Going Abroad: It’s a State of Mind!Fotolia
Are you going abroad for the right reasons?
In the InterNations article for preparing your move, we have equipped you with a practical checklist, which can help you keep your sanity when you have decided you are going abroad. However, not all expat guides focus on the emotional stress that comes with going abroad.
Naturally, the prospect of going abroad sends you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. The ups and downs you are feeling are completely normal. After all, going abroad is a big deal! Between packing crates, applying for visas, and storing or selling those possessions you can’t take with you, there is very little time. Still, it is essential to take a step back and deal with the emotional issues you face throughout this entire process of going abroad.
Going abroad requires a lot of practical preparations. In order to make your dream of living abroad come true, you need to apply for visas, hire a company to help you with your furniture, figure out what to take and what to leave behind, etc.
The emotional preparations of going abroad thus often fall by the wayside, making the big move even more challenging. Therefore, we have come up with a list of steps to ease your transition into expat life and going abroad.
Go for the Right Reasons
Before you even start making plans you should ask yourself what your reasons for going abroad are. Are you trying to get away from a disastrous relationship, family issues, or the bad weather? Relaxing on a tropical island while all your troubles stay back home may sound amazing; unfortunately, that is more the direction of a vacation than actually going abroad.
After his divorce, Vitali (45) left Russia to enjoy the sun and fun of the Caribbean in Barbados. “I sort of associated my life in Moscow with my failed marriage,” he confesses.
“So, when I got the chance to work as a hotel manager in the Caribbean, how could I say no?” But once he arrived in vacation paradise for his new career, he was surprised that his life didn’t necessarily change for the better. “My troubles kept creeping up on me, and with the stress of being all alone in a new environment, they got even worse.”
Examine Your Motivations
If you are unsure what exactly your reasons for going abroad are, make a list. Try to let go of romantic ideas of what your fabulous life abroad might be like, and try to understand the gap between fantasy and reality.
This does not mean that going abroad will be dull, tedious or exhausting, quite the opposite. Going abroad is an amazing opportunity, just be sure not to confuse going abroad with an extended holiday.
“I really underestimated how much going abroad would make me miss my family and friends,” Vitali explains. “I really should have asked myself if I was ready to leave my usual support network behind, especially in such difficult situation as a divorce.”