For those who have moved around the world for work or relationships there is a thread entitled “To those who moved to the US for their spouse…..” which is both an eye opening, realistic and very helpful read. Very often those who move overseas to a foreign land feel many different emotions which can often cloud their judgement and make life very difficult. The feeling that you are alone can make the situation a million times worse but thankfully help is at hand!
This particular post is written by a lady, from France, who has moved to America to live and work with her American husband. This seems to be a very common scenario in the worldwide employment market today and the fact that the lady in question had lived in London for three years had, they thought, made it more suitable for her to move again to his country, due to her experiences in a foreign land. But life is not always that simple!
There are many issues mentioned in the post which include:-
Feeling homesick can happen when you are 10 miles from home or 10,000 miles from home but very often those who yearn to go home are looking at the world through “rose tinted glasses” because very often the life you miss back home will have changed. To many people the need to return home is often a defence mechanism which can kick in at any time but is not always logical. The truth is that you moved away for a reason, whether this was for a better lifestyle or employment, and you chose to leave your homeland for a “better life”.
While very often cultural differences are discussed on an international basis from country to country in reality they can be very different cultures within different areas of one country. The need to embrace different cultures in different countries and different areas is vital if you are to ever find true happiness in your new life overseas, but it can be very difficult.
There are many areas which you need to research before even contemplating a move overseas and cultural differences are probably top of the list in this area. You need to know exactly what you are moving to, how you will be welcomed and whether you will encounter beliefs and cultures which go against your own morals and beliefs.
Someone to talk to
There are some interesting comments on the thread from people who have been there and done it, moving overseas for a spouse, and while they want to settle down there will be issues in the early stages (many of which could last years) which they would prefer to discuss with fellow expats or someone else who has moved from a different country. It seems that many people believe they are “alone” in their concerns and their yearning to go home when in fact the truth is that the vast majority of expats will at some point experience these particular feelings, probably on more than one occasion!
Time to socialise
Of the many issues which are discussed on the thread it appears that many people who move overseas often work from home and are with their spouses 24 hours a day seven days a week. When you are in the middle of adapting to a move overseas and becoming part of the local scene, the fact that many spouses spend all of their working and social time together can cause difficulties. It is vital that all parties involved build themselves a social network which will includes both joined friends and individuals each of them can talk to and socialise with.
Not only does socialising help to alleviate the day-to-day monotony of life but it is also a vital element of interacting with your local community, local environment and local cultures. If you lock yourself away in your own home 24 hours a day seven days a week you could be anywhere in the world, so why choose the particular country you have moved to?
Travelling back home
There are some rather interesting comments on the thread regarding this particular family in America, who have very little holiday time to travel back to France. It would appear that US holidays are very much shorter than French holidays and it can be difficult arranging a trip back to see loved ones, friends and associates. But why is it that those who move overseas always feel that they need to be the ones to return “home” when in reality it may be an adventure for their friends to visit them in their new homeland.
Talking with your partner
The subject of communication with your partner has also been mentioned by a number of people with a suggestion that being critical of your partner’s homeland could cause issues within your relationship. While it is understandable that some people may think this way, surely your partner should be able assist and put your mind at rest regarding any potential issues you may have?
Those who bottle up their feelings when moving overseas, whether this is regarding culture, employment or any other issues, are potentially storing up massive problems for their personal relationships. At some point their feelings will rise to the surface, although possibly not in the manner they had hoped!
Loosening your ties back home
While more and more expats seem to yearn for their life back “home” there is a need to loosen your ties with your homeland before you can embrace your new community. If you continue to concentrate on what you are missing back home this will give you less time to appreciate what you have in your new homeland and could delay completion of the settling in stage. If you talk about nothing but your “homeland” this may give the impression to locals that you do not want to be there, so why should they help you?
This is a very interesting thread which covers a number of thoughts and emotions which many many expats go through in their travels around the world. Some people who move continuously appear to have a problem in contemplating where “home” is as they often lose contact and touch with their original “homeland”. Life as an expat can be difficult and can be frightening but if you approach the situation with an open mind there are many experience out there which you can enjoy and which you would unlikely have experienced back “home”.