Today was the day I was going to finally tell my boss. I decided a few months ago that I was moving abroad to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. I’d held back on telling my boss until I was 100% certain it was happening though. To be completely honest, I’m still not 100% sure, but since my departure date is just over 3 months away I guess I need to tell her, right? You see, I’m a perpetual mind changer. I make plans, research, convince myself that it’ll be the best experience ever. And then just, don’t do it. At this point, I honestly don’t believe myself when I say “I’m moving abroad”. It’s too big. There’s no chance I’ll go through with it.

moving abroad
On my first trip without family in Paris, 2013

That would be my normal outlook. Just bail when it gets too overwhelming. But I’ve told my family, I’ve planned it with my friends. People know about it now, so it’s almost a pride thing that’s forcing me into it. I don’t want to turn around and tell them that I was too scared to go. So the less people that know, the better for me incase I change my mind. Telling my boss, handing in my resignation, it just makes it a bit too real for my brain to handle.

I feel I’ve mentioned enough times on this blog that Australia is what sparked my love of travel. More specifically, Australian kids TV shows (don’t pretend like you didn’t watch The Sleepover Club too!) When I was 14 years old, I would plan out moving abroadΒ and getting a job and a flat, because 14 is old enough, right? Then it was 16. Then it was 18. When I got my first proper job at 20, my plan was to work for a year, SAVE SAVE SAVE and just leave. That was five years ago.

moving abroad
St. Mungos Cathedral in Glasgow

I am such an overthinker and stress out very easily if I can’t see what in front of me. With this move, I have no idea. With only a vague plan of what I want to do, it’s incredibly daunting to just fly to the other side of the world, and wing it. Will I need to work more than I want to? Will I struggle to make ends meet? Am I going to find it easy meeting people and socialising what with my aggressively introverted personality. Will all this stress overwhelm me and ultimately stop me from having the time of my life? Or will I get there, absolutely love it, be totally at ease and never want to leave? I have no idea. THAT’S THE PROBLEM!

I wish I could be one of those people who just get excited about new adventures rather than get nervous. Or scared. Or terrified. It depends on how much I think about it. When it comes to the practical stuff; bank accounts, Tax File Numbers, visas etc I’m all good. I’ve been researching this stuff for the past 10 years! But if I dare allow myself to think about that literal ‘I’m moving abroad and need to make new friends and fend for myself’ side of things, I panic. Why do I do that? Why can’t I just look at this move as incredible and exciting?

moving abroad
The perfect view overlooking Loch Lomond

The truth is, there is no way I can know what it’s going to be like until I get there. I can ask as many people who have done a Working Holiday as I can find. There is no way they can tell me what my experience is going to be like. So, ultimately, there is absolutely no point in me stressing out so much about what I can’t control. I need to just let it go. Plan the practical stuff. Visa. Bank Account. Flights. Accommodation. Rough destination list. And just go.

So there it is. A whole bunch more people know my plan. There’s no way I can back out now!

moving abroad

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76 thoughts on “Why I Struggle Telling People I’m Moving Abroad”

  1. As an Aussie who just returned from a holiday Scotand, it’s going to be a big move for you. But I’m sure you will love every bit of the adventure but it is yours and it will be unique.

  2. It’s true, making these big leaps are very stressful and sometimes it feels easier to keep it a secret just in case everything falls apart. I haven’t done that on purpose but since I never made a big facebook/social media post about the fact that I’m moving to Spain in the fall, I realize a lot of people in my life don’t even know! They’ve assumed I’m still living in Poland. But good, taking the plunge and letting people know is just one more step to making sure you actually follow through πŸ˜‰

  3. I toooootally get everything you’re saying here! But having been in your situation this time 18 months ago, it’s like ripping a plaster off – quick and a lot less painful than you anticipate it to be. I blurted it out to my boss just as she was trying to offer me a promotion and she was surprisingly cool about it!

  4. You know, we construct these elaborate fantasies of what the future might hold. They aren’t real. I think you’ll do just fine.

    You’ve got a keen mind, a way with words, an independent streak. Most people do very little with their lives, afraid to leave their comfort zone, afraid of the weird and wild world out there. Obviously not you.

    Have you tried BookCrossing.com – changing the subject completely – a global society of secret librarians. I’ve been a member for nearly fifteen years now, and all over the world I’ve found friendly faces and had the most incredible adventures. Tehran, Kansas City, Gothenburg, Glasgow, there’s always a local group. Just beware, they will load you down with more books than you can read, let alone carry!

  5. Oh girl preaching to the choir, I moved abroad 10 months ago and it was the best decision ever. Oh so stressful and my family and friends just didn’t understand that but so good in the end.

    1. Yay congratulations! Yeah luckily I think because I’ve talked about travel my whole life that no one has been that surprised so far ha! But I feel like that makes me need to seem really chill about it all becasue no one else is that fussed! At this ponit I just can’t wait to get there so I can just stop with the What If’s!

  6. I loved reading this, it was so honest and insightful. Moving abroad is equal parts terrifying and exciting – but I’m sure you’re going to love Australia!

  7. I’m the same way when it comes to HUGE decisions like this! I’ve always loved the idea, but don’t think I could ever go through with it. (Maybe to a different state, as I live in the US, but never to another country/continent!) i give you MAJOR kudos already girl!

  8. I do know how u feel. I have lived 1 1/2 years in South Africa and found a new family there and going back there soon again. If you would have told me 2years ago what I am going to do, I would haven’t believed it. Let me encourage you by saying it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and I left everything behind as well. Relax, go with the flow and just do it. πŸ™‚ If you need someone to talk to, let me know.

  9. There was an Aussie TV show called The Sleepover Club? I must be too old now. Did you ever see Round the Twist? Now THAT’S a great Aussie kids TV show.

    Being from Australia and having lived in the US and the UK, I can say that you’re probably going to love it. If you can get past our slight lassiez-faire attitude. See, I can’t even spell and I’m not worried.

    Every move is scary, but they’re also really rewarding. xx

    1. Round The Twist was also amazing! I don’t know why Australian TV is so popular over here but we had lots of them haa. It’s funny cause I know I’ll love it aswell, my brain is just trying to convince me otherwise!
      Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚

    2. Yes! I definitely watch Round The Twist when I was younger. Honestly, we had such an influx on Australian kids TV it’s no wodner I was obsessed with the place! Ha yeah I think I wil love it.

  10. I love how brave you are! Change is always hard but it looks like you are slowly moving toward your next big adventure. Thank you for being vulnerable and authentic about how it. Good luck!

  11. Hello Chiera – I totally get you, believe me when I say I was you a couple of months ago. I’ve always being outgoing and willing to go on adventures until one day everythign changed and my anxiety and fear became a problem. I advice you to learn how to meditate. With this in mind, you’ll be able to control your thoughts and train the mind to chase away all the bad energy. after I learned how to meditate, I started practicing the law of attraction – which states that you can have everything you want and become everything you desire by simply attracting positivity with the law of attraction. Take a look into this, I believe its going to help you like it did to me πŸ™‚ – Mariella

    1. This sounds so interesting Mariella. I have actually been meaning to try meditation and yoga as I do get stressed really easily and get really bad migraines from it. I will definitely look into it. Thank you for the advice πŸ™‚

  12. I’m from Australia currently living in the UK and can I just say you’ll love it!! Take the leap and you won’t regret it. Top tip, visit the Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney for an incredible breakfast!!

  13. I have never moved abroad so I can only imagine how you feel. I’m sure it’s scary and exciting all at the same time! I say just do it because if not you may look back one day and regret it. Australia is amazing! Save travels and positive vibes!!

  14. Take that leap of faith and I’m sure it going to be worth it. I moved continents when I was 21 and while it was scary, it is still one of the best experiences of my life. I truly hope you have a very interesting and wonderful expat-experience. Good luck and bon voyage Xx

  15. I don’t think I told anyone when I moved abroad (well, it was with the same job so I didn’t have the same dilemma as you regarding my boss). However, same as you, I didn’t think it was real until I actually boarded the plane. And it was really exiting moving into a new home, discovering a new city, a new country, taking it in as much as I could. It was so much worth it.

  16. I moved abroad when I was 21 and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. Was I terrified? Absolutely! Could it have been a bad decision? Oh yes! But the risk was so worth it!

  17. Hey Chiera! I totally feel your confusion. I was more or less at your age when I decided to go on my life adventure. I was 23 years old, just graduated, no work experience, no nothing. But I took the step, and I just left. Now, it’s been almost 15 years since I have been living abroad and I couldn’t have had it any other way!

    We are humans and we have this thing called intuition. And I’m a firm believer that intuition and gut feeling are things that help us take the most important decisions in our lives (at least, this is my opinion). If your intuition is telling you to go, DO IT! Period. You will probably encounter problems along the way, but hey, that’s part of it. If you don’t risk anything, you will spend the rest of your life wondering if you should have done it or not, or what it would have been like etc.

    My advice to you as a 15-year wanderer and expat is: do what you feel in your heart. At the end of the day, everything we experience is an experience. It’s something that you will look back upon in the future and will make you proud of being so brave to have taken the “plunge” instead of sitting where you are and wondering whether you should do it or not. Think of it as a fun story you will tell your grandchildren one day; if you ever decide to have children/grandchildren πŸ˜€

  18. Such an honest read! Thanks for sharing your scary and anxious thoughts with us.

    As someone who has lived in three different countries (not including the one I grew up in), you will literally have THE BEST TIME OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. It will be scary, but it will totally be worth it.

    P.s. you will definitely make enough money to live. Australia has some of the best wages in the world. Perth has the best (I earned $23 an hour just working in a cafe, time and a half on weekends and double time on public holidays) while Melbourne and Sydney are not too far behind.

    Good luck with it all!

  19. I totally get how you’re feeling! I’m in a similar state of mind but in the opposite situation. I moved to Europe for work 3 years ago. I truly love it here, but I know in my gut that I don’t want to permanently settle down here – so far away from family in Canada. I’m starting to make plans to return, but I can’t bring myself to tell many people.

  20. Hey I really loved this, I’m planning on moving to Italy soon with my boyfriend and like you I am quite introverted. I have a mix of apprehension, nerves and excitement but i’m really pushing myself to do it because I know it’s going to be an amazing adventure! Just go all in and i’m sure you’ll really enjoy it! x

  21. I can relate. The first time I came to South Africa, I had kind of a plan, but nothing was organised and I did not know if it would turn out well or not. So I had trouble telling people what I was going to do, since I did not know it myself. But all turned out well in the end πŸ™‚

  22. Yes there is no backing out now! You will feel alone at first but you will make friends! Don’t stress and just enjoy it, everything will be fine πŸ™‚ Tell your boss and start getting excited to go

  23. The first time I moved abroad was for my Erasmus, in Spain. After that, I moved in another region of my own country for a semester, then moved to Barcelona for an internship and, after my graduation, I finally moved abroad forEVER after finding a job in Budapest. This was 2 years and a half ago, now I am living in Prague and all I can say after so many movings is: they were all the best decisions I could have made. Be it just for a few months, a few years or forever, living abroad is something everybody should experience. Even more when they dream about it like you do. If I were with you, I would push you hard to make sure you enter that plane, no matter how scared you are ahah! But I can only hope you won’t change your mind, because whatever you will live there, it will be all worth it :).

  24. You wouldn’t be human if such a big life change didn’t provoke SOME form of anxiety. It’s good to be excited but those other things are practical…and when you take a step beyond the fantasy you have to deal with practical things. I am excited for you and to follow your journey! It will be a growing experience that you won’t regret, no matter what. You’ll find strength you didn’t know you had. That fear and nerves….that’s what keeps us alive sometimes! Go girl. Enjoy!!

  25. Many good things lie on the other side of the fear and who doesn’t have fear of change. All the very best. May you have a smooth sail.

  26. Oh, I feel you – moving abroad is terrifying. I moved to Glasgow 4 years ago, and it was hard, leaving friends and family behind and moving to a place I had never set foot in before. To be honest, it took me a few months to get used to it too – the different language, tough accents and just generally so many cultural differences to Central Europe was a big challenge. But I also fell in love with the city and its vibrancy.

    For me the biggest help was to find a new activity, which I could do by myself, but also with others, and that would challenge me physically as well as encourage me to explore the city and the country – so I started climbing and that changed everything for me!

    I wish you all the best in Australia – I’m sure it will be an amazing experience!!

    1. Finding an activity to meet people is such a good idea! I can imagine the Glasweigan accent being a nightmare to understand haa! Most Brits still don’t get it! Thanks for the ecouragement Kathi, I really apprecite it πŸ™‚ x

  27. Well, I WISH I had that plan to move abroad. Maybe one of my biggest regrets not working/studying abroad and by the time I realized it was something I could do, it was kind of too late. Still travel lots but there’s a lot of things I would’ve done had I gone that route. And during my travels, I have met so many people working abroad and not one of them said anything negative about it; if anything, they all say it’s the best thing ever. So just take the leap and I’m sure you’re going to love it. Best wishes!

  28. Girl, that’s so exciting you’re moving to Australia! Like I said on Twitter, I’m moving there too in November. I don’t think you’ll regret it, I’ve heard it’s amazing!! Don’t overthink. It sounds like you’re wayyy more prepared than me. I’ve got my visa and flights but haven’t figured out the bank account or tax number for working. Could you help me out on what to do?! Seriously, we’re going to have an amazing time there. Don’t worry about anything, everything always falls into place. If we’re in the same place, hit me up!

    1. That would be so cool if we crossed paths! Definitely same to you, look me up if we’re both in the same place! If you still need a hand with banks I can give you a link my friend used and hers was set up in under an hour I think. Easy peasy.
      x

  29. Moving abroad is a big and not easy decision to make. Of course it adds a lot of new experiences and widen your horizons. Still you have to feel good about doing that. Thanks for sharing!

  30. I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!

    I’m the same type of person: I change my mind A LOT, & often shy away from sharing my plans with others because I don’t want to seem flaky or have to explain WHY I changed my mind (bc I probably don’t have a reason). And it’s really nice when you can just not do the thing you’re too nervous/overwhelmed to do because no one else knew it was a thing you were going to do. It all just goes away *poof*

    When I first started thinking about doing a working holiday in NZ back in 2015, it was just an idea that I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to do. But slowly I started mentioning it to people, until one day I realized I kind of just had to go because everyone already thought I was definitely going… lol

    But that worked for me. If I hadn’t told anyone about it while I was saving up $$ for it, I probably wouldn’t have gone. Because it would have been easier to not go. I’m SO glad I went, because it was just a good experience to have in life. My time flew by, and it was nowhere near as stressful as I imagined it could be.

    So YAY! Telling people that you’re going is good. You’ll go & no matter what happens, you’ll just be glad you went. You’re right, you can only plan the little details, the rest will just happen. Embrace it. Good luck!

    Can’t wait to see what you get up to in Australia. x

    1. Haa I feel like I am reliving your exact situation! Now that I’ve told people, even though I’m so stressed about, I HAVE to go! haa. Nice to know I’m not the only one that feels like that sometimes.
      Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  31. This is an exciting time ahead but I can understand how nervous or anxious it probably is too. I used to say I was moving overseas…then it didn’t happen till many years later. One thing I’ve learnt about travel is that it comes down to what you make of it. If you have large expectations and worries then it can get unpleasant. But I believe that whatever happens can be spun to your advantage if you go about it the right way, or with an attitude that you will make something of it. Will you be living off the smell of an oily rag? Maybe – but who cares? It’s all about adventure and learning what you can cope with too! The most challenging times are always the best times for growth and make the best stories further down the track. #farawayfiles

  32. I think if you have any desire to move overseas then it is best done whilst younger and without dependents. Should you have dependents later and still have the strong desire to live abroard it will certainly be more challenging. Go for it now! #FarawayFiles

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