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I can't help falling in love... with my adoptive country.



Moving to a new country is exciting. It's a chance to start fresh, make new friends and try new things. I share four things you need to be prepared for before you move.


Photograph: Unsplash

Text: Lyndsay Jensen


You need to adapt to a new culture and accept that there will always be differences between the customs, values and beliefs of your partner's country versus what you are used to at home.


For many people moving abroad is scary because it means leaving familiar comforts behind, friends and family, your job and being able to speak the language fluently without having an accent.


1. THE CO-DEPENDENCY TRAP

Whether you're in a new relationship or have been together for a while, moving to your partner's country, it can be easy to lose yourself. You may find yourself doing things that don't reflect who you are and make no sense outside your relationship. Be true to yourself and remember who you are.


A strong sense of self is essential to building and maintaining a healthy relationship, especially abroad.


Finding your purpose outside of the relationship is critical. For some people, it might be finding their dream job abroad, while for others, it could be developing a new passion or raising a family.


Whatever it is, just make sure to find that thing that makes you happy.


2. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK

Finding your tribe/family of friends is essential if you are going to live abroad. It's not just a great way to make new friends and have fun, but it can also be an invaluable source of support during your time abroad.


Your social life will be necessary for many reasons:

  • People who share your interests.

  • Being part of a support group that checks in on each other and how things are going from time to time and gives advice when needed.

  • Friends who can meet up with each other whenever possible and have fun together, so there is always something exciting happening!


"There's no doubt that moving to Denmark was one of the best decisions my family and I made. And while it wasn't always easy or fun, something about being thousands of miles away from "home" is exciting and challenging."

3. DON'T LOSE YOURSELF!

It's crucial to maintain your own identity. You can still love someone, but that doesn't mean you have to lose yourself. You are still an individual with your own interests, friendships and hobbies.


Find your way back into a relationship with yourself through the things that make you feel good about yourself, the people who want to see you happy, and the things that make you feel relaxed and nourished.


4. DO THINGS FOR YOU

  • Remember, you are doing it for yourself.

  • You are doing it for your future.

  • You are doing it for your happiness.


Take the plunge

There's no doubt that moving to Denmark was one of the best decisions my family and I made. And while it wasn't always easy or fun, something about being thousands of miles away from "home" is exciting and challenging.


In an ideal world (the one where we all have unlimited budgets), we would all be able to sustain our current lifestyles when we move abroad without sacrificing anything at all in terms of career or social life - but as any expat knows, this isn't always how things work out most of the time.


That's why it's vital that before you commit yourself to move, you're honest about what kind of sacrifices are involved and whether they're worth making to pursue your goals.

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