The Struggles of Moving Abroad


It may be but a daydream to move to a different country, but the possibility is definitely there. The idyllic fantasy of experiencing a different culture, making incredible life-long friends, and making crazy memories are very compelling reasons to start a whole new life. But the reality is not as idyllic as the fantasy. Moving to a new country can be lonely, it is the hidden reality behind the success stories of starting anew.

It is not only the emotional, but practical pieces of moving abroad for the unforeseeable future that may cause loneliness. Moving into a new apartment or house has its difficulties wherever you are, but especially in a new country: What are the additional costs? Where is a safe place to live? And what is the living cost? Who is there to give you advice, to hold your hand?

Making friends and crazy memories takes time, as it should, but it is sometimes lonely. You will have to meet a string of people you don’t dislike, but constantly compare to your old friends. When invited out it feels like a pity party – it probably isn’t, but it feels that way. It takes time to build meaningful relationships and create trust.

Starting afresh is a brave move, but settling in can cause loneliness and a little anxiety. It’s an aspect of moving not often discussed. Being optimistic is an important aspect of making a new life work, but sometimes it may seem a little hopeless. Reading a string of articles praising their new lifestyles may make you feel like a failure, but you’re not alone – and you are not a failure.

It’s a situation where there is no one else to put the blame on. Moving abroad is a very personal choice that you can’t blame anyone for making you do, which may be why it is not often a discussed topic in media forms. The shame behind not making or having the dream life you thought you would, shouldn’t cause resentment for yourself or the people who love you, it’s a normal phase of moving abroad.

The benefits of moving abroad

Let’s take a 180º turn and talk about the benefits of moving abroad!

It’s difficult, but it gets better, and it will make you stronger and happier than ever before. It will take you out of your comfort zone, and make you afraid – but you will laugh in the face of danger, and then maybe cry a little, but that’s okay.

Moving abroad will make you stronger, and hopefully realise that there is nothing you can’t do. It will make you more cultured, you will question the status quo and develop ideas, thoughts and skills you thought were set in stone. Living abroad will make you become more self relient, and more independent equipped with a different view of the world, yourself and everyone around you.

Take the leap, it’s worth it! The inevitable feeling of loneliness is the curse of the beginning of something great, but it gets better and in the end it’s worth it. Take the leap of faith, you don’t know how strong you are until you’re headed for the unknown.


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Henrietta Hedberg is a creative writer who grew up around Europe. With a degree in law she loves to discover the functioning of society and the evolution of culture. Her interests range from fashion, culture, and politics.

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