Would Moving Abroad Be Too Stressful For You?

Edd:  A guy wrote us wanting to know if there are racquetball courts here. I hope that’s not a deal breaker because when you’re thinking about moving abroad there are MUCH bigger fish to fry.

Cynthia:  Lighten up. Not having access to a gym would have been a deal breaker for you. For me moving anywhere is stressful, even if it’s to a different neighborhood in your same city. Not only do you have to deal with sorting through and packing/unpacking all your stuff, there’s also establishing new routines, meeting new neighbors. New, new, new. I’m sure lots of people stay put even if they’re not happy just because it’s easier.

E:  Would you say that people who try to figure out every little detail of moving abroad are poor candidates for having a positive experience?

C:  Not necessarily. Some people just naturally focus on the minutia. I do think getting bogged down with “analysis paralysis” can sometimes sabotage the bigger picture. That approach doesn’t guarantee anything, and often results in doing nothing. Great life adventures don’t always wait for more information.

E:  Good point. Lots of potential expats spend too much time thinking about where they’re going and not enough on who is making the journey. It’s so easy to get caught up in deciding where you’re moving, what’s the visa process, setting up utilities, even racquetball courts, while giving no thought to how you’re going to handle everything. Taking the leap to move abroad is not without stress, and it’s definitely not for everyone..

C:  We all handle stress in different ways, but life just is–how you react to it determines your experience. In other words, we create our own reality. Regarding expat life, in the beginning there is so much “new” happening that trying to control every detail is a flawed strategy that can lead to enormous frustration.

E:  Funny you should mention that. Remember that touching email we got recently from one of our readers? He actually wrote to thank us, saying that even though he was keen on moving abroad, reading our books helped him realize that his Type A personality would make him a poor fit. I responded congratulating him for his honest introspection.

C:  I sure do, and good for him. He would have very likely turned into one of those miserable complainers not realizing his unrealistic expectations were the real problem.

E:  For us living overseas is such an enriching experience. Sure, those first few months of adjustment were tough, but we came here intending to enjoy this chapter of our lives, and that’s real obvious in “Letting Go,” the second volume of our trilogy. It’s a shame to observe people who show up voluntarily and proceed to recreate the stress they left behind.

C:  Like you always say–either go with the flow or go home. Oh, by the way, we do have racquetball courts here.

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Comments

  1. John Dougherty

    I really enjoy your comments on expat life.
    May see you in April.
    My brother is interested in buying property in Ecuador so we may be going there for an exploratory visit. He has never been there, but I was there for an International Living conference in Quito two years ago, where I met you.
    I may be guiding him in the few places I was able to visit.
    I stayed at the Sunrise Cafe for a week and met with a lot of expats. I also travelled down to Vilcambamba and north to Cotatachi while there on my extended visit, (22 days) but regret never making it down to the coastal areas.
    Exact dates we will be there have yet to be determined but would like to meet with you again if that can be arranged.
    Best regards,
    John

    1. Edd & Cynthia

      Let us know when you get your travel plans worked out and we’ll make every effort to get together. Safe travels!

      E&C

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