Pros and Cons of Being Abroad


Making the decision to move far from home is always a big one, especially if it’s for the first time. Perhaps you have no idea what to expect, or you have certain worries of what it’s going to be like.

Which is why I’ve compiled this little list of the good and bad parts of being an expat/living abroad!

This list is meant to encourage and inspire you, whether you’re still on the fence about taking the plunge, or if you’re experiencing a tough season during your travels.

With that said, let’s dive in starting with the, “Pros”.


  • You get to experience adapting to a whole new culture/country and slowly meld yourself into a new lifestyle, building a home for yourself.

Seriously, one of the coolest parts of living in a new country is getting to make it your home, and eventually even feeling like a local. I wrote a whole post on :ย How To Make Anywhere Feel Like Homeย which has some great tips on how to adjust and fall into life somewhere new.

  • Your worldview becomes broadened


Living in the same place your whole life typically results in having a mindset that is very much rooted in what’s around you. Think about it, there’s cultures, rules, views, climate, schooling, and so much more that is different everywhere you go. Often, when we’re used to our home countries, whenever we learn how other cultures differ from us, we tend to think that it’s “weird” when really, we’re weird to them.

Interacting with a new country by living in it is such a perfect way to learn more about the world around you, and how your way may not be the “right” way.

  • You meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise

When I think of all the amazing people who have come into my life from these past few years of travelling, my heart becomes so full. Even if some friends were only for a season, they have all taught me valuable lessons, and some I still keep in touch with today despite varying time zones and schedules.

It’s crazy to think myย husbandย and I wouldn’t have met if I had never gone to Australia! And that now Brisbane is our home base!


It really goes to show you never know who you may meet in your travels, but that there will always be a few that really capture your heart and stay in your lives.


  • You may miss out on important events

If you’re going to be gone for an extended period, you can expect to miss out on some things back home. It’s sucky at times, feeling like the odd one out in the family because you’re not around as much, but you need to remember why you are where you are.

Something that helps with this is making sure you have enough money for a plane ticket home in case of a family emergency. Having that reassurance that if something does happen, you can find a way back is definitely helpful. Also, don’t feel pressured to try to come back for every event or holiday. Do the best you can with your situation, but also don’t allow others to make you feel guilty.


Although I’ll be spending Christmas in Australia, I’ve been able to be home in Vancouver to visit this past month since my beautiful niece was just born. I knew if I missed out on the newborn snuggles, I’d be crushed, whereas Christmas comes around every year. You win some, you lose some.

  • Visas, paperwork, immigration, oh my!

In my opinion, this is the biggest downside to the whole immigration/expat thing. Some countries are better than others, but in general it’s usually a frustrating and at times expensive process making sure that you have all the necessary documents in place.

For instance, I know my husband and I are so lucky that we’re both Commonwealth countries, (Canada & Australia) since it makes the immigration process for me a little smoother. But still, next year I’ll be needing to apply for my spouse visa and let’s just say that price tag and paperwork attached is going to be a serious speed bump. I’ve been dreading it for some time now! (Any tips from people who have gone through that before would be SO appreciated!)

All I can say is make sure you’re not trying to take any short cuts. Get help from an immigration lawyer if you need it, essentially just doing it right the first time can save you so much grief. Read ahead to see what to expect when it comes to your visa, sometimes they ask for supporting documents that you wouldn’t have thought to keep in the first place. Take your time, ask questions, and keep a hard copy of everything with you as you travel.

In my opinion, the good really does outweigh the bad in this list. If you’re nervous about moving, I really encourage you to go for it, if only for a few months. The life experience you gain from living somewhere new for a season is truly special and unique.

It’s scary at first, exciting upon arrival, mundane later, and then finally fulfilling at the end of it all.

The Pros and Cons of Living Abroad
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If you’re an expat, or have spent time abroad, what do you think of the pros and cons? Agree/disagree? Anything to add? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



16 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Being Abroad”

  • I’m an expat too and met my English husband while working in Kuwait. Blows my mind when I really think about the randomness of it! As we get older be away from ageing parents is getting more difficult, we feel guilty that we’re not there to help them, but I still wouldn’t move back we’re serial lifetime expats ๐Ÿ™‚

  • A pro that sums up all those listed by you – and that is by far my favourite feature of changing city/country – is meeting your other selves. Parts of your identity that could only surface while living in a different environment and climate, possibly even speaking a different language. I love that.

  • That “finding your other self” really resonates with me. My mum was the one who became the expat, moving from the UK to Australia for work (having already retired) because she was bored. It made some fundamental changes to her, not least finding out that there were colours for a wardrobe that were not black and white. It was lovely to see her find an amplified version of herself. And we both cranked out a lot of air miles while she was there. (She eventually retired again back to the UK, bringing her Aussie accent back home.)

  • Hey there! I have spent over 2 years abroad now, I am currently living in Bali! So I totally get this!! I missed my sisters wedding, and reception! Among many other things.. But I love living abroad. I have changed so much and I am so grateful for the experiences that I have gained. Thanks for sharing!

  • These are all so true! I remember how nervous/scared/excited I was to live abroad for the first time in South Korea but I went with an open mind and now I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything! I’m already dreaming of the next place I can move or go back. Yes, you may miss out on some important events and holidays away from family can be difficult, but with some planning you can work towards going home for those events as much as possible (or using technology to stay connected).

  • everything you said is so true! I love to meld myself into a new lifestyle and meeting new amazing people. I think there are more pros that cons in living abroad, but also it depends so much on the mindset of each person ๐Ÿ™‚

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