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10 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Moving Abroad

10 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Moving Abroad

Moving abroad always looks glamorous and fun in the movies, but even if it’s something you’d love to do you might find yourself hesitant to make the big move. If moving to another country is on your bucket list, you’ll have to find a way to conquer those fears.

Happy woman sightseeing around Cusco around the Cathedral in Cusco

When you are making your list of reasons why you want to move abroad, you might find yourself with just as many reasons why you’re nervous or scared to move. In this article, we are going to talk about reasons why you might be nervous to move abroad and 10 helpful tips to overcome your fears and hit refresh!

Why you may fear moving abroad

If you feel the call to pick your life up and move to a foreign country, you most likely have an adventurous streak and are up for the challenges that such a big change will bring. However, you still may be harboring some fears that are holding you back from making the decision to buy that one-way ticket.

Here are some common reasons why you may fear moving abroad:

Money

One of the main reasons that you may fear making a big move abroad is not having enough money saved. You will need enough money to pay for housing, bills, food, and any other discretionary expenses.

If you’re not taking a remote job with your or do not have a job lined up when you arrive, you’ll need to have extra savings to cover your expenses until you start working. Do extensive research on the cost of living where you plan to move and save up a generous amount before you move…you’ll be surprised as to how quick the money goes once you’re abroad. 

Language

If you are preparing to move to a country where the native language is different from your own, you might be worried about being able to communicate effectively for even just daily needs.

To make sure you’re setting yourself up for success when you move abroad, make your best effort to learn the language. If you can, aim to be at least conversational in the language before you move.

Work

For many people, choosing to pick up and move abroad means that you will have to leave your current job. It can be scary to leave security and a job that you know for the unknown in a foreign country.

women workign remotely at a coworking space

With so much work being done remotely, you may be able to stay at your current job even if you move to another country. It might be difficult due to time zone differences, but it is doable if you have a flexible workplace, permission from your employer, and you like your job! If you need some inspiration check out our ultimate list of the best countries to work remotely.

Relationships

When you choose to move to another country, you are probably leaving a long list of friends and family members behind. As much as we’d love to have our inner inner circle close by, the truth is that making a move like this means saying goodbye to significant others, parents, best friends, and more.

It can be nerve-wracking to move abroad without your support system if you have a close circle of family and friends, so this can be a major reason why you might be hesitant to move.

Safety

As a woman moving to a foreign country on her own, safety is one of the top concerns that might be preventing you from feeling totally comfortable moving abroad. This is especially worrisome if you don’t know the language or much about the area you are moving to. But keep in mind, if you’re moving from the U.S. many countries, are much safer than the U.S. when it comes to violent crime. 

10 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Moving Abroad

1. Research to find the best place to move abroad

If you know you want to move abroad and are flexible on where you want to go, do some research to find the best place that suits your needs. Ask people you know who have moved or spend extensive time abroad about their favorite places and pick their brains to find out where they loved.

Focus on what is important to you about where you want to live. If you love to be able to walk everywhere, look for a busy city that will have everything you need at your fingertips. If breathtaking scenery is your favorite, try to find a location with a stunning landscapes.

If you’re interested in moving to Europe check out our guide on the 17 easiest countries to move to in Europe. You’ll find over 50 viable visa options—and their requirements—including digital nomad visas, work visas, non-lucrative visas, student visas, investment visas and more so that you can move! Make your dream of living in Europe long-term a reality! Grab your copy of I’m Outta Here! An American’s Ultimate Visa Guide to Living in Europe today! 

2. Save 6 months of living expenses before you move

Depending on your situation, you may want to save more than this but it’s a good rule of thumb to have at the very least 6 months of living expenses in the bank before your big move. It may take some time to get settled in your new country, so it will take some weight off your shoulders to not have to worry about money right away.

Keep in mind the cost of living where you will be going to ensure that you have enough to cover your expenses. This will help you get settled comfortably  and provide you with a cushion if surprise expenses come up.

3. Travel solo to your new country before you move

If you don’t need to move soon or you’re unsure if you want to move, start traveling solo first. Traveling by yourself is a great way to get your bearings on your own in a foreign country. It encourages you to learn independence and self-reliance, but in a shorter time period that feels less daunting.

Plan some trips to the country you want to move to or if you are still on the fence, plan some trips to different cities to help you narrow down your decision. You will gain confidence in your ability to navigate foreign countries alone and help you rule out a move to a country you might regret.

4. Find housing in the safest and most affordable area

When you are looking for a place to live, try to find housing that is a good balance of affordable and safe. You don’t want to blow your whole budget on housing but you need to make sure you will be safe and comfortable.

Whether you’re going to be living alone or with a roommate, you want to live in an area that feels safe at all hours. Make sure the neighborhood is well lit, you’re comfortable with the area, and that your building or home locks properly. 

5. Learn the language

The language barrier issue of moving to a foreign country is real. If you are moving somewhere where the native language is different than your own, do your best to learn the language to the best of your ability.

There are online language courses like Rosetta Stone or Duolingo that can teach you the basics of a new language or you could consider taking classes with a tutor to help you learn conversational words and phrases. While it’s not always possible, the more you can learn before you leave will help you manage daily life abroad much easier.

woman studying a foreign language

6. Join online expat groups

To get the inside scoop on what it’s like to live abroad, join online expat groups or communities to learn from people who have already taken the plunge and made the big move. You can learn so much from people in these communities including what it’s really like and helpful tips to make the transition easier.

Try to find an expat group specific to the country and or city you are planning to move to so that you can learn important information to help make your move a bit smoother and even make some friends before you move. If you’re a woman age 30+ come join the She Hit Refresh online group for free!

7. Set up virtual chat dates with your loved ones

It will be difficult to leave your close family and friends behind when you embark on your adventure to move overseas, but thanks to technology they will never be far away.

Set up weekly or monthly video chats with people you want to stay in touch with so that you still remain close and connected. It will be something to look forward to on the long, lonely days you might experience while you get your bearings abroad.

8. Learn basic self-defense

If safety is your concern, there are some things you can do to help you feel safer anywhere. One of the best things to do is learn self-defense. Whether you take a women’s self-defense course at a local community center or train in Krav Maga, find a way to learn essential skills to protect yourself.

While we all know to stay away from unsafe areas, bad things can happen anywhere, so having self-defense knowledge will make you feel more comfortable living alone in a foreign country.

9. Plan a trip home to fight homesickness

When you make the commitment to move abroad, plan a trip home for an upcoming holiday or special event. Plan the trip a few months after you move abroad so that it gives you something to look forward to and so that it gives you enough time to get settled in before you leave again.

10. Commit to a set period of time in your new home country

Moving abroad by yourself is a daunting experience. It can be challenging to get comfortable in an entirely new culture with a new language, new friends, new life and more.

Before you move, commit to living abroad for a certain amount of time and stick to it. It can be a few months, however we suggest at least a year to really get a feel for it. This will help you take the appropriate amount of time to get settled and decide whether it’s right for you without making a hasty, rushed decision based on ephemeral feelings.

Moving abroad can feel equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. By preparing yourself for the challenges you are likely to face, you can overcome your fears and live your dream of moving abroad.

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