MOVING ABROAD, LIVING ABROAD, EXPAT ABROAD, TRAVEL TIPS, LIVING IN EUROPE, LIVING IN DENMARK, MOVING AWAY FROM HOME, HOMESICK,

What I Learned from Moving Abroad

It’s hard to believe that 5 years ago from now I had barely just arrived in Denmark (on October 3rd to be exact) and was settling into my life abroad. An experience like this definitely brings a whole new level of learning experiences than you get in your daily life. Here are some of the things I have learned from my experience abroad.

SAYING GOODBYE IS HARD
This is inevitable. The hardest part is saying goodbye to your friends and family. Some people may try to convince you to cancel your plans. People will promise to write, Skype/Facetime etc. It’s overall very emotional especially with your closest inner circle, which at the time for me was my mom, grandparents and (then) boyfriend. 

YOU’LL GROW FROM THE HARDEST TIMES
Even though I cut my trip short, at the time I was saying goodbye I was fully committed to staying in Denmark for a full year, so thinking that I wouldn’t be seeing my loved ones for that time so saying goodbye was hard (as we spoke about above). Times like that, or your first few days trying to get used to the shock of a drastic life change are hugely important in growing you as a person. It also gives you confidence to know you can not only survive, but thrive as well. 

PACK LESS
I packed way too much for this part of my life. I had filled my life into two huge suit cases and I wouldn’t have needed at least one third of everything I brought with me. Pack as little as possible, you can buy the rest when you get there. For storage solutions for your suitcase, I would highly recommend vacuum seal bags! Pack all of your clothing into those and suck out the air. That leaves more room for the things you need and will protect your clothing from any spilling that may occur in transit.

HAVE MONEY FOR EMERGENCIES
This is so important, you always need a way out. You’re new to a different country and chances are you may have made all of your accommodations online. Or maybe you haven’t secured a job yet. Or maybe there ends up being a family emergency. You want to make sure you have some money to back you up in any unforeseen circumstance that may come your way.  You don’t want to ever be stuck in a bad situation with no way out. 
MOVING ABROAD, LIVING ABROAD, EXPAT ABROAD, TRAVEL TIPS, LIVING IN EUROPE, LIVING IN DENMARK, MOVING AWAY FROM HOME, HOMESICK,

BE OUTGOING
If this is already your personality, that’s going to work well in your favour. However if you’re more of an introvert, making friends can be a bit of a challenge. You really need to push yourself out of your shell and go meet people in your new area. It can help you learn the language and it will help ease your transition into your new life. 

EMBRACE THE DIFFERENCES
Depending on where you’re from and where you go, you may experience some culture shock. The food may seem strange, you can’t understand simple things like road signs, the fashion styles may be entirely different than the norm at home. Embrace these differences, and learn about them! Try out the different foods (start slowly if that’s more comfortable for you), take language classes, pick up some new clothing pieces. To fully enjoy your time in this new place, you have to embrace the differences or you’ll probably find yourself pretty homesick. 

DISCOVER YOUR TRUE FRIENDS 
Remember when saying goodbye was so hard? All of those people who promised to still speak to you every day? Chances are, not everyone will. Some people will be too involved in their own lives around them to put time aside for a Facetime chat. Some people won’t want to hear about your experiences and will think that you’re just bragging. Some people won’t think you have a right to feel homesick because you’re so lucky to have this amazing new experience. Then you’ll have some people who are so happy for you, they want to live through your experiences. They will be there to Facetime you at weird hours, they’ll listen to you cry, missing home. They may even be into exchanging care packages. These are the friends (and family) that you will learn are true to you. Remember that even if/when you return home.

MOVING ABROAD, LIVING ABROAD, EXPAT ABROAD, TRAVEL TIPS, LIVING IN EUROPE, LIVING IN DENMARK, MOVING AWAY FROM HOME, HOMESICK,

A care package I received from my mom!

If you’ve ever moved abroad, what are some of your tips to share?

MOVING ABROAD, LIVING ABROAD, EXPAT ABROAD, TRAVEL TIPS, LIVING IN EUROPE, LIVING IN DENMARK, MOVING AWAY FROM HOME, HOMESICK,

You Might Also Like...

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary
    October 12, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I’ve always wanted to live abroad for at least a year. But I keep holding myself back…..not enough money, too scary, etc. How did you pluck up the courage to go for it?

    • Reply
      Amber Primdahl
      November 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      It happened so randomly! It was always a dream of mine but I’m such a chicken so I never thought I would go through with it haha. I poked around on a couple of au pair websites and made profiles. I had a family contact me and we had an interview but it didn’t feel like a match (they seemed lovely, but my gut wasn’t 100% on board) Then when a second family contacted me, it felt completely different, like it was real and meant to happen. Luckily we had an upcoming trip to Denmark planned the next month and I got to meet them in person and we jived well, so that helped. I became friends with the mother of the child I was taking care of and we texted daily, so by the time I was moving it felt like I was going to visit a close friend and that was a huge comfort for me!

  • Reply
    EG III
    October 11, 2016 at 1:24 am

    I love the part about (then) boyfriend. When I first moved abroad in 2005, I had a then girlfriend and friends who promised to travel and come see me and join me in my world explorations. Well, had I waited for those promises I would have never left!

    • Reply
      Amber Primdahl
      November 6, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      Lol thanks! Ugh that’s the worst 🙁 I feel like some people aren’t suited to be in relationships with travellers, better to find out sooner than later!

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 10, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    What a great post! I wish I were brave enough to even travel more often than I do, let alone move abroad.

  • Reply
    Local Nomads
    October 8, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Great article! One thing i’ve learned by moving abroad is how little I actually knew about my home before I left, simply because I had nothing to compare it to. Once I was living in a completely different culture, I was able to analyze my own culture in a whole different way!

  • Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: