About 4 years ago, I made the decision to move to the UK on a Tier 5 (working holiday) visa. At the time, my circumstances were ideal to make a move like this – at least, as ideal as circumstances can ever be. I was in a contract job, which meant I had a clear end date to said job, so I figured it would be better to leave than to look for a new job, I had enough money saved up for the visa requirements, and I was single. The only downside was leaving my family and friends behind.
I’ve come across many people over the years who have said that they would love to do what I did but don’t end up doing it and people who have said that they’re jealous but could never do what I did. The truth is, though, for the most part, they can!
I understand that not everyone has this privilege. Perhaps certain circumstances in your life will prevent you from being able to move abroad, but if your circumstances do allow for you to make such a move, you should definitely take advantage of it.
Now, I’m not telling you to simply plunge into the deep end and jet off without doing any prior research or planning. It is of course up to you to do your due diligence on understanding visas, researching the city or country you plan to move to, knowing how much money you’ll require, and the like. But if even after you’ve done this work, you feel like something is still holding you back, this is for you.
Note: I’m using the term “abroad” very loosely and do not mean it only as “halfway around the world”. If you’re contemplating moving halfway across your country or simply to another city, this can apply to you as well!
1. Determine Your “Why”
To start, you need to determine your “why”. Why do you want to move abroad? Are you seeking to get out of your comfort zone? Are you looking for a new adventure or a new experience? Do you want to learn a new language in its native country? Do you have a new job opportunity? Perhaps you have multiple “whys” – that’s completely fine too! Your “why” or “whys” are what will help to empower you to take the leap. Write them down so that you don’t lose sight of why you want to move abroad in the first place.
2. Determine What’s Holding You Back
Next, you need to determine what’s holding you back. Do you have a stable job or career that you’re hesitant to give up? Do you have a fear of being homesick? Maybe you have a fear of not being able to find a home or job in your new city or country? Or a fear of “starting over”?
Everyone likes security and stability, so when there’s a roof over your head and a steady income flowing in, many simply don’t want to give it up. And the thought of removing said security and stability causes a lot of fear and anxiety in people. You have to remember that fear is rooted in the future, and fears of the future only happen in your head and are usually extremely irrational.
It’s important to be logical and realistic when it comes to addressing your fears. It may be helpful to not only write down your fears, but also write down why they’re irrational. For example, you may have a fear of never finding a job in your new country. This is irrational because there are always jobs available and it may be that you just have to be a bit less fussy about the job you end up with.
Ask yourself: Do you want to live a life worth remembering? Of course you do! Everyone does! But it’s usually fears of what may or may not happen that stop people in their tracks. Also remember to revisit your “why” or “whys” to remind yourself of why you want to move abroad.
3. Speak to Individuals Who Have Been in Similar Situations
If you’re finding that you just can’t seem to get over your fears, you may find it helpful to speak to someone who has done what you’re contemplating. Talking to others who have been in similar situations offers reassurance and pulls you away from the constant negative chatter of your own mind.
Don’t fret if you don’t personally know anyone who has been in the same situation! There are often Facebook groups that you can join where the members can give great advice. One group I quite like on Facebook is “Canadians in the UK”, where members often ask for advice and there is a general vibe of helpfulness and empathy.
If you’re not able to find any helpful Facebook groups, there are tons of bloggers out there who have taken the leap to move abroad! I don’t think they would mind if you reached out to them for some advice. (This includes me as well!)
4. Trust in the Universe
What has always helped me throughout my life – in all situations, not just deciding on whether or not to move abroad – is the belief that whatever is meant to happen will happen when the time is right and that everything happens for a reason.
Trust in whatever it is you choose to believe in, whether that’s God, the universe, or a higher power. You can fear the unknown, or you can dive right into it. I chose to dive into it 4 years ago, and I’m now living my best life! So believe me when I say that making the decision to move abroad will lead you in the right direction and will be your best choice!
If you’ve ever moved abroad, what advice would you give someone who is considering it? If you’re considering moving abroad, what’s the biggest thing holding you back? Maybe you have a question for me? Let me know in the comments!