not work out

As much as living abroad is wonderful, it’s really important to know when to say enough is enough. Sometimes things don’t work out, and that is perfectly OK. I for sure have been through my share of struggles while living abroad. I’ve gotten to the point where I was ready to give up. Luckily an opportunity to move to Costa Rica came just in time (and I love it here), but how do you deal when things don’t work out?

When it gets to the point that the benefits no longer outweigh the bad, it’s time to move on. Nobody deserves to live in a way they are not loving…ever!

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I don’t know if you’re at all like me, but I think that this lifestyle of living abroad is often glorified. It is glorious, but it’s also really really difficult. It’s important not to get discouraged by all the beautiful pictures you see on Pinterest of exotic world travels. Remember behind those photos is someone just like you and I. They have bad days and they have good days.

When I started this website I thought it would be pretty easy to be successful. When that didn’t work out after a few months I got really down. I thought I was doing something wrong. I started reading more posts from one of my favorite travel bloggers and realized the author had been writing for over a year before she made any money. A WHOLE YEAR before making a díme! Finding that out motivated me, because it made me realize it’s not just me. Things in life don’t always work out, and yea maybe you made your share of mistakes along the way, we all do, but hey, you tried and that is more than most people can say.

The problem many people have is a fear of failure. Nobody wants to go back home with their tail between their legs. I want you to know that you should never let anyone make you feel that way. Moving to another country is a huge risk, one that most people are not willing to take and the fact that you tried says a lot about you as a person. You were willing to give up everything that was easy and comfortable at home to embark on something new.

When you decide to move back to your home country it’s important to think of all the great things you experienced and learned. Think about the language skills you learned, the friends you met, the work experience you gained, and the places you saw. These things will hopefully help make everything a little bit easier.

Remember you didn’t fail, you grew as a person, and that is a freaking awesome accomplishment!

And don’t let anyone say “I told you so.”

Screw those people!



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  1. I realize this is an older column. But what is interesting to me, when I type “I moved abroad and it didn’t work out,” I barely get 2 or 3 relevant articles. Most pertain to study abroad experiences, and, I’m sorry, but that doesn’t really count. You’ve got an end date and you’re in a bubble without a true care in the world. As an adult in the working world, picking up and moving to another country to try and live there outside of a University setting is a totally different ball game. Especially when it’s a different language. Most people in this situation don’t have an end date, and want to try and make it work for as long as possible. Like you wrote, you have to realize when enough is enough, and you can only hold that back for so long before it surfaces in general attitude and physical expressions. I’m at the end of my road in my yearlong attempt to live in Germany (from the USA). It’s really tough, and going back home will feel a bit like failure, but like you said, how many people would’ve actually gone through with moving to another country in adulthood (different language counts, it’s the main driver for me moving back)? I’ll feel like a failure for the first few months back home, but the silver lining is, at least I didn’t delude myself into staying for a lifetime for pride. That happens to too many expats from reading other stories. Great article, keep it up.

    • I lived in Germany as well for 4 years and honestly, I don’t know how I lasted that long. Living in Germany is tough!! Which city were/ are you in? I as in Hamburg. Good luck with your move back to the US! 🙂

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