I have been living abroad for 13 years. After a certain period of living in the new place of residence, it can become a second home. That said, most people still have a pretty secure connection to their home country and visit it frequently. The following article will discuss the challenges and benefits of living abroad.
After growing up in Switzerland, I moved to Singapore, where I lived and worked for five years. Living in an Asian multicultural hub, where Chinese, Malays, Indians, Indonesians, Singaporeans, and all kinds of ex-pats mix, it was a truly fantastic learning experience.
After Singapore, I moved to Australia, where I have lived for eight years. Sydney is also a multicultural hub, and the majority are Caucasian rather than Asian. The two countries of residence were and are very different from Switzerland and gave me a broad and extensive view of ex-pat life and cultural differences.
Living in an extremely multicultural society like Sydney, many clients in my practice are first or second-generation foreigners who have immigrated to Australia. These are some of the advantages they mention about living abroad:
New Possibilities: They describe the excitement and possibilities of living abroad as some of the main reasons they first came here.
Leaving “home”: Many people want to put aside their personal, interpersonal, and professional challenges and start over.
Put some distance between them and their family: They often hope that they will not have to face family problems when they are away because the physical distance leaves them more than space.
Better Climate – Specifically, Australia is known for its sunny and temperate climate, which is a massive draw for foreigners.
Political advantages: For some people, it isn’t easy to live in their country of origin due to the political situation. Living in a free country will improve your quality of life, especially your sense of freedom.
Every coin has two sides: where there are advantages, we will often encounter challenges as well. Here are some of the problems:
Cultural differences: Cultural differences are one of the main challenges affecting both the person who lives abroad and the community in which they fit or not.
Missing family at home: While spending less time with family can alleviate some problems; there are always beautiful things that slip away. I miss seeing my niece grow up, being a part of essential family celebrations like birthdays, weddings, or funerals. Another aspect of the lack of family is that, for example, parents are getting older and may need more support than a person living abroad can provide, which can cause guilt or pain.
Half / Half: Although they can become citizens of the country in which they live, foreigners are still part of their country of origin, culture, language, etc. I noticed that I no longer feel that I entirely belong to my country of origin, but I do not feel like a wholly Australian citizen.
It is essential to consider the challenges and benefits and make informed decisions about when and when it is time to return to your original home.