When Living Abroad Loses Its Spark
After nearly four years of living abroad, it's fair to say that life isn't exactly the same as it was when we first made that big move.
The "bright and shiny" has become a little lackluster, and we often find ourselves unmotivated to do the things that once used to excite us.
My son even said one day as we sat watching TV after school, "Mom...sometimes it just feels like every day is the same thing." And sometimes, I couldn't agree more.
To be honest, such is life in any place after a good amount of time has passed. Unfortunately, many don't think about that when they decide to move abroad.
But it doesn't have to stay that way. With a little mindset shift and effort, life abroad can be just as exciting as it was in the beginning.
Here are three important things to remember when living abroad starts to lose its "spark" and what you can do about it:
1. REMEMBER: Living in abroad is completely different than being on a vacation.
When you go on vacation, you're taking time off from your usual responsibilities. However, when you move abroad, you'll literally be living your regular life but in a different view.
And that's not to say that your "regular life" has to be mundane and boring, but what I am saying is that you'll have the same responsibilities and will eventually fall into the same routine.
For example, my son and I live just minutes from the beautiful beaches of Puerto Vallarta, but we get so caught up in the usual routine of work, school, dinner and home life that we actually need to make an effort to schedule in some beach time.
Which leads me to my next point: What can you do about it?
Here are a few tips when you start to feel that "everyday" routine settling in:
Be intentional about getting out. Make it a point to schedule a "fun day" and explore at least one new thing in your area each week.
Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Change the scenery by going for a walk. Take a moment to absorb your new environment and think about what you appreciate the most it.
Get involved in extracurricular activities. Explore new interests that you never had the opportunity to before. It's a great way to meet new people!
2. REMEMBER: The problems or issues that you have won't automatically disappear.
One of the most common mistakes made by those who decide to move abroad is that they believe all of their problems will disappear when they set foot on new soil. Unfortunately, it is this very same mistake that leads them to give up and return back to their home country.
Whether you're dealing with financial, emotional, or social issues back at home, those problems will still exist when you move abroad if you haven't made an effort to heal and recover from them.
"You see, you can't run away from your pain, because wherever you run, there you will be." -- Janet Jackson
Here's how to deal with it:
Be honest with yourself. Whatever it is that you are dealing with, be honest about how you feel and what you are going through and face it head on. Don't bottle it up!
Write it down. Write down how you feel at the time and then write down how you WANT to feel.
Don't be afraid to seek help. Whether it's therapy, a financial planner, or counseling, allow yourself to get the help you need so that you can fully focus on enjoying your new environment.
3. REMEMBER: You are in control of your own thoughts and happiness.
It's your choice: You can choose to see every day as a drag-- boring and repetitive. Or, you can see each day as a blessing. My suggestion? Go for the second choice. After all, you're there!
Here's what you can do to help get in that train of thought:
At the end of the day, get in the habit of writing down the positive things that happened that day. Do it with your children, if you have them!
In addition to the above, write down at least one thing you are looking forward to doing in the future, and then start making a plan to make it happen.
When it's all said and done, you moved abroad to start a new chapter. You wanted to try new things and meet new friends. So get out there and water that incredible new seed that you've planted in your life!
If you want to learn to create a passion-driven, location-independent lifestyle that allows you to travel and live abroad, sign up for my free training Turning Your Passions to Profits.