Depressive Side Effects of Living Abroad
Before letting you to read this post it is important that you know that I love to live in Luxembourg, I love to live abroad, and I am more than happy with this choice in my life.
I would NEVER change this decision.
I don`t live for long abroad compared to some veteran expats, but so far it is an exciting psychological journey for me and would like to share with you my thoughts.
In the last years I have been thinking about self-esteem, life, love, fear & responsibility more than ever before.
The fact that expats need to build a complete new existence far away from everything they knew before and were used to and believe in something new makes them very powerful. So full respect.
Moving abroad is like to jump with a parachute out of your comfort zone based on your free will.
If you ask any expat how life is abroad: they will tell you about how happy they are, how their horizon is broadened and how a clearer sense of them is developed since living abroad.
They will be all in agreement on this.
What they won`t tell you about is that living abroad is something which makes their life in a “strange” way lonely, guilty and alienated many times.
There are some more or less guaranteed feelings coming in one package with moving abroad.
Feeling Guilty Always
You won`t be there for friends and family in lows and neither in highs. You won`t be there anymore to celebrate birthdays, bachelorette parties, baby showers, engagements.
And neither you will be there when a friend is going through a break up or your grandma gets suddenly in hospital.
You can of course do anything through many channels to make them feel they can count on you.
Although, in the reality the only thing your girlfriend needs is a big hug and drinking some glass of wines and your grandma to know when her little girl is coming home again to visit.
All your decisions and priorities will be constrained by budget and time.
In one year probably 3 of your friends are getting married, with bachelorette parties, your goddaughter is turning 5 years old, your grandma is turning 75 years old, your brother is graduating from university, your best girlfriend and your cousin give birth to a little angle.
How do you and how can you justify the choice when you want to be there and for whom?
To live abroad makes you to feel simply to be the worst friend, the worst sister, the worst granddaughter.
Losing Some Dear Friends
Moving abroad changes or sacrifices dear friendships.
It is basically no one`s fault and everybody`s fault.
They will search you less and less as they think you are hanging out with your new friends.
Some will blame you because you went home, but did not have time for them, or not “enough time” for them.
Could you squeeze in more visits? Yes, you could. But you will get tired of it. Relatives and friends can also return the favor and visit you.
As all human relationships, friendship is also dependent on two parties. It is very sad because by losing friends you are losing also one of your part: a little history of you, the common jokes, the shared memories.
It Feels Like on the First School Day
Even if you have the fortune to be surrounded by people who are wonderful persons, fun and exciting you will experience many times a deep or let`s say differently a special sense of loneliness.
It is hard to build new friendships as most of the friendships are based on shared memories, stories.
Somehow many new social occasions feel like being on the first school day: trying to find out more about a person, trying to see whether you can be friends.
Will You Fit In?
Despite your very best efforts you will never fit in 100% in your new home.
It is mainly due to lack of your roots and history in the country.
From your previous home you are totally alienated because in your everyday you have different goals, you have different lifestyle, different values, different culture.
Slowly your home in the past won`t feel anymore home.
I always say home is where your heart is, and I find it extremely true. But even if you feel home in your new home country, you will never fit in 100%.
Do I regret my decision to choose the international life? No.
So far, the past 2 years was the most wonderful part of my life, although many times I felt like to be on my own emotional roller coaster.
I find it important to share and talk about not only the ups but also about the downs of living as an expat.
I would love to hear your individual stories and opinion about this topic.
If you wish to share your experience with me don`t hesitate and reach out to me.
Thanks for reading,