The Things They Don’t Tell You About Moving Abroad

30th September 2014

expat study abroad meme
  • Nobody really cares about your adventures. They will like the first three FB posts and then it’s just old news. Your mom and aunt will continue to like every photo and update though.
  • And the lives of others goes on without you … you are not part of your friends’ daily/weekly life anymore, birthdays are celebrated without you, you are not in the nights out photos, your friends are going to eat your favourite food at your favorite place, your best friend breaks up and you are too far away to support her.
  • You have to give your holiday planning and budget extra attention. It comes to down deciding between flying to see your family or going on that cool foreign city break?
  • One can collect a.LOT.of.stuff during a stay abroad. The big question is: do you really have space for that beer glass you stole on that awesome night out?
  • The plan you made on going to do sightseeing/touristy things every weekend? Not going to last. Mainly because of …
  • … the money you thought was going to be enough to get you through those six months turns out to be enough for three if you’re lucky.
  • Most food just isn’t the same, despite many assurances it will be.
  • You grow. Up, but also apart. At some point you have to accept you can’t relate to certain friends anymore.
  • Those who shout ” I’ll visit you!” the loudest don’t come at all. And others just come because the can crash at your place for free.
  • Making friends as an adult is harder. Don’t you sometimes wish you were eight and could make friends by just saying: ” I like your dress! Let’s be friends.” Apparently this is frowned upon above the age of 12.
  • Sometimes you think you know the language like the back of your hand, but then realise you probably need your cheat notes written on the back of your hand.
  • It’s not an Eat Pray Love experience, but more of an Eat, Cry and Skype your mom.
  • Moving from country to country can get addictive. A six month internship can easily turn out in eight years of country hopping.
  • It gets harder to pack your life in a suitcase, despite your feeble attempts to buy a bigger suitcase that still counts as hand luggage.

23 thoughts on “The Things They Don’t Tell You About Moving Abroad

  1. Carolin

    Oh what a wonderful but sad post. Didn’t know you were unhappy living abroad. I’m a German expat living in the Uk and I love it. Not only has it helped me to grow up (like you said) but also I’m more open to the world and more relaxed when things work differently when they are supposed to be. I think if you’re not independent by nature and cling too much on family and friends, it is better if you stay at home. Sorry it’s not menat to sound cruel, just an observation. Or the country you moved to isn’t the right one. Sometimes it takes time to know where to belong. All the best, Caz x

    http://lunchbreakadventures.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  2. Sarah D

    This is a great list! I haven’t even moved overseas yet but even though I think it’s going to be fun I’m preparing myself for missing out on a lot of home life and that lonely feeling creeping in. Big love to you for being an explorer and doing your own thing! xx
    http://dasherlife.com

    Reply
  3. Jodi

    This post made me want to move abroad asap and it also made me laugh about other things. Making friends is hard as an adult but some people it still works to comment on the cute dress. At the least it’s a conversation starter. But this made me laugh cuz when I just traveled around Europe for 8 weeks I noticed a lot of these to be true, by the end I just wanted a few days to sleep in all day rather then cite seeing for that day, or my suitcase, no matter what I mailed home or got more bags, just kept growing and growing and quickly.
    xx, Jodi
    http://highheelsandtutus.com

    Reply
  4. Nanda

    Een aantal punten zijn zeer herkenbaar, ook al heb ik alleen maar 2x stage gelopen. Je komt er sowieso achter wie je echt vrienden zijn.
    Vind het wel echt tof van je, dat je naar het buitenland verhuisd bent 🙂

    Reply
  5. Sandra

    Hahaha I absolutely loved ‘more of an Eat, Cry and Skype your mom’ I moved abroad for 3 months once, just didn’t work out for me and I found myself nodding a long to a lot of this! But I do hope to try again!

    Reply
  6. Iida-Emilia

    Great post! I’ve always dreamed about moving abroad and one day I’ll do it. It’s so easy to think that living abroad is all the time living your dream, but propably it will be hard too. Especially growing apart some friends.

    Reply
  7. janine

    Totally have gone thru at least a dozen suitcase/bag configurations to keep it down to just 1….luckily I beginning to love the same5 outfits.

    Reply
  8. Elise

    The “One can collect a lot of stuff abroad” is such an issue, really. I have been in near tears trying to get beautiful lanterns from Morocco home or rugs and the sad truth is you cant!!

    Also, only family caring you are abroad after the first few posts is sad but true. You just have to keep documenting the memories for you!

    Love this blog and so glad I found it on bloglovin’

    http://www.madeforelise.com

    Reply
  9. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    Gosh I recognise so many of these about being an expat. I can count my friends from before I moved to Spain on one hand, some of them didn’t come to visit me- and that’s okay, because I spoke to them regularly, and they were at uni and I was working. And the people I drifted from, well… they don’t matter!

    Reply
  10. Jamie

    haha! This is a great post. I especially liked the first bit about posting your adventures to Facebook! Sometimes I feel as if I am bombarding people online with updates with my adventures abroad. But then again, they clutter my newsfeed with babies and engagements. 😉

    Reply
  11. Ava

    Ahh sadly I’ve experienced all of these things. I took a break from facebook because it was too hard to check in on my friends and realize that their lives were going on without me!

    – Ava
    beck daily

    Reply
  12. Hayley Gildersleeve

    OH MY GOODNESS. My husband and I didn’t move abroad, but we did move to a different state where we knew almost no one and I can actually relate to quite a lot of these!! Like I feel like you took some of these out of my brain.

    There are so many things you definitely don’t think about, and when you encounter them you’re kind of like “UM…NO.” But after awhile (awhile being like a year and a half…) I feel like they aren’t so shocking and you learn to maneuver your way around them.

    Thank you! I really appreciate this post!

    Reply
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  14. Sammy Smeth

    This is such a brilliantly true post, but I have to say if someone tells me they like any part of my outfit that has cemented them in my life as a friend forever, so keep trying with that endeavor!

    Sammy xo.

    littlefickleblog.blogspot.com

    Reply
  15. Christine

    When I first moved to Canada, I lost a bunch of weight because the “eat, cry, skype your mom” part for me was all that except I was so anxious I couldn’t eat. It’s all true, even if focused a bit on the negative.

    Reply
  16. Iris

    Thank you for sharing – I see so much of my own experience in your post, and it does feel a bit comforting to see I’m not alone 🙂 I’m Italian and moved to London nearly 5 years ago; I mostly think of it as the best life decision I ever took, but at times, I stop and think about the challenges that have come with the positives, and sadness creeps up. The difficulty of starting new friendships from scratch when everyone around you has all their relationships “figured out”, and missing out on the lives of the people I’ve grown up with and loved dearly…this is all so true, and it takes a lot of extra effort not to get discouraged by the thought of it. Plus, yeah, quite a bit of “eat, cry and Skype your mum”. Which I mostly do all in one go! (no big deal, she must be used to it by now, right? :P)

    Reply
  17. Lucy

    For the person who said they had moved from one state to another, I can assure you that living in a different state is not like living in a country where you don’t understand how anything works, no one understands you, and you’re almost scared to go out in case someone speaks to you and you don’t understand them. Yes things can be different from state to state but not like living abroad….sorry but it’s just not. Also
    Travelling in a country is also not the same as living there: for around 6 months it’s all exciting and fun and new, after the 5/6 month period ends, the holiday feeling wears off and it becomes lonely and not fun. Totally different to travelling in a country…. (Although travelling can also be lonely as well mind you!!)
    I’ve lived in the France, Switzerland, Russia and China. The latter two being incredibly difficult indeed due to cultural difference and languages being so different. That’s 4 languages, 4 times I have had to learn my way around, learn country “rules” and customs. It’s exhausting! Would not have changed my experiences for the world, but my goodness its been hard at times, where I nearly considered putting everything I immediately needed in a suitcase and coming back home…..but stick it out, it is totally worth it once you finally crack it!

    Reply

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