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How Do I Prepare Myself for Moving Abroad? An Alternative Guide

How Do I Prepare Myself for Moving Abroad? An Alternative Guide

Are you considering a relocation? Wondering how to prepare yourself for the exciting journey of moving abroad? Whether you’re planning a permanent relocation or embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, moving to a foreign country can be both thrilling and challenging. To make this journey easier and more positive for you, we are here to offer an alternative approach.

There’s a tendency to think that if we’ll sort all of our practical stuff and technical bits, we’ll be ready to move. So we grab a piece of paper or our phone (we’re in 2023 after all) and start making a list of all that we have to do before moving. We read blogs, join dozens of Facebook groups, and each day we have a couple more things on this list; and as we hit the 214th mark on the list (it might have happened before) we start to wonder,

‘Is it really worth it?! Should I really move? Why am I doing this to myself???’.

We’ve been there more than once in our lives, and we have to tell you, in our belief, moving and living abroad is one of the most amazing experiences one can have! IF approached properly.

Because you see, those logistics you’re so worried about might make you more ‘ready,’ but they don’t necessarily make you FEEL ready. What actually makes the big difference is when we prepare ourselves emotionally for moving abroad.

The truth is, we’ve seen so many people relocating without any of the logistics taken care of – they just went for it, because they felt they got it, and they knew they’ll figure it out as they go.

Moving abroad, whether for a short predefined time, an adventure, or a proper immigration process, is a journey. It’s exciting, and terrifying; it’s happiness and fear of the unknown; it’s ups and downs. From the moment we decide and long after we actually take the jump. And it’s totally worth it. The key is to build a strong enough inner foundation so that we don’t break with every challenge we face; and let us tell you a secret, there are going to be many various challenges ahead, some you can expect, and some that will just come out of nowhere.
But we’re not here to scare the s**t out of you. We’re here to make sure you FEEL ready for it.

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In this alternative guide, we’ll walk you through valuable insights and practical tips on how to emotionally prepare yourself for the journey of moving abroad.

So you can confidently embark on your adventure and experience a successful relocation with reduced stress and enhanced enjoyment.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Woman surrounded by boxes making a checklist while she prepare for moving abroad
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

1. Uncover Your True Motivation for Moving Abroad:

Understanding your deepest motivations is essential for a smooth transition. Ask yourself the question, “Why do I want to move abroad?” and dig deeper into your answers. Your true reason should be 100% personal (you’re not moving for your partner, your kids, your boss, your best friend or your mother – you have your own reason to do it); emotionally compelling, and powerful enough to keep you going when challenges arise. By discovering your authentic motivation, you’ll gain clarity and a strong sense of purpose, guiding you through every step of your international journey.

2. Make Mistakes:

Yes, yes you heard us right. Whether you want it or not, on your relocation journey, and during your time in another country you’ll make mistakes. Some smaller and some bigger, but you’ll do them. So we have to be willing to make them, sometimes even intentionally. If you’re currently still in your home country, try making mistakes on purpose, little one. Show your brain that it’s not the end of the world when you’re making a mistake, and that it shouldn’t stop you from trying again. It’s a simple technique that will have a great impact on your day-to-day life abroad.
Mistakes are an integral part of our growth, and they allow us to build resilience, so give it a try. When thinking of it, that’s how many things that we use right now have been created 😉 it all started with a mistake.

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3. Find An Opportunity in The Challenge:

Moving abroad presents its fair share of challenges, but they can be reframed as opportunities for personal and professional development. Instead of viewing obstacles with frustration, shift your perspective to seek the hidden opportunities within them.

Embrace challenges as chances to expand your horizons, gain new skills, and deepen your understanding of different cultures. If you got the wrong dish in a restaurant because you don’t speak the local language, this could be really frustrating, unless you decide to look at the opportunity here to try something you probably would have not ordered intentionally.

4. Focus on what is:

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by difficulties when preparing for a relocation. That’s where a positive approach can come very handy. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect and that you should neglect what is not going well, but you always have the choice to decide what to give more importance to. There’s a quote by Tony Robbins that we really love that says:

“What’s wrong is always available. So is what’s right.”. It’s really a matter of choice.

Instead of focusing on things that are not going well or not working, learn to see what is going well, what is functioning, what you have achieved.

Practical tip:
Every evening before going to bed, consciously bring to your attention a positive moment from your day and write it down; something that made you feel good, made you smile, something you succeeded at, even if it’s a small thing (like having coffee with a friend or receiving a message). Focus on it and allow yourself to enjoy that thought. Do it daily, and if you can think of three things each day, even better.

5. Build a Supportive Network:

Moving abroad is a transformative journey, but you don’t have to do it alone. Seek out like-minded individuals, both within your destination country and online communities, who share your aspirations and understand the unique challenges of relocating or living a digital nomad lifestyle.

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Often our closest friends and family don’t understand our step of moving somewhere else, and therefore it makes it harder for them to support us. It doesn’t mean they don’t care or love us, it’s just that they are looking at the situation from their perspective and experiences.

Make sure you surround yourself with people that bring you up, build your confidence, encourage you in this adventure and give you what you need so you can follow your path.

Those are a couple of things you can start today to emotionally prepare yourself for the journey of moving abroad, but it’s not all.

Your personal preparation for a relocation also includes elements of acceptance, confidence, optimism, and resilience. By cultivating and nurturing these aspects before your move, you’ll better prepare yourself to handle whatever comes your way. Additionally, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how to navigate the stress and anxiety that can accompany significant life changes.

Now, don’t forget to also take care of the nitty-gritty technical stuff – visas, work, healthcare, language learning, housing, and all that jazz. You’ll need those practical elements to rock your life abroad. But do it at the same time that you take care of yourself.

So, buckle up, go on this adventure with open eyes, mind and heart, and create a life you actually enjoy living – no matter where you are.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights on how to prepare yourself emotionally before moving abroad.
If you’re seeking further guidance and support in your relocation or digital nomad journey, we invite you to connect with us or Instagram, or visit our profile on AnyExpat.

We are here to support you throughout this transformative phase and help you create a smooth and positive life abroad.

Sending positive vibes your way ✨
Maayan & Gal
Co-Founders of Smoozitive

About the Author(Smoozitive)

Nice to meet you, we're Maayan & Gal, co-founders of Smoozitive. We're Life Lovers, Expats, Podcasters, Authors, Course Creators, Game Changers, Dreamers, and World's best sisters! Maayan is a certified mindfulness & Ho’oponopono practitioner, and Gal is a certified positive psychology coach. We're also third culture kids (well now adults), change-adept, 4th generation expats, professional smilers, excellent listeners, cheerful duo (we got our Pompons ready), high-energy and moving abroad experts. We are a variety of things (guessing you probably are too); But most importantly, we strongly believe that moving and living abroad can be the experience we dream of rather than the one we fear - if approached appropriately. We want to help you make this transition as smooth as possible and create a life you actually enjoy living no matter where you are... starting, well, how does now sound to you?

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