Should I move abroad or not?
This article is devoted to all of you who cannot decide whether to go abroad or stay in your home country.
If we simplified it, then we could say that if you like change and the unknown, if you have sufficient resources (or a secure contract in hand) and a few social contacts in the new country, then you have a good basis for going abroad and benefiting from it.
However, we know that your situation may be much more complex than that. To avoid later disappointment, try to go deeper into the thoughts and feelings that appear when you are wondering whether to move abroad or not.
Think about the following questions:
- What attracts you about each of the options (staying / going)?
- What would be the risks (if you stay / if you move abroad)?
- If you decide to go, what will be your main expectations from your time abroad?
- What are your biggest fears (about staying / about going)?
- If you go, what could you do to achieve your ambitions and lower your risks and fears?
- How motivated are you to invest your time, energy, money and other resources in this?
Answering these questions for yourself may help you make up your mind.
What you can also do to progress with your decision:
- Think in detail about the stay and your eventual return: what you would do during your time abroad and how long you would like to stay. Consider also what it would mean to return some day. Those questions can help you explore whether you really want to go for positive reasons, or whether it is rather an escape strategy to get away from your current situation at home. Both options are reasonable, but you are much more likely to benefit from going abroad if you find strong reasons FOR the stay abroad, not only AGAINST staying at home.
- Talk to a close friend. It is not that the friend would know the answer to your dilemma better than you do, but it is helpful if you voice your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust. Things may seem clearer to you when you hear yourself talking about them. Other people will also add other views on the issues.
- Contact some people who have lived abroad, preferably at the place that you are interested in, and learn from them about their experiences. How would you cope with the challenges they went through? How was it for you to listen to their stories – did it make you more excited, or worried?
- Make a draft plan, including a calculation of costs, for the option of going, in case you are reluctant mainly due to the financial or logistical requirements of the option. That will help you build a more realistic picture before you take the final decision.
- Talk to the people who will be affected by your decision. Open communication will prevent misapprehensions on anyone’s part, and will form a good basis for finding common solutions.
- Pay attention to your intuition. You might intuitively know the answer to the question of what you really want to do. Therefore, you might just be looking for more rational reasons for doing one thing rather than another. That can be conscious or unconscious, so try to observe it in your reactions. However, if you still cannot decide, then it probably means that you have some bigger worries about your preferred option. If it is so, you can try to switch your attention from “which option shall I choose” to “how shall I solve the challenges related to my preferred option”. As soon as you find ideas for solutions, on your own or with support, your original dilemma about going or staying is likely to be solved.
- Contact a coach. An experienced professional can help you progress with your decision. Together, you can have a closer look at your doubts, expectations, challenges and possible solutions, taking into consideration your individual case. The coach can also help you plan the next steps, be it moving abroad or staying at home.
Moving abroad might be one of the biggest changes you ever make, with an impact on both your private life and work.
You have lots of possibilities for making it a positive change.
If you decide to go, start with proper preparation. This is essential for preventing problems and having a truly positive time abroad.