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Five Things People Will Say When You Tell Them You’re Moving Abroad

Telling your friends and family that you are moving abroad can be an interesting experience. Some people will be thrilled for you and completely support the move. Others may be less happy that you are moving far away or simply don’t understand why you want to become an expat. Here are some common reactions to telling your loved ones that you’re changing your address — in a big way.

 

1. But It’s Such a Different Culture!

No matter where you are moving, you will likely experience some sort of culture shock, which, while challenging, is not always a bad thing. But if you’ve never experienced culture shock or never had the strong urge to experience something completely new every day, it can be difficult to understand why someone would want to put themselves through it (or even be excited about it). Explaining the parts of the culture you are looking forward to experiencing (different holidays, a more relaxed work culture, new leisure options) can be a good way to highlight the positive aspects of culture shock and help people be excited for you.

2. You Don’t Even Know the Language!

If you’re moving somewhere where you don’t speak the local language, this is an extremely common reaction you will get. It can be a pretty valid concern depending on where you’re moving. However, in this day and age, learning a language or getting by without local language skills (though not recommended) is entirely possible. From online programs such as Babbel to translation apps and language exchanges, there are so many free ways to learn a language. And of course there are also classes you can take in most locations, or even private tutors. So even though the language barrier might be a significant challenge, it is certainly one that can be overcome.

3. Won’t You Miss Your Friends and Family?

This might be the hardest concern to address, and it is certainly one with no easy solution. Yes, you will undoubtedly miss your loved ones after your move abroad. And if you have to contend with large time differences and expensive flights, too, it will make talking and visiting difficult. Still, technology provides us with so many great ways to stay in contact. Being away from your friends and family can make you appreciate your time with them even more and show you just how strong your bond can be! If you’re lucky, your loved ones will also be able to visit and you can show them around the place you now call home. And of course, you’ll make new connections once you move abroad, including friends you’ll wonder how you ever lived without!

4. Why Would You Want to Leave Such a Great _____ Behind?

Oftentimes, moving abroad can mean leaving a wonderful job, house, partner, or any number of things behind. Sometimes, these things will be there if and when you return, other times giving it up means giving it up for good. But have you ever heard the saying, sometimes a good thing has to fall apart so that a great thing can come together? In life, you have to take these risks in the hope that your new life abroad will lead to something amazing — whether that is learning another language, meeting a new partner, exploring a different career path, or simply having experiences you never dreamed of.

5. You’ve Never Done Something like This! Are You Having a Crisis?

While maybe not the most common reaction, it is certainly an assumption that many people might make. It can be hard to fathom why someone would want to change their entire life unless they are unhappy. And of course, there are people who do move abroad because they’re not totally satisfied with the life they have, or they have just gone through a big life event. Just because you’ve never done something “like this” before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t, or that you are doing it for the wrong reasons. There are a million reasons to move abroad, and no matter what your reason is, take ownership of it! Have you always wanted to live someplace warmer — awesome! Do you feel like you want to grow professionally and taking the assignment abroad will help — good for you! Do you simply want a change, and packing your bags and moving halfway around the world is that change — we say, that’s wonderful, and we’ll be there, every step of the way!



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