA, FL, OR, TX, and yes, you do lose friends. It no longer surprises me who does and doesn’t keep in touch. Once you go back you aren’t the same person so you never “go back” in the same way. They do make you get new license and registration in every state here and if you’re in college you have to prove in state residency so bureaucracies and paperwork are always annoying. I’d say, depending on where you go and who you meet, it can be lovely. I’ve never moved out of the country but Americans get territorial even if you move 20 miles away hahaha! I just want to be a citizen of the world πŸ™‚ I admire your bravery!

    August 25, 2015 at 3:43 am Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Nice, America is one of my dream destinations! I haven’t been able to make it over there yet unfortunately but would absolutely love to travel around the country πŸ™‚

      August 25, 2015 at 6:32 am Reply
      • pursuitofanewadventure

        Yeah there’s even places I haven’t been to yet. I do have to say CA is the best because you get snow or see and everything you could ever want to see and do is there! I just moved to Houston, TX a few months ago and now I just get fat and eat hehe.

        August 25, 2015 at 9:02 am Reply
        • The Swedish Kiwi

          Haha, eating sounds like my kind of thing! πŸ˜› Thanks for the tip though, would love to go to CA. One day I’ll make it happen!

          August 25, 2015 at 9:11 am Reply
  • John

    Honestly, I don’t see how you can stay away from your homeland. It must tear you in two often! Back home in Michigan, the family usually gathers at the lake I grew up on (at my sister’s home now) on three holidays per year. Being over 2000 miles away, my wife and I don’t get up there anymore for these holidays and it’s tough.

    It must be difficult in job situations when English is your second language. Good points!

    August 25, 2015 at 3:48 am Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Yeah it can be very challenging at times. Sometimes I just feel like going home, but it’s not as easy as that when it costs roughly $2500 NZ to fly over there and back! πŸ™‚ I’ve been lucky enough to study English from when I was about 9 years old, so I suppose I have a decent knowledge of it to be able to get jobs! Haha. πŸ™‚

      August 25, 2015 at 6:35 am Reply
  • The Swedish Kiwi

    Nice! Well at least you’ll be in Europe where it’s quite easy to travel back to England it you need to. The time difference won’t be much of a problem either! πŸ™‚

    August 25, 2015 at 6:36 am Reply
  • koolitzable

    I agree with you

    August 25, 2015 at 10:15 am Reply
  • aislinnpaula

    This was me 10 years ago! I totally agree. Thanks for stopping by my page. I just followed your blog and hope you follow back! Looking forward to reading more of your blog posts. See you around. πŸ™‚

    August 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Will happily follow back! Great to hear you like my blog πŸ™‚

      August 25, 2015 at 9:36 pm Reply
  • graciegan

    Your post really hit home! I’m a Singaporean living in Australia and totally get what you mean. I’ve been in Australia for over 10 years now and I do have wonderful friends back in Singapore, but time and distance just means we are just not as close anymore.

    August 26, 2015 at 1:08 pm Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Yeah, it’s only natural that you grow apart a bit, which is a bit sad. But new friends are great too! Haha.

      August 26, 2015 at 2:32 pm Reply
  • Alive and Trekking

    What a great post! And so true! I’ve never lived abroad myself, but one of my best friends moved from the Netherlands to Sweden to live with her boyfriend and it was a real adjustment for her. Now they might move back to NL for a few years, but ultimately they want to settle in Sweden. Luckily, Sweden is still Europe and it’s only a two hour flight over. I can’t imagine what it must be like living on the other side of the world and having to let go of everything. Though I often dream about making that big move to New Zealand myself. My absolutely biggest problem would be missing my mom. It’s just not as easy as some people make it sound like!

    Excited to read more, so you got a new follower! πŸ™‚

    August 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Happy to hear you like my posts! πŸ™‚ yeah, missing my family has been the hardest part about moving over here! It gets really difficult when you don’t have enough money to travel home and visit. Cool to hear your friend lives in Sweden! Hope she likes it there! πŸ™‚

      August 26, 2015 at 10:10 pm Reply
      • Alive and Trekking

        She does! Another friend of mine lives in Sweden too (she’s from Γ…land). No surprise I’ve been to gorgeous Sweden several times πŸ™‚

        August 26, 2015 at 10:59 pm Reply
        • The Swedish Kiwi

          Happy to hear you find Sweden gorgeous! I miss it a lot! πŸ™‚

          August 27, 2015 at 6:29 am Reply
  • tweetprayloveme

    This is true! It’s also a hassle getting all IDs redone :'(

    September 20, 2015 at 4:20 am Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Very true! I had to go home to get my passport renewed!

      September 20, 2015 at 9:03 am Reply
      • tweetprayloveme

        They don’t have do mail renewal? Or they don’t have a consulate in NZ?

        September 20, 2015 at 3:53 pm Reply
        • The Swedish Kiwi

          They don’t have a consulate here. I think I technically could have gone to Canberra, but I thought I might as well combine the renewal with a trip home πŸ™‚

          September 20, 2015 at 9:26 pm Reply
          • tweetprayloveme

            Oh okay. We (Canada) can renew via mail, but I guess that’s what I would probably do too (go home to visit family). It’s simple. Sorry for the typos earlier lol

            September 20, 2015 at 11:51 pm
          • The Swedish Kiwi

            Renewing by mail would be amazing, haha.

            September 21, 2015 at 11:09 am

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