Trust me. I worried about nearly everything possible when I was thinking about moving to Canada! I know the routine: You finally work up the courage to start seriously considering moving to a new country and then – BAM – The negatives of moving abroad start swirling menacingly around your mind.
The doubts. The concerns. The anxiety. It’s funny how the little voice inside your head can try to sabotage a decision that feels so right.
One of the most common messages I receive from people who stumble onto this blog is that my journey has inspired them to finally take the leap. Those messages (apart from making my entire week) really drive home to me how important it is to spread my experiences as far as possible and prove to you all that the evil little thoughts that are holding you back are TOTALLY unnecessary.
Check out my list of the biggest baddest culprits and stamp them out ASAP:
1. I won’t like it there
Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t. There’s no way of knowing how you will find life in your chosen new country. It’s true; you could hate it and be miserable – but the other side of the coin is that you’ll find your true home and be the happiest you’ve ever been. You won’t know until you GO.
2. I won’t make any friends
YES. YOU. WILL. Hey, if this shy, socially awkward girl can do it so can you. Head into the experience with an open heart and zero f**ks given. Host a movie night and have only 2 people show up. Invite that girl from the office who seems cool for a coffee date. I have never been so outgoing in my entire life. I force myself to reach out to new people and build new relationships. It takes work but I have found and nurtured the best friendships I’ve ever had as a result of this new mindset. You get what you give.
3. I’ll regret it
The fear that the move will be the biggest mistake of your life is because you are heading into completely unchartered territory. Fear of the unknown is a huge challenge to overcome. What if the move is a complete fail and it’s all for nothing? – It will never be as bad as you think.
My advice: Give it the designated 6 months before making your decision to hit the ejection seat and I guarantee you won’t touch the button. You’ll wake up one day and realise that you’ve effortlessly slipped into content everyday life without even realising it.
4. My career will suffer
Anxious to leave your stable career and the sense of familiarity and security that comes with it? Remember: There’s a reason why you are thinking of moving abroad. You crave a challenge. You crave an adventure and the thrill of freedom outside of your comfort zone. Building your career abroad comes with its challenges but the worst case scenario is that you add adaptability, cultural diversity and international experience to your resume – and in this modern world of travel, that’s only ever going to be a plus.
5. I’ll get homesick
Homesickness sucks. You will be plagued with it, it’s almost a guarantee. If you are lucky enough to have loved ones back in your native country to miss and to yearn for, then instead choose to turn this feeling into gratitude and appreciation. You will find your own personal ways to get through the bouts of homesickness and then you can bask in the fact that you’re lucky enough to call two places home.
6. I won’t fit in
You may not fit in. You will be wonderfully different. You will be the interesting person in the room. There will always be something to talk about, whether it is about your culture, accent, or story about why you are there. Use your difference to attract new relationships and build cultural bridges with locals and expatriates alike. Fitting in is boring anyway.
7. It’s not the right time
However cheesy it sounds, it will never feel like ‘the right time.’ Even when I was planning on backpacking SE Asia, I kept waiting for my friends’ timelines to match up with mine and in the end, threw caution to the wind and booked my solo plane ticket. You can spend so long wasting precious time waiting to be ‘ready’, but you never truly will be until you throw yourself in the deep end. Trust me, whatever reason that is holding you back, you’ll regret it even more when it’s too late and all you see are excuses.
8. I don’t have enough money
I used to worry incessantly about money. Now, I’ve learnt to see it for what it really is – A material object. Yes of course, I don’t pretend that it isn’t important when planning out a whole new life – You have to make sure you are financially smart and well planned, but don’t let it be the reason to deny your entire dream. Money can always be earned. Experiences are so much more significant.
9. I have ties to my home & people that I can’t break away from
I’m incredibly close with my family and friends who are back in my native country. Moving away from loved ones can be a complex emotional process. The guilt that you feel when you think about leaving them behind is painful. You think you’re being selfish but sometimes you have to be. If it’s what you truly want, the people you love will understand (whether openly or somewhere deep down inside them.) After all, it is your life and they are ALWAYS just a flight/train/road-trip away.
10. My kids might resent me
I think that it’s been a tough ride when it is just me who has moved abroad. I cannot even begin to imagine the pressure and worry that plagues parents who are moving their children to a foreign country. I do know however what it is like to *be* that child. My parents moved me to France when I was 13 and I ended up strongly disliking my life there. However, I never ONCE resented my parents for it. Trust me, your children will love you and appreciate how brave you were for taking a step to better their lives. I gained a 2nd language because of it and a world of experience and personality. There is no way I would ever hate them for that.
So there it is!! I’m hoping to get many more messages from you guys now saying not only that you are inspired to move abroad but that you’ve BOOKED YOUR PLANE TICKET!
Your mind will always find reasons not to go. Staying in the familiar is safe and comforting. Travelling and experiencing the world and its different cultures is the most magical and rewarding thing you will ever do. I promise.
So what are you waiting for?
What’s your biggest reason that is holding you back?