Things Only People Living and Working Abroad Can Understand

That bold decision we made when you finally decide after some struggling and hefty experience to cross the boundaries of our country and move abroad to work, when you eventually pack your entire life into two suitcases and fly, for don’t know how long.
While everyone has their own part of struggles and difficulties moving into an entirely different country overseas and beginning to work abroad, but on the long run, the experience tends to be a great positive experience in life.

So when you start working abroad, as an ex-pat, you come across a lot of assumptions and misconceptions that people have about you and your lifestyle from back home, and then you also deal with a lot of questions that people make from home as well as from your new country about your home country. Well, if you’re working somewhere abroad and living overseas, you can totally relate to the things below:

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We do not just learn and adapt to new cultures easily
People assume that after moving abroad for work, we suddenly develop new language skills and just automatically get adjusted to the new culture of the new country. Well, it happens slowly and indeed it is kind of a struggle.


Going to the first grocery shop, the first day at work, talking to the locals and having so much misconceptions about them and also feeling like you know nothing about the new country and yes, getting lost in places trying to commute around is a struggle. It takes quite some time to learn and adjust to the new lifestyle of the new country and doesn’t happen instantly.

We aren’t the ‘Lucky Ones’ or the ‘Blessed Ones’

Getting a job abroad and working there doesn’t make us the lucky ones and this has nothing to do with luck. Yes, having the privilege to work abroad may mean a new and better lifestyle and of course our Instagram and Facebook feed may appear really amusing but after all that comes a lot of hard work. Getting a job abroad isn’t about luck but behind all that is all the hard work we did, hunting for the job, all the paper works and all the running around we did to finally secure the job and then move to the new country.
Yes, anyone can get a job abroad and one doesn’t have to be lucky to get one. All one needs is hard work, persistence and belief in oneself.

We miss our friends back home and it is hard to keep in touch

Moving abroad and working overseas open the door for us to meet a lot of new people and make new friends as an adult but friends back home with whom you spent so many years and actually grew up with are different. Whenever we scroll down our Facebook feed and see their pictures and updates, we miss them. It feels bad to miss a friend getting married back home or not having to attend that birthday party where all the friends attended except you. Though the internet has made it easy to keep in touch, it is still hard when you’re in a completely different country with a new job and surrounded by new people.

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We didn’t make an impulsive decision

A lot of people think that ex-pats working abroad make the impulsive decision of moving abroad and working suddenly. Apparently, most of us didn’t suddenly decide to move abroad for work, packed our clothes, and headed to the airport to travel. A lot of time was spent in planning, decision making, paper works and the struggle for securing a good job.

We feel low sometimes too

Another shocker – we have bad days as well and sometimes we even get bored. Moving abroad may mean seeing new places and having different experiences but it is not always rainbows and butterflies.
We also have days when we feel low. Sometimes you just feel bored and wanna stay in the bed in a weekend doing nothing. We have times when we feel like going back home. We have those low moody days as well. I personally have experienced that when I tell my friend I am really bored and I am just in bed the entire day, they ask me how I can actually be bored living in New Zealand.

We don’t instantly blend with the locals

Moving to a new country and living as an adult expat isn’t such an easy initial experience. We don’t just walk into a bar and start instant conversations with locals. Especially if you work in a non-English speaking country, that could even be more difficult. We spend a lot of time and experiences learning new ways of life and local cultures and then that makes it easier to blend with the locals which is a process that doesn’t happen in an instant.

We sometimes feel really lonely

There are days you just feel very lonely. Yes, living and working abroad is exciting, challenging and very positive but as humans with emotions, there are days when we feel very lonely and suddenly start missing home. There are times when we feel no one understands you. It is a natural human process of adapting and we feel it too.


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