5 biggest difficulties of moving abroad

The idea of uprooting from the grey British Isles and moving elsewhere, broadening your horizons, forms the basis of many a daydream. However, in reality, there can be many challenges when it comes to moving abroad. This is not to say that relocating abroad won’t work out, just that you should be prepared, do your research and know the biggest difficulties of moving abroad so you can plan accordingly and make a success of your new start.

So, what are some of the most common challenges expats face?

  • Housing

When considering moving abroad, one of the first questions you’ll likely have is ‘where will I live?’. Some people may tell you that buying a house from the get-go is a good idea, giving you somewhere to make a home and offering an investment opportunity. However, the wiser thing to do is to rent for a while first – for sometime around a year.

You will probably love your new surroundings initially but, after the honeymoon phase wears off, you can start to think about things practically and realistically. What at first may seem charming – like crumbling, sun-baked walls and a slower way of living – may come to feel like problems – like unstable repairs and unreliable wifi. The experience of actually living in your new country – getting to know the area and what you want in a home abroad – will ensure you make an informed choice when you do make the leap to buy.

  • Leaving behind family and friends (and making new ones)

Leaving behind your personal support network of family and friends can be difficult. Although social media can be a great way to keep up to date, it doesn’t replace face-to-face catch ups and conversations. Make sure you reach out to those back home and arrange video chats on services like Skype to keep those connections.

Although you’ll miss those from home, it’s important that you make new friends in your new country or you can quickly begin to feel lonely. Seek out groups and classes to find people with the same hobbies and passions as you, or see if there are any groups just for fellow expats – these are great opportunities for anyone to find and make new friends.

  • Immersing yourself

Getting used to a new culture and learning a new language is a big step for anyone. If it’s difficult at first, rest assured that getting used to a new country is a big learning curve for anyone! Try to learn the language as much as you can before moving – this could be through free online resources or language classes. Locals will always appreciate you trying to speak the language rather than knowing nothing at all. What’s more, reading up on traditions, beliefs and the general culture of your new country can help you know what to expect.

  • Future finances

Future finances are likely to be a worry when making a big life change, such as relocating to another country. You should thoroughly consider if you will be able to support yourself abroad, and whether you have the savings to accommodate any unforeseen difficulties or to support yourself if/when you want to move back to the UK. If you have done the calculations and made the decision that you’ll be alright, then you needn’t feel too anxious. If your future finances are still causing you dread, the move abroad may not be for you though.

  • What to do with all your things?

When moving abroad, most people will sell their home or at least stop renting in the UK which begs the question, ‘what will I do with all my belongings?’. You may decide to have a clear out and sell things which you don’t really want to keep (and earn a bit of money in the process too). However, for the rest of your possessions, storage is the best solution. There are many storage facilities available where you can store your belongings securely for long periods of time. Just look out for a well-established, reputable company which can offer reliable 24/7 monitoring.


Darvills of Leeds have decades of experience in removals and storage. We can provide a wide variety of secure storage units at our dedicated facilities which are available short- or long-term, according to your needs. With 24/7 CCTV monitoring, your belongings are safe with us. For more information about any of our services in and around Leeds, simply get in touch.