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9 Ways to Deal with Your Emotional Stages After Moving Abroad

Now that we dealt the emotional stages before the move abroad here and know how to address them, we can say “bring it on, emotional stages after the move, we can handle you, heheheee!”

Most of us are worried about the logistical, administrative and financial aspects of the move, such as having the paperwork in order, finding a job to support our lifestyle, decorating our new home so it feels like… home. But once these are in place, something else happens: our emotions kick in. O-oh, this is not what I signed-up for… Now what?

Well, a move comes with the corresponding emotional stages, it’s just the way it is (“it’s neither good nor bad”, as Brene Brown’s therapist says). It’s normal and healthy and there are ways to deal with each of the emotional stages. We all go through them. By all mean, you are not alone. Now, that’s a relief!

If you haven’t watched the video in which we describe the 9 emotional stages after the move, find it here. It’s short and sweet, don't miss it.

Alright, I guess you want to know how to address each of the stages? Here's one strategy for each (and then I’ll tell you where you can find more).


#1 Excitement or “The Honey Moon” Stage

“Hurraaay, I’m finally here and it’s so amazing!”, you feel like telling the whole world.

Use this heightened state and alternate between the discovery and allocating time for the settling in, especially from an administrative and logistical perspective. Learn how to do this in the Smoovster Step-by-Step Plan document, it's free


#2 The Fatigue and/or Frustration Stage

“I’m so tired, there are too many new things in my life all at once!”, you think to yourself.

Set-up habits and create rituals to provide you with a sense of stability, while you deal with all the to do’s of this stage. Our Master Guide Moving Abroad: The Mental & Emotional has a Chapter: Managing Your Decisions, Willpower and Habits Successfully. It’s super very useful and practical tips on how to reduce your stress and tiredness when dealing with so much novelty in your life at the same time. Get your Guide here, at the price of a latte ;).


#3 The Relaxation and Confidence Stage

“Things are slowly getting better”, you can breathe again.

Enjoy this stage and recharge yourself with more self-care activities and start turning your attention towards activities you’ve wanted to do, but maybe didn’t have a chance to do since you’ve arrived.


#4 The Homesickness and/or Grief Stage

“This is so hard, I miss everything from back home!”, you feel depleted.

Accept that this is part of your process and of living abroad and it’s OK. We have to give up some things, to make room for others. The immigrants we’ve interviewed have reported that it helps a lot to have family or friends visiting, to visit your home country or connect with people going through the same feelings as you are.

Additionally, we have outlined the most effective strategies of dealing with homesickness and grief in the second Master Guide, Moving Abroad: The Important, but Hidden. You can get it here.


#5 The Guilt Stage

“I should have never left my family, they need me.”

Continue to keep show your beloved ones how important they are to you, by: communicating regularly, as often as several times per week, sharing your feelings openly. Think of creating a long-term plan, e.g. to bring your parents after you receive your citizenship or to return to your home country in a certain number of years or bring your family abroad once you earn enough to support them. If you’ve been going through a challenging time and need support on this, please email me at diana@mymoveguide.com for a free call, to find out how you can address this.


#6 The Adjustment or the “Phew” Stage

“I’m am finally settling in, this is my new life!”, you tell yourself.

You have achieved so much, celebrate your success. Nevertheless, continue to learn, be open and curious, observe and most of all, start integrating, allow this new life to become part of you.


#7 The Independence and Invincibility Stage

“If I was able to do this, I can do anything!”

Enjoy, but do not forget the help you received from other people, acknowledge and thank them¸ may they be your loved ones back home or your new acquaintances. Continue to be kind, grateful and help others who are now in your shoes.


#8 The Defeat or “Pick-up and Leave” Stage

“That’s it, I’ve had it, I’m leaving!”

We all go through stages like this several times. The best things to do is to wait until your emotional state calms down. Only then you should ask yourself: “Am I 100% sure that moving back is going to bring me what I hope it to?”


#9 The Acceptance, Openness, Gratitude and…Humility Stage

“I feel good, I have integrated the new life and the new life has integrated me”

It is time for you to acknowledge how far you’ve come. Look back and tap yourself on your shoulder for the journey. Congratulations for getting to this point!


For more details, tips and valuable advice on the emotional stages and challenges of moving abroad, access our 3 Master Guides:

  • Moving Abroad: The Essentials here
  • Moving Abroad: The Important, but Hidden here
  • Moving Abroad: The Mental and Emotional here

They contain every aspect you need to know about to set yourself up for your successful move to the country of your choice.

You are amazing! Go for it! We’ve got your back.

7 Ways to Deal with Your Emotional Stages Before Moving Abroad

One of the least discussed aspects of the move abroad is this one: our emotions. We experience them, for sure, but we tend to say: so many people have gone through this and they were fine, I’m just overreacting and… I’ll get over this.

Yes, I too trust you will, but the fastest, easiest and most effective way to get through your emotional roller-coaster (that’s how I like to call it) is to:

  • Know what the emotional stages are and that what you are feeling is normal and healthy
  • Know what to do in each of the stages in order to address what is bothering you and feel better

Hurrah! That doesn’t even sound that impossible, does it?

For a description of the 7 emotional stages before the move, watch this short video here.

So, do you want to know what are 7 ways in which to deal with your 7 emotional stages? (“Yeees!”) Well, then here’s a powerful strategy for each:


#1: The Excitement and Hope Stage

“This is the best decision ever!”, you are excited.

This is a wonderful state to be in. Use your energy to write a letter to yourself about why you want to move abroad. Be enthusiastic and positive in your letter, because you will need to read it when things get tough.


#2: The Organization and Contentment Stage

“This is going pretty well!”, you are calm and content.

Take as much time as you need in this stage and “milk” it. Do your thorough research as you can regarding the place you are moving to, because, as we say at Smoovster, information is power. This will help you reduce…


#3: The Overwhelm Stage

“Ohhh, this is too much, too hard, too stressful”, you tell yourself.

Now that the move date is set and the reality of it all sinks in. This is where the Smoovster templates come in handy. Under our “Free” tab you will find a “Step-by-step Plan with Checklists”. Remember, the big leap is built out of small, smart and purposeful steps. You’re doing amazing!


#4 The Panic & Fear Stage

“Oh my God, what if this goes sideways?”.

Do not worry, this stage is as normal as all the others. We all go through it. Continue to do your due diligence, complete your research, do the exercises, check off the checklist items and follow the steps outlined in the Smoovster Master Guides.


#5 The Second Thoughts Stage

“Is this really what I want?”, you ask yourself.

Once you start doubting your decision, it’s time to read the letter to yourself. See, I told you it will come in handy! It will lift you up and remind you why you are doing this in the first place.


#6 The Personal Power Stage

“I can do this, yeah!”, you feel strong and confident again.

Once things start falling into place with your plans, continuously remind yourself of and celebrate the successes you have along the way. This will ensure that you hold on to this powerful state long-term. Great work so far!


#7 The Farewell Blues Stage

“I’ll miss everything so much!”, you realize.

This is the time to commit to keeping in contact with people from your home country. You might not know it, but they represent enormous emotional support especially for the first months after the move. Also, make sure you say farewell properly… 


Still feeling unsure? We have gathered all the best tips and advice on how to deal with the emotional stages before, as well as after the move from the many immigrants we’ve interviewed, in the third Smoovster Master Guide, Moving Abroad: The Mental & Emotional. This Master Guide is essentials for your successful move abroad and… it’s at the price of a latte. Get it here.

Congratulations for preparing so thoroughly on the move. You’re doing amazing! And we’ve got your back!

13 + 6 Criteria when Choosing the City and… Neighborhood to Move to

Now that you’ve done your research on the criteria for the country to move to here, it’s time to dig deeper at city and (surprise?) neighborhood level. 

Why? Well:

  • Two cities of the same country can be very different: Vancouver is very different from Toronto (even Canadians say that) and Munich is a different sorry than Cologne (believe me, I lived in both)
  • The neighborhood and its characteristics will directly influence the quality of your life and your everyday life experience.

Remember Mira & Stefan’s Story

Without being aware of it, they rented a place to live in Surrey, BC, Canada, which was the center of the Indian community, full of facilities and events dedicated to Indians. This place would have been perfect for an Indian family arriving to Canada, but for Mira & Stefan coming from a European country, it wasn’t the best choice and they decided to move to another city.

So, do you want to make the best decision about the city and neighborhood you’re going to move to right off the bat? My wild guess is that you do, because this is why you’re reading this. This already brings you steps ahead of any person moving abroad, isn’t that great?

What should you consider when choosing your future home city?

  1. Demographics: population, density, gender, average age, minorities (nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc.), occupation, income
  2. Cost of living, including what percentage of your income will be taken up by the rent​​
  3. Quality of life: including crime rate, safety, etc.
  4. Job opportunities, employment rate, and average income
  5. Housing prices and trends
  6. Cultural hub: events, history, and tourism
  7. Cleanliness and/or pollution
  8. Aesthetics: buildings, streets, parks, nature
  9. Traffic, public transportation & parking
  10. Predominant leisure activities
  11. Level of pollution
  12. International airport
  13. Friends or family in the area

… aaand what other criteria do you have?

And what should you take into consideration when choosing your neighborhood?

  1. Facilities in the area: grocery store, school, hospital, pharmacy, park, church
  2. Type of neighborhood: more expensive, family-friendly, hipster, touristy, financial district, ‘Little Italy’, China Town
  3. Demographics: population, density, gender, average, age, minorities (nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc.), occupation, income
  4. Public transport & connections to other parts of the city
  5. Proximity to city center
  6. Landscape & aesthetics (why not?): buildings, streets, parks, nature

… and don’t stop here, find additional ones that are important to you!

Do your due diligence and look into this when making such important decisions which will influence every day of your life from now on. It’s really worth your time and effort. We truly admire you and cheer you through this process. You know what’s best for you. Go for it!

For more tips and awesome resources for your smooth move abroad:

  • Sign-up for the newsletter to receive the upcoming posts and videos with awesome tips on how to move abroad faster and cheaper and free tools
  • Get your Master Guide Moving Abroad: The Essentials, to receive a complete walk-through the whole process of moving abroad, a must read if you want to have a smooth move and a great bonus: The Budget Guide, woohoo! – find it here.

Be 10 steps ahead of everyone else! Have you signed-up yet?