living abroad the flow of the Dart River New Zealand

Adjusting to living abroad will bring some tough times.

On many occasions, I only show the rosy side of living abroad. Mostly, this is correct, and I certainly do not have a terrible life to complain about. Just watching the news shows us how things can get so much worse. However living in a country that is not your own can bring about the blues and ignoring your personal needs isn’t necessarily the answer.

When the down times roll around and your not in a place of comfort what are you to do? Having wonderful friends who fully “get it” and a husband/family willing to recognise your needs and step up are essential ingredients. Although, it doesn’t always happen this way.

There is no band-aid solution. No amount of long baths and walks in the park are going to fix anything. Additionally, right or wrong answers don’t exist, and the clothing label with the list of instructions was intentionally left blank. What works for one person and their situation is not the same for another. Everyone has their own set of individual circumstances and personalities.

Embrace the New You – just Surrender to the flow.

But, the fact is that when you are living abroad, you become a different person. In many cases, years have gone past, and a process of natural progression has reshaped you.

So, you have spent your life working out who are you and where you fit into this world. Then, all of a sudden you are completely lost and at odds with yourself. It has less to do with the place that you are living and more to do with years of changing, challenging, adapting, morphing, fusing, reordering and getting older. Attempts at this point to understand brings more confusion and to rediscover a sense of self, over and over is tiring.

Who you were has been flushed away and will never be again. Living abroad has changed you and every member of your family that you now look at with unfamiliarity. You scramble to hold on to who you were, but the river flows on, and the voice inside tells you to surrender to the flow. The flow which is sometimes stagnant and still and at other times like a flood in which all you can do is hold on tight!

If your having difficulties adjust to your life abroad, there are a lot of useful resources information and stories on by Sundae Schneider-Bean an intercultural strategist