5 Reasons Why You’re Not Ready To Move Overseas For A Year

5 Reasons You're Not Ready To Move Oversears For A Year


5 Reasons You're Not Ready To Move Oversears For A Year

We are at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, and my husband (now ex) have a 6 hour wait for our connecting flight that’s going to take us from Paris to Lyon, France.

While waiting, I decide to walk around the airport to make the time go by faster, and my husband says to me; could you bring me a cup of coffee?

Without even thinking that we are now in France and no longer in the US, I say yes, and start walking away in the direction of a coffee shop.

As I’m walking, an alarm goes off in my head – like my subconscious mind awoke me – hey, we’re in France here, we don’t bring coffees. We come to the coffee, which is served only in real coffee cups and consumed on the spot.

A rush of old memories came back to me.

When I first arrived in New York, one of the first things I told my mother on the phone was; “mom, they walk in the streets with coffee cups here!”

It was something new to me.

My mother and I, both had a good laugh.

As all of this is rushing to my mind, in that busy Paris airport, I’m walking back to my husband and tell him; “we’re in France here, so I can’t bring you a cup of coffee, you need to go in that coffee shop yourself and drink it there.”

So, let say that you’re an American, and never been to France before.

How do you react to that?

Does it bother you to no end?

Do you fuss and complain?

Or do you just accept the fact that you’re not home anymore and there’s going to be a few things – beside the language – that’s going to be different from home.

Now, think about it…

Why would you want to go overseas to live the exact same way you did back home anyway?

Well, you’d be surprised.

Some people who go overseas, even move overseas, do complain when things are not as they are used to be back home.

So in this post, I wanted to talk about 7 reasons why you’re not ready to move overseas for a year.

If you fit those reasons, think about it carefully before you make the plunge.

By the way, I have a friend that can help you to move to France for a year, in case you’d be interested. NOT an affiliate link at all!


1 – You’re not Willing to Try New Things

When you move overseas, no matter where you’re going, you are going to have a culture shock.

The minute I landed in New York 20 years ago, I had a culture shock.

There’s no denying it. You just look around and you know you’re not home anymore.

The official language, the food, the way things are done (like my coffee story), the way people act, etc.

All of that is going to be different.

So, if you’re not someone who is willing to try new things, instead of having the time of your life, you are pretty much going to be miserable.

So, be willing and ready to experience new things!


2- You’re Feeling that your Culture is Better than any other out there

Different parts of the world, different countries, different languages, are bound to bring on different cultures.

There are things that will be easier to adapt to than others, I’m sure, but I can promise you that you will notice differences.

When my mother and aunt used to come see me in the US three months out of the year, they noticed all those culture differences.

Since they were rather open minded, it never really bothered them.

More often than not, it even made them smile.  They thought that it was interesting.

What about you?

How do you react to culture shock?

Are you bothered by it, and wish they were like home?

If, yes, then moving overseas might not be for you.

Since the culture is not going to adapt to you, any time soon, you need to be ready to adapt to the culture if you want to move overseas for a year.


3- You’re not willing to learn other ways of life

I know that some people in the US have a tendency to think that their way of life is THE way of life, but people (countries) outside of the US don’t necessarily think that way.

Now do they?

Flash news!

Some things that you are taking for granted here in your home country, may not even exist in other countries.

And vice-versa of course.

So, make sure that if you are going to move to another country for a year, you are going with an open mind. Willing to adapt to another way of life.

Some things will be easier than others.

Some things you’re going to miss. I promise you that!

But, remember that’s part of the challenges of going outside of your own country.

That’s the beauty of it all!


4- You’re Not Ready for New Challenges

Moving to a foreign country, even for a relatively short period of time, like a year, will bring its fair amount of challenges.

Are you ready for challenges?

Are you ready to embrace them as they come, even with a smile?

In most of the countries of Europe, you can’t really do business between lunch hours. Many shops and offices close between 1 and 3 hours at lunch time, depending on the country.

If you don’t master the language, you might have a hard time at times to get and explain what you want.

How do you order from a menu with no picture in a language that you hardly understand?

How do you go to a post office and ask for what you need?

All of these and more can be challenging situations.

Are you ready for them?

If even the smallest challenges at home make you skin crawl, then moving to another country might not be for you.

Be open minded and ready to laugh at yourself. It will help tremendously, I promise!


5- You’re Not Ready to Leave your Life Behind

If there is anything that you don’t want to leave behind at home, then moving to another country for a year, is probably not for you.

I could never have moved away from home when I had my furry babies (my cats), for example.

When I almost moved back to France in 2001, I was going to take my cats with me, there was no way I would have left them behind.

So, look around your house, look around your life and make sure that your life allows you to move away for a year, with no regret whatsoever.

If not, then you’re probably not ready to leave your life behind, pack up and go, yet.

In this case, maybe it means that the right time hasn’t come up for you yet.


In Conclusion…

In order to be ready to move away for a year in another country, make sure that:

  • You are willing to try new things
  • You are willing to adapt to a new culture
  • You are ready to welcome new challenges
  • You are ready to embrace a new way of life
  • You will have no regret
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21 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You’re Not Ready To Move Overseas For A Year”

    1. Hi Angela, and welcome here.

      I understand that totally. There are some foods that I had access to in France on a daily basis and have not seen them here, ever, in 20 years, not even in New York.

      For sure Mexican food is not popular in France 🙂

      Thanks for coming by.

    2. I read your comment Angela and had a laugh. mexican food isnt my favourite food but i do miss it from time to time. I mean real mexican food. Living in California gave us access to the mexican community and great mexican food.

      Being part Thai, i really miss access to god asian food. So i end up cooking a lot.

      I do really appreciate all the wine and cheese choices though.

      Sylviane, thanks for the mention in your article.
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      1. Hi Annie,

        Yes, that’s understandable. Food is one of the things that I miss the most from France 🙂

        You’re welcome, it was my pleasure to link to your fantastic blog that’s getting better and better!

  1. Hi Sylviane,

    I would definitely suffer from culture shock. The last time I was in Mexico it was in 2002. I didn’t eat all weekend. You would think I would since that is my heritage but they make everything different there.

    It was funny because while the family feasted on goat and all kinds of foods I was eating fried potatoes with tortillas. I couldn’t even eat the eags :).

    Great post Sylviane! I like the part when you laughed at how Americans drank their coffee.

    I hope you’ve had a great week. Have a wonderful weekend!
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    1. Hi Corina,

      I’m with you on that one. There are some countries I don’t even want to go, because there are some things in their cultures that disturb me. As for the more “civilized” ones I should say, I’m OK with them even if they are different then what I’ used too. It can even be fun!

      Thanks for coming 🙂

  2. Great article Sylviane!

    I have lived overseas a number of time and agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said. I’m an adventurer and a risk taker, so what I actually love best about going overseas is that things are different. The food, the culture, the ease of getting things done during the day. It’s all different and the more different, the more I like it.

    Funny story. Though I traveled in Europe, Asia and the Middle East many times, I never felt drawn to travel to England. Why? Because I LOVE feeling my way in a foreign language!! And thus England didn’t feel like an adventure because the language was the same!

    But I know I’m unusual. Most people have a bit of anxiety when outside their comfort zone – particularly around language and culture.

    One day I’ll share with you a few stories about living in barely post-Soviet Budapest for 9 months in 1992 with challenges like trying to get a Visa from the Russian Embassy to visit Ukraine trying to explain to a travel agent who had computer, that it is indeed possible to fly from Budapest to Istanbul to Tel Aviv and back to Budapest. She was 100% sure I had to come back to Budapest first and then get on another round trip flight!!

    Wonderful post about the realities of international travel Sylviane. For me, it’s the most fun thing, but you must be prepared in your mind for being uncomfortable a bit every day!

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    1. Hi Deborah,

      Somehow your comment went to spam, but I’m glad I got you in the end.

      As compared to the majority of people, yes, you are bit unusual, but I’m a lot like you. The reason I came to the US rather then England which I considered for a while, was because England was way too close to home, and not exotic enough for me, so I picked the United States. Much more foreign to me.

      I guess we are attracted by what most people are afraid of, different culture and language. I find it so cool.

      That’s why I want to go to Italy, because that’s a language I don’t speak, and will have to learn it. I love learning languages, because a language is not just different words, it’s a whole world that one can visit only when they speak the language.

      Thanks for coming and I’m so glad you enjoyed this post.

  3. Hey SYLVIANE,

    You had mentioned exactly those reason we didn’t wanna go to other countries but in our mind we think we should go there visit those amazing tourist places that we used to see in web. We sometime thinks we should go there and do some jobs to make money.
    This are some of the point which came in my mind which make my mind to go overseas.

    Thanks for sharing
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  4. Hi Sylviane,

    Wonderful post indeed 🙂

    I liked your little coffee story on top, and yes, I would definitely suffer from cultural shock more than anything else! Even within our country, if we move from the North end to the South, everything changes – the weather, food, language, people, and even the animals!

    If we aren’t able to adapt ourselves to the change and be willing to take up the challenges, which happens if you have a positive mindset, things will never work for us and we’d keep strangers and unfit for the place. That’d affect our daily working too.

    I know you moved from France years back and look at the way you have adjusted so well now, which isn’t easy, but you did it 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂
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    1. Hi Harleena,

      Well, your comment sure made me smile about how moving around even in your own country will call for some adjustments. That reminded me that this is true for every country, you know. The weather here in the US between north and south is like day and night 🙂 And so it is even in a much smaller countries like France, for example.

      Thanks for adding value to my post 🙂

  5. Such a wonderful article; it hit on so many of the joys and surprised of living abroad. For me, language mixing was an issue. In Spain I was thrown out of the corner store when I insisted that I wanted to buy her hijo instead of the delicious looking higos. When I returned from an extended stay in Portugal to my then home in Minneapolis, the rhythm of Portuguese invaded my English. So when a friend was telling me about the then popular book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, I heard Real Mendota Quiche. For a long time my friends and colleagues brought in recipes for quiche from Mendota, Minnesota!!

    1. Hi Manish,

      Language problems can be both an issue and fun.

      Here are two fun examples: “Preservatifs” in French which one might think is preservatives, means condom. Pet is the word for “fart.” the first time my mother saw a sign on the door of a store in New York that said “no pets.” she really laughed!

      The list could go on and on. I have a whole post talking about those fun words 🙂

      Thanks for coming by.

      PS: you can add your link the URL area, but not in the comment itself.

  6. Thanks Sylviane for this awesome blog post. You’re truly a good author. I enjoyed reading five reasons why a person, not ready to move overseas. Moving to a new place is always very challenging. It’s not easy to visit a new place & get over with it within an instant.

    Sylviane you’ve pointed out some good reasons & these are worth checking out before moving overseas. Very useful post, keep up contributing such amazing post!

    1. Hi Norman,

      Traveling opens minds and enhance lives, I feel, so while one can be happy in one spot, traveling is so exciting. I’m leaving for Europe for an indefinite time after having lived in the US for over 20 years. Need a going back to the source for a while, but I’ll be back.

      Thanks for your kind words and for coming.

  7. I recently got back from what ended up being 4 years in Asia. The challenge of giving up you old life was the hardest for me, but in no way enough to make me regret doing it. I think this item is hard for people to understand because in addition to the big things that are obvious (not near parents or kids or best friends…) there are just lots of little things that add up.

    I plan on heading back out in a bit. It isn’t for everyone, but I love the freedom of traveling around (and luckily can work online to support myself).

    My family prepared me and my brother. We lived overseas 2 different years while we grew up (Asia when we were really little and Africa when we were in middle/grade school). My brother also spent a year traveling with his family a couple years ago.
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