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5 Tips to Thrive in Your Life Abroad

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Veerle Beelen
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Have you already taken the step to move abroad? 

Or are you still thinking about it and not sure if it would be worth it? 

Regardless of where you are, this post is a guide for you to find out how you can make the most out of your experience abroad. I hope these 5 tips help you to thrive during your journey abroad!

1. Preparation is Key

A blonde woman sitting on her bag, folding clothes to pack into a suitcase
Don't save preparation for last minute

Make sure you prepare yourself before you move abroad. It can feel like a lot to take on.

First of all, focus on the logistics of your move, like:

  • Visa requirements
  • Other documents you may need (Is your passport still valid?)
  • Finances (Do you have savings? Do you need an international bank pass?)
  • Budget (What is the cost of living in the country you want to move to?)
  • Housing (Where do you want to live and what type of accommodation are you looking for?)
  • Language (Do you speak the local language or do you need to learn a new one?)
  • Job (Do you have a job already? Do you want to work remotely or find a new job abroad?

These are a few important topics and some examples of questions to focus on.

Maybe you start to feel a bit overwhelmed already by looking at this list and all the things you will need to think about and arrange before your move? However, if you make an overview for yourself of all the things that you would like to prepare and take it step by step, you will realize that is doable!

Also, take a look at my 5th tip if you’re not sure where to start in your preparation process.

If you are well prepared, there is a bigger chance that your move will be successful and less overwhelming. Of course, moving to another country should also come with an amount of flexibility, because you never know what happens and you cannot prepare for every scenario and every detail of your move.

However, if you prepare all the basic and essential things that you can prepare, I promise you that your move will become much easier!

Looking to move abroad ASAP? This guide will help you take care of the most important aspects of planning a move so your adventure can start as soon as possible!

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2. Focus on your mindset  

A woman from the Netherlands living abroad in Australia sitting on a bench and smiling at the camera
Thriving while abroad in Melbourne, Australia

Besides preparing all the logistics of your move, it’s also important to focus on your mindset. You may have organized all your paperwork, but do you really feel like you’re ready for your move?

If you are still scared to take the step, take a look at these 5 simple steps that can help you to beat your fear.

It is normal that you feel a bit scared when you move somewhere new. Especially when it is your first time becoming an expat. I have been there myself. The first time I moved abroad I was only 20 and had never travelled solo long-term before then.

However, don’t let this fear stop you from taking the step. Moving to another country will enrich your life in so many different ways, that you cannot even really understand before you move. You will develop new skills, meet new people, discover new places.

It’s not just some vacation, but it is a whole new chapter of your life. If you have the chance to move to another country, go for it. Turn your fear into excitement for this new adventure.

3. Be open-minded and flexible

A relaxed woman drinking a coconut looking out into the jungle while lounging on a chair with her feet propped up
Learning to relax and go with the flow with save you a lot of stress

Even though it is important to be prepared for your move and to feel ready, you cannot prepare yourself for everything. There are a lot of unexpected aspects of moving to another country.

Therefore, if you want to thrive in your new environment, it is essential that you are open-minded and flexible towards everything that comes your way.

Maybe some things don’t exactly go the way you wanted them to, but that is okay. As long as you focus on finding solutions towards whatever obstacles come up and being open-minded to learn from your new experiences you can make your move abroad a success.

Not everything will be in your control, but it is in your control how you respond to it.
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Want to move abroad more than anything?

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Together we'll overcome the hurdles that are holding you back from making a move, whether it be fear, lack of confidence, uncertainty, or feeling overwhelmed by your options.

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4. Have patience and take it slow

A skyline view of Sydney, Australia on a sunny afternoon with the water, opera house and blue skies
I loved slowly enjoying my home abroad, Australia

To avoid feeling overwhelmed when you just arrive somewhere and want to experience everything, meet new people, explore new places and activities, etc., make sure that you know when to take a break.

It is very easy to become absorbed by everything that is new and want to participate in every social gathering because you want to meet new people. However, know your own limits and don’t end up exhausted, because then you cannot enjoy your experience.

I have learned this the hard way when I moved as an expat to Australia. The first few weeks I was so busy with my new full-time job, exploring the city, meeting new people, and going on day trips on the weekends that I didn’t give myself any break at all. After a while, I felt exhausted and couldn’t enjoy my new experiences anymore, so I really had to take a step back and take it slower to be able to enjoy my time abroad again without feeling overwhelmed.

Also, have patience. Meeting new people and making new friendships takes time. Don’t force yourself into social activities and schedule some me-time into your day as well whenever you need to.

Remember, you don’t need to explore your new city all in one day! Take your time. Do something new every week or so. This way you can keep on exploring during your time abroad.

The advantage of moving to another country instead of just going there for a vacation is that you have much more time to really explore and have an in-depth experience in the country. There is no need to rush!

5. Get support and connect with like-minded people

two happy women smiling at the camera hugging each other with the sun setting in the background
Find some likeminded friends, either in-person or online, who get it

Moving to another country is a life-changing experience. It is an adventure but it can also come with its own challenges.

Perhaps you might feel homesick or lonely sometimes, or you have to deal with culture shock and adjusting yourself to your new surroundings before you can create a feeling of home in this new place. It is very normal to go through these motions and it helps to connect with others who have gone through the same experience.

Find other expats via local meetup groups or connect with people online to hear about their experiences and how they have dealt with their challenges. There are many Facebook groups, like A Way Abroad's Facebook Group, and conversations on Clubhouse as well (if you have this new app already!), in which you can learn a lot from others.

If you do this you will realize that you’re not the only one who has moved to another country and that the feelings you may have while you’re adjusting to your new place are completely normal. The more connected you feel with others who are on a similar journey, the more likely you will be able to thrive in your new country.

I hope these 5 tips will help you to make the most out of your time in your new country.

If you would like to chat with me or learn more about my experiences living abroad, connect with me on my Instagram @unpackbyveer.

xx,
Veerle

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