The Loneliness of Living Abroad

The bittersweet journey of leaving your home country
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Created by Marios Stamos

Published on Oct 24, 2023
woman holding a visa application
sisterspro, Getty Images

The world has been going through an economic crisis for a long time, but it doesn't look like things will get better soon.

This results in a lot of people moving abroad looking for a better future. And while some people may leave their country because they have no other choice, 90% of migrants have done it voluntarily for economic reasons. 

But by leaving your country behind, you also leave a part of yourself too.

It’s painful to know that you won’t be able to go out for a drink with your best mates or make a mess at the pub while watching a football match.

Now you might be thinking, are these things worth more than quality of life? Well, it depends on the individual, but that’s not the point.

The point is that these are part of our DNA, our culture. It’s something we carry with us everywhere we go. It is the way we have learned to socialize, make friends and express ourselves. When you move abroad, you usually start from scratch. You leave your friends, lovers, and family. Eventually, you will meet new people, but the loneliness of living abroad is a completely different beast.

And while it's common to live with other people because of the high cost of living and renting in particular, I wouldn’t bet on becoming best friends with them. And you can guess why. Having roommates is not the easiest thing in the world, even if you know them, let alone if they're complete strangers.

Despite the challenges, moving abroad can also be a rewarding experience. You'll learn a lot about yourself and the world around you. You'll have the opportunity to meet new people and experience new cultures. And you may even find a new home that you love more than your old one.

But living in a country with better living conditions does not automatically mean that your life will be all sunshine and rainbows. It's important to be realistic about the challenges involved. You'll likely experience culture shock, homesickness, and profound loneliness.

Do your research and weigh the pros and cons carefully. But don't be afraid to take a leap of faith. It could be one of the most life changing decisions you ever make.

Keep in mind that moving abroad doesn't always have to be a permanent decision. Sometimes it just doesn't work out and that's OK. There is no shame in admitting that it wasn't the right decision for you if things don't work out the way you hoped. 

The most important thing is to follow your heart and do what's best for you. Be prepared for the challenges that come with it, and remember, even if you feel lonely, you're not alone. There are millions of people who have moved abroad, and there are many resources available to help you reach your goals.

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