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Fear of Moving Abroad and How to Deal with it

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Moving to a new country is an adventure that lets you explore a lot of opportunities and exciting experiences. However, feeling scared about an international move is also common especially when you are moving abroad alone.

Fear of Moving Abroad - How to Deal with it

Leaving behind your loved ones, your home - and everything that is familiar - only to get immersed in foreign culture and an unfamiliar language is a staggering thought. If you want to make your international relocation successful without any culture shock jitters and anxiety, you'll need to be prepared for things that could go wrong. Read on for some tips on how to overcome the fear of moving abroad.


The most common fear of moving abroad is to live far away from your loved ones. As an expat you may often feel homesick especially after moving abroad for the first time and having spent most of your life at the same place. You will be missing out on all kinds of celebrations with your folks, which can be quite upsetting.

To overcome the fear of homesickness, make the best use of technology and stay connected with your family and friends through social media and messaging apps. Video calls and conference calls will help you connect with multiple people at the same time. Apart from that, you can also connect with other expats in your host country and indulge in like-minded activities. Before you know it, you'll have a second family by your side.

Financial trouble

It's extremely important to be financially secure when moving to another country. Looking for a job after you move is usually not a feasible idea. Make sure that the cost of living in your host country aligns with your budget. Lack of funds can lead to a lot of problems when you are moving abroad all alone as you can't rely on others for help. Carry both cash and cards to ensure you have enough money in case of emergency.

The best way to avoid any financial insecurity is to plan everything in advance and get an idea as to how much you'll be required to spend - from the cost of your international move to your monthly expenditure after settling in the host country.

Safety issues

Safety is a big concern for expats when moving to a new country alone. Although the risks can't be completely evaded even in one's own home country, the chances of being conned or robbed in a foreign land are higher as you aren't completely aware of the safe areas and the dangerous ones. Before you decide to move, check the crime rate of the city you intend to relocate to. Besides, apply common sense and don't rely on random strangers no matter how polite they sound. Be nice to everyone but don't let others take advantage of your situation since you don't know anyone there. Don't wander around in dark and empty streets and be responsible.

Moving scams

Another common fear of moving abroad is the risk of being posed by international moving scams. When you are planning an international relocation, you'll be bound to hire professionals for assistance. There are so many companies to choose from, that you may find it difficult to choose the best one. In order to make sure that you don't become a victim of a scam, you'll need to be careful in picking the company. Also, compare quotes from different companies and choose the most suitable option.

Another useful tip is to check for the permit and licenses held by international moving companies. Some of these important affiliations include -

  • Federation International des Déménageurs Internationaux (FIDI)
  • Registered International Mover Certification (RIM)
  • Overseas Movers Network International (OMNI)

Culture shock and language barriers

After living a comfortable life in your homeland, if you are planning to relocate to a new country with a completely different culture, language and customs; you'll need some time to adjust to the new life. In order to avoid culture shock and the fear of not being able to fit in with others, be thorough with your research about the host country. If that's still not enough, visit the country first and get comfortable with the surroundings.

Learn about the place; only then you'll be able to decide whether you should move or not. If the customs and traditions seem a bit too alienated, it's not a good idea to move there. It would help if you can learn a bunch of common phrases and words to communicate with the locals. Socialize with the people and try to exchange ideas. Get involved in exciting activities and make the experience count by extracting fun out of it.

Failure of the purpose of your move

There can be various reasons for a person to move overseas - following a loved one, chasing a dream, adding adventure to life, career prospects, and so on. Many people feel scared to move abroad thinking that they will fail and will have to return to their home country. To deal with such a fear, the only solution is to be practical and learn from the experiences.

You'll never know the result unless you try. So, if you are moving abroad keeping in mind a purpose, try your best to fulfill it. If you fail, you'll still be able to learn a lesson out of it. And if you act with patience, you may be able to start a new phase of your life. You don't necessarily have to give up. With a positive attitude and determination, you can overcome the fear of moving overseas.


The thought of moving to a new country is exciting yet nerve-wrecking. But it isn't something to be feared about. There are many pros and cons to moving abroad and you have to weigh your options before deciding anything. You may fear the risks or think about the opportunities.

Moving abroad can be emotionally overwhelming but it can also give you better career opportunities. You can mingle with people from diverse cultures and broaden your horizons like never before. If you are scared to move abroad, the best solution is to prepare for the things that could go wrong. You don't need to give up the idea of moving because of fears that can be easily dealt with.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on September 4, 2013

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