Moving Must-haves March 16, 2020

What Are the Pros and Cons of Moving Abroad Alone

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Have you ever yearned to go somewhere far away from all worries and problems? Moving abroad alone, to a distant land, is probably an unfulfilled dream of many Americans, whose roots date back to childhood. But, why only dream about it when it can actually come true?

Living overseas might be the best chance to gain a different perspective on your current life and future expectations. Although relocating to a foreign country might sound appealing and exciting, there are several things you should know before buying a one-way plane ticket. We’ve put together a list of the pros and cons that may help you get a bigger and clearer picture of the things that await you if you go down this road.

woman with open arms
Whether you’re relocating for a fresh start or a job offer, one thing is for sure – this experience will make you stronger and more open-minded

Prepare to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone When Moving Abroad Alone

The place where you’re most comfortable is usually the place where you’re most at home. In other words, when there is a sense of security, familiarity, and certainty, you know that you’re in the middle of your comfort zone.

It’s not difficult to conclude that international relocation will upend your cozy little world. In case you need something different, this can provide you with the desired change. Just keep in mind that changes have their benefits as well as flaws.

taking a view
Going abroad will provide you with a much-needed change

The Advantages of Living Across the Ocean on Your Own

Every new beginning is difficult, especially when you decide to take a leap of faith and move abroad in search of new experiences and challenges.

Whatever the reason for your relocation is, it is an excellent opportunity to push yourself beyond your own boundaries. For example, this experience might help you overcome your innate shyness.  Living in an unfamiliar country will make you get out of your nutshell and become stronger, more persuasive, and worldwise.

So, let’s find out what the benefits of moving abroad by yourself are and why it might be the experience of a lifetime.

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Traveling Opportunities

Whether you’re planning to relocate to Asia, Europe, or Australia, you’ll be in the situation to choose your future destination and home. Making your own decisions and dealing with specific situations could be a challenging and even painstaking experience.

But, there are tons of benefits to traveling, for instance, across Europe, that will quickly erase the sadness and homesickness and motivate you to go forward:

  • Most of the people in the EU are fluent enough in English to hold a meaningful conversation
  • You can travel freely between one country to another, as soon as you obtain the right documentation from an EU member state
  • So many countries are at your fingertips – Spain, Italy, and France are just a short flight away from each other

Discovering New Things Such as Cultures, Languages, and Histories

As soon as you step into a unique culture and get to know different habits, you’ll realize that you’ll learn something new all the time, whether you want it or not.

Expanding your knowledge is not just about museums, books, and classes, but it has much more to do with being engaged. By taking part in daily activities, such as grocery shopping, ordering food, or having a conversation with local people, you can gain a unique understanding of the setting that surrounds you. And that will inevitably enrich you as a person.

Moving Makes You Stronger

When living abroad, the most powerful influence on your personal growth will be the dominant lifestyle and the mindset in the country you settled down in. That being said, when you’re on your own, you can’t expect someone else to find a job instead of you, or to open your bank account for you. It’s all up to you.

But don’t worry; it will be spine-chilling just in the beginning. After you realize how powerful creating your own world and living life on your own terms can be, you’ll like that feeling so much that you’ll never wish to go back to your old ways ever again.

Meeting New Friends

Relocating is not just about exploring different cultures, but more about forging new friendships and professional connections. Whether you want to pick up a hobby or choose to volunteer, there will be plenty of chances to meet interesting individuals and make strong relationships with them. Also, as soon as you meet someone and become closer, adjusting to a new country will go more smoothly.

volunteers serving food
No matter how scary and exciting it sounds at the same time, going overseas requires an adaptation period

The Challenges of Being an Expat in a Strange Country

Many people who have never traveled abroad or lived in a foreign place might tell you it’s not worth it. These kinds of preconceptions are common among individuals who have a fear of the unknown. However, many of these concerns are not entirely irrational, no matter how ridiculous they may sound.

Relocation depression and anxiety are common phenomena, especially if you are about to move away from home for the first time. The good thing about it is that all of these can be conquered. So, let’s take a look at the reasons why uncomfortable situations happen and the ways to overcome them.

Culture Shock

Culture shock may be caused by anything unfamiliar, but the usual suspects are different lifestyles, social norms, transportation, and food. If that happens to you, the worst thing you can do is to hide in your apartment and refuse to live your life.

No matter how unusual, odd, or strange your new environment may look to you, try to immerse yourself in the culture as much as possible. Yes, it might be easier said than done when you’re all alone, but remember – potential friends are all around you; you just need to let them meet you.

Sometimes, even the small things, such as hiring an international moving company to transport all your belongings and to provide packing services for your items, can help break the initial fear and uncertainty. So think of your movers as the first friend in this unfamiliar environment – don’t be shy to ask them everything you would like to know.


Speaking of different habits and cultures: your loneliness may even worsen these impressions. As an expat, you might feel frequent bouts of sadness and homesickness. The good news is that it’s only temporary. But, the more you expose yourself now, the more you’ll start to gather familiarity and routine. And the feeling of rootlessness will fade over time.

If you’re wondering how to keep in touch with friends and family, thanks to modern technology, you can schedule regular video calls with them to keep you connected to your loved ones and your home country.

Language Barrier

One of the most common difficulties of expat life is definitely the new language. To be prepared even for a basic conversation, you should start to learn the foreign tongue before the relocation.

Besides courses and language buddies, which are always the right choice, there are some fun ways to learn a strange language, such as using FluentU. Thanks to this website, supported by the right set of tools, breaking the language barrier is achievable and your language skills may be improved in many ways:

  • accessing the best foreign-language content on the Internet
  • understanding and truly enjoying real-world videos
  • learning words from real-world context
woman in a coffee house
Sadness is just a temporary feeling

A New Way of Thinking, Living, and Facing Problems Is Coming Your Way

Moving across the world alone is a process that requires an adjustment period, patience, and perseverance. It might be scary at first glance, but it is a truly enriching experience that will show you all your weaknesses and strengths. You should get ready to face all your fears, demons, and personal dissatisfaction.

So, if you want to live somewhere far away by yourself, there’s no need to sit on the fence and wait for the right moment. The right moment is now.

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