There are various reasons as to why we decide to pack up and move overseas. General deciders and motivators can be that the new country can offer you and your immediate family, a better quality of life or a new job awaits you with increased income. You may even just decide that you want to travel and see the world!
Careful thought and planning has to be taken when deciding to move away or not from your home, your comfort zone and leaving your loved ones behind. It is not a light hearted decision to make.
Some people face pressure from their family and friends about their life choices. You may feel stressed when deciding if relocating is right for you or not and it can be made even harder with family members and friends having their own opinion on what you should do.
However, if you let a good opportunity slip by you, you maybe constantly wondering “what if”. Just make sure it’s your decision whichever road you take, and you play a big part in the decision making.
Understanding the Negativity
You may face negativity from those people who are closest to you, and you will feel like you have broken their hearts. What is important is that you remain calm through the negativity. If you have decided to move and you’re happy with your decision, your family and friends should hopefully respect your decision. Some of your loved ones will be 100% supportive, and some will be less accepting of your life decisions. They will miss you; this is natural and you will find it to be emotional. Life is full of chances and changes, and sometimes we take that leap into the unknown to try better our lives.
We face many challenges as expats, starting with the decision to pack up and take the leap to move overseas, away from all our family and friends. I would love to say that the saying goodbye part gets easier, but it doesn’t.
The guilty feeling does not stop once you have waved goodbye and got on the plane to your new home. The hello’s and goodbye’s of expats lives are very emotional and unfortunately a part of living the overseas lifestyle.
There are no magic coping techniques which will make your guilty feelings go away. However, what is important is how we cope with that guilt. That expat roller coaster feeling again, some days you will feel guiltier than others, sometimes feeling very much an up and down.
I have learnt as an expat, you do have to be selfish, and you do have to grow a back bone when dealing with all of these emotions! Otherwise, they will eat you up and ruin your overseas experience. You need to understand that when you decide to live overseas, you’re not going to be able to go to all family functions back home, you will miss Birthdays, Christmas’s and get together’s and you will hear the words “ But if you lived at home” many times.
I have been living away for many years now, and I still feel guilty after each visit back home. I have developed coping techniques to help minimise the effect it has on myself and my immediate family here in Australia. It’s your future, and you do have to be independent and self-sufficient when living away. Your life in your overseas country will hopefully have many advantages including providing a stable future for yourself, your children and even your grandchildren. You will have to remind yourself of why you are there constantly. Especially when you’re speaking to family and friends back home, and you realise that life is changing back home. If or when you decide to return, you will probably find it won’t be the same as when you left.
I always say make your family and friends feel welcome in your new country. Make sure they know (that if allowed) they can visit anytime. I understand every family has their circumstances, but it’s important to let them know that if the option presents itself, they’re welcome to have holidays with you.
One major challenge I face is that I have a son who is under one, he is growing up so fast without any of his family members around him, apart from his Mum and Dad. I faced a complicated pregnancy, and now the journey of his upbringing away from family and friends. I know what it feels like to face these challenges and emotions!
What would we do without Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime?
Technology advances have made communicating with our family and friends back home even easier. I understand that there are technophobes out there. I have had to become more of a technological savvy myself, and that's from launching my own business! However, the likes of Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime are all free and can be easily downloadable on to most computers or devices. A helpful tip, try and assist family and friends in getting the technology set up before you make the move overseas. Otherwise, you will face the “I can’t get this Skype or FaceTime to work!”
Reach out for help
As always, you're not alone. Feeling guilty about moving is just one of the challenges that we face when we move. Remember it's your future, and you have to do what is best for you and your immediate family. Sometimes we just need an impartial person to talk through these issues with and also to speak to someone who can offer support on coping with the abundance of these overwhelming emotions we feel when living away. That person can be me! If you decide to try one of my coaching sessions, I ensure that the sessions are structured to offer you the maximum support you deserve and to keep you focused on your future path overseas.
I would love to assist you on your relocation journey.
Contact me today to book your FREE 30 minutes discovery call!