Downsides To Living Overseas – 17 Sad Times For Expats

Downsides To Living Overseas – 17 Sad Times For Expats

I don’t mean to get all morose on you here but I’ve written lots about how much I enjoy living in Australia and have barely touched on the negative times you face when you move overseas. But I was sick (and consequently homesick) recently and had a lot of time alone to wallow in my misery. (And wish mum was here to nurse me – yep, some of us never grow out of that!) From Skype fails to visa nightmares, here are 17 of the saddest and loneliest moments I’ve experienced since moving overseas.

Feel free to add your sad times to the end of the list!

1. When you’re sick and realise you don’t have a doctor, don’t know how to get one and if only you’re mother were here she’d know how to fix it.

2. When you’re really sick and realise that if you popped your clogs on Friday no one would notice until you’re late for work on Monday – likewise if anything sinister happened on a night out. <Shivers>

3. When you get really good news but have to wait 8 hours for everyone back home to wake up.

4. When someone back home is having a shit time and you want to hug them but your arms don’t stretch 10,000 miles, unfortunately.

5. When you’re discussing something very important over Skype and it freezes (usually at the most important part of the story) so there is just your ugly face staring back at you.

6. When someone uploads a family or best friend’s photo and you’re not in it.

7. When you’re planning a wedding and sweating over the small stuff and there’s no one way to say ‘have a word/get a grip mate’.

8. When you experience any major life event and the people you imagined sharing it with aren’t there with you.

9. Christmas. ‘Nuff said.

10. When you’re applying for a visa and it’s the suckiest/most expensive/ overly complicated process ever and you spend days crying at the keyboard.

11. When you’re premenstrual and craving Minstrels/Foxes biscuits/ anything by Galaxy (just me?) and all there is in the supermarket is this sad foreign excuse for chocolate.

12. When you waste yet another long weekend as you forgot/didn’t know there was a public holiday. (Might be just a self-employed thing!)

13. When you can’t vote on important matters (marriage equality, for example) because you’re not a permanent resident despite being in the country 4 years.

14. When friends and family innocently ask when you plan to come home and you feel like the shittest person in the world for saying ‘I don’t know’.

15. When you’ve been home for a visit and leave with the words ‘see you later’ stuck in your throat as who knows when that will be.

16. When you’re having a homesick week and want to pop home but don’t have a spare $1k-$2k in your pocket.

17. When you realise that all of the sad times above are totally your fault as you chose to move overseas. #expatguilt

 

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11 Comments

  1. November 13, 2017 / 10:43 am

    The guilt when people ask me if/when I’m coming home is crushing! Like, I know it won’t be for years unless I run into visa/finance issues, but I feel so bad for telling them that. It’s not that I don’t love my friends and family back in England, but… ya know how it is. :L Thanks for sharing this 🙂
    Astrid
    http://www.astridkaniele.com

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      November 14, 2017 / 12:42 am

      I totally do! But while it is horrible having to say you don’t know I’m thinking that might be the better option than saying we’ll be home in a year and then constantly extending it….

  2. November 13, 2017 / 11:27 am

    Absolutely! Can relate to most of these, especially “When someone back home is having a shit time and you want to hug them“. It’s very tough! It’s also hard seeing parents age each time you see them.

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      November 14, 2017 / 12:40 am

      Oh gosh, yes I forgot how heart-breaking that is. The sadness of seeing little nieces and nephews get huge and parents get smaller should be on this list too.

  3. November 14, 2017 / 9:00 am

    I can absolutely relate to so many of these. Especially #14, which I experience more than I’d like to admit. It’s nice that people want me to come home/visit, but I always feel so bad saying I have no plans or don’t know. Living abroad can be as tough as it is amazing.

    Kate | http://www.petiteadventures.org/

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      November 15, 2017 / 2:27 am

      There are definitely downsides that hit you like a tonne of bricks in-between all the good moments aren’t there!

  4. November 19, 2017 / 11:48 am

    I could add another 50 to this list after living overseas for 20 years but the worst is when you get a call saying ‘get on a plane, Mum has a week to live’, you can’t get a flight out for another 36 hours and she dies as you’re crossing the Pacific Ocean. Yeah, can totally relate to the drawbacks of being an expat.

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 10:36 pm

      Oh gosh, Tara I’m so sorry you’ve had to live what it probably every expat’s worst nightmare.

  5. Sheree
    November 19, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    Oh my thanks so much for this post….exactly the things I feel….all the things. Am reverse to you, a kiwi living in the UK (which we LOVE). Luckily I do have my hubby and sons with me so am super thankful for that but still…. Particularly laughed at last one ha!! So true!!

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      November 19, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      Ha it totally makes all this feeling sorry for yourself even worse when you realise you chose to do it (and will continue to do so lol)

  6. April 4, 2018 / 6:22 pm

    Much of this relates… I say most because what the hell is a minstrel?

    Expat guilt is a real thing. So very very real. So don’t mind me while I cry into my pillow. Did I mention my pillow is a bottle of gin? Yes I have the UK to thank for that.

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