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Moving abroad can be harder than you expected

“Settling in here is a lot harder than I thought it was. Actually, now that I’m talking to you, I realise how tired I really am”.

An expat in Norway shared this with me recently. It had been a long dream of her & her partner to move to the Norwegian countryside and find the space they didn’t have in the Netherlands.

And while they had found a beautiful home, set up their business and connected with new friends… It was still hard.

The combination of all the paperwork, settling in a tiny village, learning the language and changing their business had taken its toll. She shared that she had carried a lot, which became even harder without her friends & family around to take off some steam.

She felt uncertain as she couldn’t be her funny self in a language she didn’t fully master yet. And she was constantly looking at the locals to see ‘how it was done’: groceries, how to behave at work, business norms, going from small talk to friends. It was tiring.

“I have the life I was dreaming of… But I feel pushed to only have fun.”

“Whenever I share the downsides with my friends & family back home, they respond saying “but you posted some beautiful photos of your weekend getaway!”. As if life here can only be enjoyable? Or worse, they simply tell me that I chose to be here, so suck it up”.

I felt her pain, as I went through it myself. I too struggled in my life abroad but couldn’t always find real understanding with my inner circle back home.

As we were rounding up our conversation, she thanked me. “It feels like a huge relief being able to share this with you. It’s like I’m finally accepting that the downsides are part of it, and it feels good knowing I’m not the only one with these feelings”.

Does this resonate with you and do you also long for real understanding without having to explain yourself?

Then my upcoming programme Expat Life School might be for you. I’m bringing together a group of like-minded expats across the globe, who are all looking to upgrade their expat experience. Inside Expat Life School you will find tools to make a change to your life abroad and your new tribe to connect with.

I have a few VIP spots left (at an insanely low price). Check Expat Life School in the main menu for more details!

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