Moving overseas as a carefree singleton is certainly less complicated than moving with a partner and children, but it isn’t easy. Going home alone after a day of navigating a new culture can be a very lonely experience, even with social media shrinking the distance to your friends back home. You’re going to have some frustrating moments. Some of them will be hilarious in time, but some won’t. Some will leave you a stronger and more confident person. Surviving an international move solo is different than going with a friend or a partner, but you can take a few steps to make it easier.
- Use social media to learn more about the area and make some connections before you arrive. Participate in some Facebook groups specific to the area, and follow some local personalities on Twitter to get a more nuanced sense of the culture than you will from the news. Don’t be naïve about meeting people online. Most are genuine, but some aren’t.
- One of the first things to do when getting acquainted with your new neighbourhood is to find the nearest chemist and out-of-hours clinic. Look for an English-speaking doctor near you. You don’t want to be wandering around looking for them when you need them, and you will need them. You will probably develop an immunity to the local germs the hard way – by getting sick with them all.
- Take extra good care of yourself when you arrive. Travel and a new climate can both take a toll on your immune system. Make sure you eat well and drink plenty of water. Consider taking a multivitamin. You will probably feel extra tired because you are learning so many new things, even if they are small things. Try to get extra sleep. Both your brain and your body really do need it.
- Aim for balance in your social life. Push yourself to go out solo (unless it is unsafe!). Look for activities where you can meet and get to know local people, and also seek out support from other Irish people in the area. It isn’t either/ or. Take advantage of social opportunities through work or school. Balance is so important to your well-being. Don’t push yourself to socialize more than you want. You need rest too! But don’t let yourself become a recluse either. You’ll miss out on adventures you never imagined that you will treasure for life.
Whether you are going to study abroad for a year or departing with a one-way ticket and a dream, moving overseas on your own is hard. It’s not as hard as it was for previous generations, but it’s still hard. Take good care of yourself so you can enjoy the incredible adventure ahead as much as possible!
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