A woman sits in a kayak, facing towards the horizon as the sun sets. She appears contemplative, with a mix of nostalgia and excitement for the new chapter in her life. The vast expanse of water stretches before her, symbolizing the journey ahead filled with decisions and adventures.

Expat guilt: Best tips to combat expat guilt

Expat guilt is a legit feeling when moving abroad. One of the biggest – and sometimes unforeseen – challenges of moving abroad is managing the expectations and emotions of family members and friends left behind.

Expat guilt is a common feeling that comes when you prioritise your own dreams and aspirations over staying close to your loved ones. It’s crucial to communicate openly and honestly with them about your expat guilt, explaining your reasons for moving and assuring them of your commitment to maintaining the relationship. Involving them in your new life, sharing experiences, and planning visits can help alleviate some of the guilt and strengthen the bond with your family. You didn’t disappear, you just moved to another place. From firsthand experience, we can assure you that seeing you thriving and living your life will also give your loved ones joy and comfort.

Managing expat guilt and prioritising self-care

Moving abroad is a personal decision, and it’s important to accept and acknowledge that it’s more than okay to prioritise your own dreams and aspirations. Recognise that you are choosing your own path and happiness by going on a unique journey that will boost your personal and professional growth . Embrace the opportunities that moving abroad offers and let go of any expat guilt that may arise. 

Self-care and mental well-being

Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being is crucial when navigating the challenges of moving abroad. Prioritise self-care activities that bring you joy and help you recharge. Find hobbies, exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, and seek support from local resources or expat communities. 

An easy tip that might make a big impact in your journey is to practice expressing gratitude every day. It’s a simple yet effective way to boost your mood. As you adjust to a new culture, language, and surroundings, remember to take time each day to concentrate on the positive parts of your life, no matter how small they may seem. To truly be grateful requires more than a simple “thank you.” Feeling this way can alter your perspective on life. You can get over the bad times when you look on the bright side of living abroad – especially in moments where you feel the expat guilt. 

Whenever I feel a bit down while I’m travelling, I love going for a leisurely walk in the neighbourhood. You know what’s the best part? Sometimes, I come across these amazing family-owned restaurants that serve the most delicious food from my home country. It’s like a delightful surprise! It’s really thrilling for me because I get to experience the taste of home and have conversations with the cooks in my native language. These little moments have a way of brightening up my days, and I’m sure they can do the same for you too.

Always remember to take time to celebrate milestones in your expat journey. Reflect on how far you’ve come, the challenges you’ve overcome, and the personal growth you’ve experienced – and SHARE it. Celebrate your accomplishments, both big and small, and acknowledge the strength and resilience it takes to thrive in a new environment. The golden rule is this: regardless of where your compass points, putting your health and happiness first isn’t selfish; rather, it’s your passport to a happy and healthy life.

Connecting across distances

One of the loveliest things about being an expat, despite all the changes, is knowing there are people who love you and care for you back home. Even though there may be a great distance between you and your loved ones, the bond that connects them to you remains strong and unbroken. Keeping in touch with faraway loved ones is crucial, and we’ll find out how to do just that!

Surprises in the digital era: moving beyond screens

Staying connected can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, we now have the means to overcome those physical barriers. Virtual meetings, video chats, and instant messaging have grown in importance in our daily lives. The screen has transformed into a unique medium through which we stay in touch with loved ones. I must say, these tools are quite impressive, but there’s just something about good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction that can’t be replicated. There’s a certain depth and richness to it that can’t be matched. 

Therefore, sending and receiving an old school letter, postcard, or a package from far away still has all the magic and importance in this fast-paced digital world. Give your loved ones a taste of what it’s like to live abroad by sharing photos and stories from your adventures.

Picture this: you open a parcel to find a piece of your loved one’s new life, maybe a postcard with the breathtaking view from their window or a basket filled with local goodies. Suddenly, the distance doesn’t feel that vast, and you’re right there with them, experiencing the flavours and scents of their new adventure. It doesn’t matter how far away everyone is; sending postcards or letters has the incredible ability to bridge the gap and bring our loved ones closer.

Something very meaningful happened to me recently, and I wanted to tell you about it. I made a considerate care package for my sister, filled with a variety of wonderful local delicacies. To add a little touch, I put together a handcrafted photo album that features the vibrant street attractions of my new city. Putting it all together gave me so much excitement. Her laughter filled the room when she received it, turning the act of sending a package into a very special memory for us.

By combining the virtual with the tangible, your connections will remain rich and meaningful. Let’s embrace the best of both worlds and keep the spirit of connection alive, making each surprise a gentle reminder that, despite the distance, you’re never too far apart. 

In a world of black and white, I fell into a grey zone

So, fellow expats, everyone from Job Squad would like to encourage you to go out there and discover your own happiness and combat the expat guilt. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like any labels or boxes fit you – but life is not just black and white, or this and that – feeling in between, over, under, beside, and everything else is just as legit. So embrace your new surroundings and remember that you haven’t disappeared; you’ve simply set up shop in a new, cool corner of the globe.

Celebrate your successes, take on the challenges, and let the world hear the loud applause for all that you have achieved. After all, isn’t happiness what we all strive for? Value the freedom of laughter and let your curiosity lead the way. Life is about enjoying the exciting possibilities that await you.  As you explore different cultures and beautiful landscapes, remember to share your adventures with your loved ones, so they become a part of your journey. In the end, all we really want is for ourselves and the people we care about to be happy and successful. And remember, beyond black and white, there’s a world of grey-tastic – fun waiting for you!

If you have read this blog post and you’re considering moving abroad or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at info@jobsqd.com. We’re always happy to help!
You can also click HERE and see which of our recruiters are located in your country to get local advice.