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With Brexit looming, many people are exploring all of their options. Many people have dedicated their lives to their careers that may not exist next year. Or, some people just look at other countries with different cultures and potential where they can move and fulfil a dream of moving abroad.

family abroad in sunset

Whatever your motivation for leaving, it pays to think long and hard about the decision. You may be focusing on the benefits of leaving. Things like learning a new language or the ability to travel more easily. But, there are also a lot of challenges to consider.

It is not easy moving house, nevermind packing up to live in another country.

In this article, I will go over what some of those challenges are that you will likely face when you move to another country.

1 – The expense

Moving is always a big expense. But, when you decide to move to another country you are adding multiple layers of complications that all come with a price tag. 

For example, as a British citizen in the EU, you may not be covered with your NHS health insurance. After the end of 2020, it is all up in the air, but in the event of a no-deal Brexit, you likely will need some kind of Expatriate Insurance rather than be able to rely on the NHS. 

Then there are all the visas and application forms that you need to pay to be able to legally live in many countries, EU included. 

And if you plan to ship your belongings you will likely be spending thousands of pounds to get your shipment. If you decide to sell it all off and start over, then you will be spending money on furnishings and everything else that you decided to leave behind.

Finally, you’ll need to factor in getting to your new home. Whether it is a flight, a train ride or by taking your own car, this will be a considerable expense to start out with.

2 – Finding friends

As an adult, it is difficult to find new friends even when you are not moving to another country. Many adults already have their circle of friends and are not generally looking to add to that. Especially as they are busy in life and may not have much time to find room for another friend.

This is multiplied when you are removing countries. There may be a language barrier that complicates things. Or, it can also be a culture clash that makes it even more difficult to find new friends. This can lead to a feeling of isolation that is hard to overcome.

There are ways around it, of course. Signing up for classes or taking on a hobby will allow you to meet new people and possibly have a social circle to make your life more enjoyable.

3 – Integrating

Integrating into a new culture has a lot to do with making friends as you see from the last section. But it goes beyond just having a social circle. It is difficult to immerse yourself in a culture that you may not understand.

And it impacts many areas of your life. If you have children, then you may not be as involved in their school life as you would like it if you don’t speak the language well or understand cultural norms. 

The same goes for work culture. You may know exactly how things work in your office or career in your home country and think it is a universal way. Then, you start your new job and realize that the culture of the new country has influenced the work culture as well. And that may prevent you from enjoying your job or the possibility to rise within the ranks. 

4 – No support network

When things go wrong for you in your home country, you usually have others you can lean on for support. You have an emergency and need somebody to look after your child for a few hours? In your home country, you may have family or friends that can come by at a moment’s notice. 

In a new country that is likely not even a remote possibility. 

Or, you are struggling to get through the bureaucratic red tape and could use some help but you don’t know anybody that you can ask.

These are things that don’t often come up when you are considering moving abroad as you probably take these things for granted. Many things you take for granted on a daily basis are not available for you when you are living abroad. 


For many, the pros of moving abroad will outweigh the cons. Some understand fully what to expect. But, for those that don’t, it is helpful to know what you are getting into. Not to dissuade you from making the move, but to help you prepare for a smoother transition.

Do check out Nomadic Fire for lots of information about moving abroad.

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