What is the Hardest Aspect of Moving Abroad?
Making the decision to move out of the country is easy. It was for us, at least. Packing your stuff, saying goodbye to family and friends, and dealing with the logistics of moving to Mexico? Not so easy.
Emotionally, telling our family that we were moving to Mexico was really exciting, nerve racking, and sad (all at the same time). We only had one month between the time we made our decision to move and our departure date, so we did not exactly give them much warning.
When you live close to your family (within a couple hundred miles), you may not see your family every weekend, but you at least have the ability to. Sometimes, we take this ability for granted, but nonetheless, the opportunity is still there. However, when you are south of the border, seeing family every other weekend is not an option.
For us, that was tough to swallow. If you do not live close to your family this may not be an issue at all (making moving abroad that much easier!)
If you are close to your family, one way to mitigate the downsides to moving abroad is to look into family visiting you abroad! We were lucky enough to have many friends and family come see us in Puerto Vallarta. We also Skype and Facetime them regularly. Though this is not nearly the same as being able to see them in person, it is an amazing thing to be able to see your loved ones’ face while you live a thousand miles away!
The absolute hardest part about moving abroad is dealing with all of your STUFF!
Do you want to sell it?
What the heck are you supposed to do with it?! We decided to do a little of all three. We kept our furniture and some clothes in a storage facility, donated a lot of stuff that we realized we no longer needed, and threw out stuff that was beyond donating (yes, we had stuff so terrible that it shouldn’t be donated!) Though this aspect of moving abroad was not as emotionally difficult as waving goodbye to your family, it was very physically demanding. If you have ever moved, you know exactly what I am talking about! The entire time we were packing and moving I just kept thinking to myself “This better be worth it!”
It was, and still is.
Finally, as if there are not enough difficult decisions in moving abroad, our final toughest piece was tying up all of the other loose ends. Where to send your mail, car insurance, switching to a more international transaction friendly bank, what to pack, finding an apartment to live in, ensuring that your phone plan has international text/calling etc. Each challenge was pretty easy to take care of, but cumulatively, it was a lot of work. If you share in our dream of moving to a different country in the next year or so, we highly suggest you start thinking through these things now. (Our list was extensive by the time we actually moved 🙂 )
Tell your family as soon as you can! Give them plenty of notice and make sure you spend quality time with everybody while you can. Start going through your closets and donating things you do not use on a regular basis. Finally, do some research on those annoying items like what to pack, changing phone plans, switching banks, etc. If you do a lot of that work now, it will save you the time and headache down the road.
What is/was the most most difficult aspects for us may substantially differ from what you will experience. Our best suggestion is to learn from our experiences and mistakes. Spend time with family now while you can. Do your research ahead of time and start planning your trip now!
You will face many difficulties when moving abroad—it just is not an easy thing to do. However, the headaches you may encounter simply cannot compare to the amount of excitement and joy we just know will feel when you finally start living your dreams!
Keep it Kinetic,
Greg and Hillary