November 9, 2021


Most of the time, I love living abroad. I absolutely live for the adventure, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures. I love taking every opportunity to travel, and love trying all the new foods and experiences.

And most of the time it’s just that. I’m happy with my decision to live abroad and am soaking up every moment I can. However, every day is definitely not fun and new adventures. Some of the time it’s… hard. In a world where the highlights of our lives are documented through instagram captions, expat life can definitely seem idealistic. And while I love sharing about my travels and life abroad, I think it’s also worth discussing the not so fun side of making the decision to pick up your life and move abroad. 

Curious to know 6 reasons why moving abroad can be tough? Keep scrolling! 

1. Life moves on without you

While you’re experiencing life abroad, the tough reality is that exciting things back home will happen without you – friends will get married, babies will be born, and parties will be thrown. You’ll probably miss a lot of it and only catch the highlights on social media. For me, this is one of the toughest things about living away from friends and family, and it can be hard to feel content with FaceTime catch ups! 

2. Other’s can’t relate

It can be tough for people back home to understand why you choose to live the life you do.  I often get asked when I’m moving back to the US, and honestly I don’t know. Maybe I won’t, who knows! I’m really happy living abroad at the moment; experiencing new countries and cultures, and sometimes it can be really hard for others to understand that. 

3.  It’s lonely

Despite all the amazing people that you meet abroad, making friends takes time! I’m super thankful to have moved internationally with my boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get lonely. 

4. It’s frustrating

Between figuring out taxes, visas, and jobs, navigating public transit, and attempting to set up your life in a new country, things can often feel overwhelming and difficult. It’s not easy to move countries, and it can often feel like everything is up against you. It’s absolutely maddening in situations like when you need a bank account to get a phone number, but you also need a phone number to get a bank account (I’ve run into this type of situation so many times…)

5. Nowhere feels like home

The longer you’re away, the harder it becomes to answer the question of where home is, as it usually involves a lengthy explanation.  I’ve come to realise I’ll always appreciate aspects of the various places I’ve lived; the entrepreneurial spirit of the US, the life balance in Sweden, and the Scottish passion for life. When you’ve experienced life in other places, it’s really hard to pick one place to call home!

6. Staying in touch takes effort

With the amazing technology that’s available today, the ability to stay in touch with friends and family is more accessible than ever. However, that doesn’t mean that time zones and busy schedules don’t get in the way. Making an effort to schedule FaceTime catchups and staying updated on people’s lives through text definitely takes effort on both sides. And while it’s definitely worth that effort, the truth is that long-distance friendships and relationships can be tough, and unfortunately not all survive. 

While I know this post isn’t the most uplifting, I think it’s important to talk about! Life abroad isn’t always the easiest, but for me it’s worth it. If you want to know more about the AMAZING parts of living abroad, check out these two posts!

10 Things That Happen When You Live Abroad

5 Lessons Learned Abroad

Talk soon,

expat life, thoughts 2 Replies to “THE HARDEST PART ABOUT MOVING ABROAD”



    Author’s gravatar

    You are lucky to be living a kind of life that you’ve chosen and that is a gift :). There are always hard adjustments wherever you live. You’ve done an amazing job making a good life for yourselves ❤️ But we do miss you!!😘

    Author’s gravatar

    Nice post about these very true aspects of living abroad! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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