Living abroad as an entrepreneur can be difficult. When you’re far away from friends and extended family in a foreign land, it’s easy to get more emotional and feel a sense of loneliness. Even if you’re living with a partner or have a family of your own where you are, leaving everything you’re familiar with to start a new life abroad can be daunting.
If you’ve recently relocated for a new job, a partner, or even just new opportunities, you’ve likely experienced some level of loneliness. Fortunately, plenty of people have traveled and relocated from their native land, so the chances of you linking up with fellow expatriates in your new place are relatively high. To help you deal with other issues unique to the expat life, here are some things only people who have lived or are living abroad will understand.
1. Making friends is hard
Unless most of your friend group has moved to the country you’re in, making friends in a foreign land will always be difficult. Plus, if you’re not sure how long you’ll be staying in a country, it can be hard to form closer bonds with people.
As an expatriate, consider joining an interest group, organization, or gym. You can even try and link up with other entrepreneurs who are in the same boat as you.
2. Not knowing what’s going on back home
Depending on the country you’re in, you might not be able to access specific content from back home. Whether it’s a TV show you’re used to watching or local news from your home country, these types of content might not be readily available. To get around this, consider getting yourself a subscription to a virtual private network (VPN).
An ExpressVPN app could potentially give you better access to local news and channels you might be missing back home. Besides access to certain content, a VPN also encrypts your internet connection. This makes it harder for malicious third parties like hackers to steal your data or even launch cyber attacks — a must-have when you’re overseas and want to protect your data.
Most VPN providers have a smartphone app that makes staying protected while online a breeze. For example, the secures your device with one tap and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
3. Receiving calls from back home
Another thing that is difficult about living abroad as an entrepreneur is not being able to communicate with family as much as we would like to. What’s worse than getting a random call from back home? Missing a call from back home because you live in a different timezone now.
As expats, we’re used to missing special events like birthdays, celebrations, and holidays. However, sometimes these calls carry news we’re just not ready to hear. Regardless of how long we’ve lived abroad, that feeling never really disappears.
4. Not knowing the country you live in
Depending on the circumstances, we might have unwillingly moved to the country we’re living in now. Sometimes, it’s because our partners relocated here, sometimes we didn’t really have a choice.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing much we can do except giving the country we’re living in a chance. Most times, we end up finding someone we love about this whole expatriate experience. As business owners, we know how to create things and communicate with others, so bring these skills into how you live your personal life. You will see your happiness grow alongside your business.
5. Getting sick or unwell
There’s nothing fun about getting sick, but for some reason, getting ill while abroad feels 10 times worse. Perhaps, it’s due to the fact that we’re away from family and there’s no one to take care of us. Or, it’s because we’re not sure what our medical options are when we’re ill. So, how can we deal with this?
Prior to moving, it’s important to do your research and see what your options are when you’re sick. For example, is there medical insurance from your home country that you can use internationally? Alternatively, make a list of all the medical facilities that are nearby your place of residence so you know exactly where to go in case something happens. As a plus point, see if you can get someone you trust to be an emergency contact.
6. Having to adapt very quickly
As expats, we have to adapt very quickly. Whether it’s having to adapt to a new language, work culture, or habits, we’re constantly learning. The best part is that we can now say we’re absolute experts at adapting to changes, and having to try something new almost doesn’t frighten us anymore.
7. Not getting to travel home
Besides wreaking havoc worldwide, COVID-19 has also made international travel a lot harder. For expats, the inability to travel has also strengthened our feelings of loneliness and reminded us of how far we are from home.
While it’s great that most of us were able to video call family and friends back home, it just wasn’t the same as spending quality time with them.
Thankfully, many countries have opened their borders and international travel is almost back to normal. One thing’s for sure, we’ll never take being able to travel for granted again.
Being an expat has its pros and cons
Living abroad as an entrepreneur has its challenges. As an expat, you might realize that being one doesn’t fit in with your life goals or dreams and that’s perfectly fine. Ultimately, regardless of the circumstances, you’re currently in a foreign country, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to make the most out of the opportunities while you’re there. Enjoy the experience for what it is and take it all in!
Additional articles you might be interested in:
- How To Travel The World Affordably As An Influencer
- 10 Companies That Pay Influencers To Travel
- How To Successfully Move Your Career Abroad
- How To Price Brand Partnerships On Your Blog
Katie Ault is a blogging intern at LadyBossBlogger. She has graduated from Bridgewater State University with a BA in English Literature and a minor in Sociology.