3 August 2014
What no one tells you about moving to a new city

Moving abroad is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you should always take. And with all the benefits that come with it (new culture, new friend, new you!) we’d forget there are some downsides as well. At some point, you will have your doubts. So you’ve heard about some great advantages of moving abroad but what is the downside?

Before heading off to your new life, here are some things that you should consider. Let us drop some bombs on you.

You will drown in paperwork
So you’ve decided to move to another country? Great! Now all you have to do is fill in some forms and you’re ready to go! There’s a crazy amount of papers that has to be signed and forms that have to be filled in, people want to know e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. About your medical state, your jobs in the past and the balance of your bank account…

You will get lost
No matter what city you’re moving to, you will get lost. Guaranteed. Carrying a map with you all day isn’t going to change that (GPS doesn’t count either!). Trust us, there were at least three occasions where Yara called from L.A. to Kelly in The Netherlands, because she was lost and needed an address ASAP.

You will be alone
Being new and all can be lonely at times. Not knowing anybody in the city – besides the woman from your regular coffee place – will get to you at some point. And making new friends is easier said than done.

You will miss things you never expected to miss
Your mom’s best dish, your blanket. Even simple things like supermarkets will be missed – whereas other things, things you maybe expected to miss, don’t even cross your mind for a second.

You’ll get to know the ugly side
It’s a really big step to move and once you’ve settled, you’ll think that you will never move again. Ever. You’ll see that the city you fell in love with, also has it’s dirty alleys and annoying people on the subway. It will eventually hit you like a ton of bricks: every pretty place has some ugly truth to hide.

Have you ever lived abroad? Where did you live?

(Inspired by Forbes / image via tim.vsco.co)

Leave a Reply to Alexandra Cancel reply


    I’m not moving abroad but to the capital city and I know the experience will be so different to life I have now – can’t wait for the new opportunities though
    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

    This was such a helpful post -thank you Yara! The paperwork (medical histories, etc etc) is really what is stopping me from considering living abroad (LA in particular) in the future.

    Would love to know how you met people when you were living abroad – the best places, etc? Did you not know anyone when you went to LA? xx

    I lived in Israel for 7 years with my mom and then we decided to come back to Russia. I’m planning to move in with my bf to Amsterdam when I’m done with my university studies in 2 years.

    I know that since I was little in the move the whole paperwork and adaptation didn’t concern me as much, grasping a new language was also easy. Now I’m a bit scared but I have my mind fixed on it, I think after all, I’ll feel good living in Amsterdam.


    Yes, lots of paperwork! After living in The Netherlands for 21 years, I’ve been living in Canada with my family for 3 years now. The emigration process for our emigration to Canada took us 3 years.
    Next to The Netherlands and Canada, I’ve also lived in Italy for 3 months (internship), spent 4 months in South-East Asia (backpacking), and will be living in Brazil and possibly Mexico with my bf this winter (so excited to not spend the winter in Canada haha). Next year I might move to the US with my bf to settle there (he’s from the US). I think it’s kinda like the “travel bug”.. Once you’ve traveled and lived abroad, you don’t want to stop :)

    You pretty much nailed this one. I’ve lived in Amsterdam for 6 months now, and still trying to get my footing. Some days are the best and other days the worst, but you’re right that the gains are definitely worth some sacrifices in comfort. You learn a lot about yourself and have quite a bit of time to observe human interaction (and non-interaction).

    Best advice is challenge yourself to try new things, and don’t get frustrated when things and relationships don’t immediately fall into place (I have to remind myself of that one on the daily). The Dutch, especially the women, are a hard group to crack, but it’ll eventually fall into place.


    Ik heb vorig jaar 3 maanden in Londen gewoond, en begin volgend semester met een stage in New York bij 3.1 Phillip Lim. Ik weet dat ik me waarschijnlijk idd af en toe eenzaam ga voelen maar dan moet ik maar even doorbijten, ik denk ook dat je er een hoop voor terug krijgt.


    Same story here, erie maanden in Londen. Meest fantastische plek op de wereld maar ook een plaats waar je verloren kan lopen. Lucky you trouwens, stage bij Philip Lim!

    Thank you for this post! My husband and I are currently discussing the possibility of moving to the UK in a few years. Your post has helped a lot. I had the share it on my blog! – Stephanie



    Right now I am struggling to survive abroad, and now I know that whatever tales people tells you about certain city – its never easy. But I still hope to get better!

    I’m sure it will get better ;) The beginning is always hard


    Omg.. it is exactly how I felt after moving to Amsterdam. I am most grateful to live here, but I will never EVER move again :)

    Where did you live before you moved?

    I am about to go abroad to Switzerland, live my family friends boyfiriend I am pretty scared and yes, really frighten about being lonely.

    I lived in London for 2 years and what I missed once was Kraft Dinner Macaroni and cheese! I thought I would miss poutine but I would eat cheesy chips, which is similar. Even though I can’t live there anymore for now, London is my favourite city!


    I’ve never got a chance to move to another country and probably I will never get one 9my fiance doen’s want to move abroad) but I’ve gotten a chance to move to another city in my country. From my experience getting lost in a city is the best way to get to know it! It gives a chance to find many beautiful places that can’t be found on the map! :)

    There are definitely upsides to getting lost every now and then!

    I lived in Sydney for 6 months, what a great experience!


    Ik ben vorig jaar naar New York verhuisd, Google maps is nog altijd mijn beste vriend! Wat betreft nieuwe vrienden maken; een echt volwaardig sociaal leven krijg je maar na een jaar.

    Wow! New York!

    Poeh, ik ben van mening dat als je eenmaal begint je niet meer ophoudt!
    Ik begon met een stage in Frankrijk vier maanden lang. Verhuisde vervolgens naar London voor een half jaar.. en toen ging het maar door..
    Frankrijk, Thailand, Maleisië, de Caraïben, en nu weer in Frankrijk. Over een aantal maanden ga ik naar Zwitserland!

    Lang verhaal kort, eenmaal weg ben ik nooit meer terug gegaan! Ik kom een aantal weken per jaar terug om mijn familie op te zoeken, het is af en toe heel moeilijk telkens weer een nieuw leven op te bouwen, nieuwe vrienden te maken, tradities te missen.. Maar je krijgt er zo veel voor terug!!


    I have never lived abroad but I’ve certainly moved from city to city in the UK a LOT and even that’s a massive kerfuffle. Love it though.

    Georgina from FOX ON THE HUNT

    Het lijkt me echt super leuk om voor bijvoorbeeld een jaar ergens anders te wonen. In een ander land, een andere cultuur en taal ontdekken. Ondanks de paar negatieve kantjes die er aan zitten zou ik het als nog super graag willen!

    Dat is nou precies wat ik ook dacht :) x

    Er zitten ook zeker veel voordelen aan ;)

    Het lijkt me geweldig om een tijdje in het buitenland te wonen.
    Leuke post, goed om dit in me achter hoofd te houden als de dag van de verhuizing komt haha :)

    Much Love, M

    Ik heb een tijdje in Alicante (Spanje) gewoond en vond het een te gekke uitdaging die ik zo weer zou willen doen!

    Ik heb een half jaar in Lissabon gewoond en ik ben nog steeds smoorverliefd op die stad! Uiteraard, er zijn negatieve kantjes (vooral ivm slechte portugese organisatie), maar ik herken vooral de eenzaamheid uit dit lijstje! Ik heb er superveel leuke mensen ontmoet, die ik nog steeds regelmatig hoor (anderhalf jaar later), maar mijn eigen vriendengroep, die miste ik toch. Het deel uitmaken van een groep, je eigen mopjes, elkaar door en door kennen. Het is toch niet hetzelfde als je helemaal van nul moet beginnen!

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