The Emotional Phases Of Moving Overseas

The Emotional Phases Of Moving Overseas Reeva Cutting

Emigrating to another country is a life-changing experience that can bring a roller coaster of emotions. The journey of leaving behind familiar surroundings, loved ones, and adapting to a new culture can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes it feels like all of the time!

However, it is a journey worth taking as it opens up new opportunities, perspectives, and personal growth. In this blog post, let’s explore the emotional phases of moving overseas and the challenges moving abroad can present.

The Emotional Phases Of Moving Overseas

Phase 1 – Excitement

The excitement phase usually sets in once you make the decision to move overseas. You start to envision a new life, new surroundings, new friends, and new adventures.

You feel a sense of liberation and anticipation of what the future holds. The excitement can be contagious as you share your plans with loved ones and friends. It is the starting phase that usually sets the tone for your new journey.

Phase 2 – Nervousness

As the departure date approaches, nervousness and anxiety can start to kick in. Doubts and worries about the new environment, language barriers, culture shock, and leaving loved ones behind can be overwhelming.

The fear of the unknown can make you doubt your decision to move, and it can be a trying time. However, it is essential to remember that nervousness is normal, and with time, things will fall into place.

Phase 3 – Frustration

The frustration phase is one of the most challenging emotional phases of emigrating to another country. It is the phase where things do not go as planned, and you encounter challenges that you did not anticipate.

It can be the big things, like finding a job, a place to live, or adapting to a new culture. But the small things can be just as frustrating – going grocery shopping and not finding products you are used to, ordering a coffee and the barista having no idea what an Americano is, using words like robots (traffic lights) or packets (shopping bags) can draw some very blank stares.

You might feel homesick and miss familiar surroundings, food, and people. It is essential to stay positive, patient, and open-minded. Things will eventually fall into place, and the frustration will begin to dissipate.

Phase 4 – Depression

The depression phase is a low point in the emigration journey – not everyone will experience this stage but it is very common so don’t feel alone in this.

It is the phase where the reality of leaving loved ones and the familiar surroundings sets in. You might feel lonely, isolated, and homesick. The depression can be triggered by feelings of loss, uncertainty, and fear.

However, it is essential to seek support from loved ones, join social groups, and engage in activities that make you happy. The depression phase will pass, and things will get better.

Phase 5 – Adjustment

The adjustment phase is when you start to feel comfortable in your new surroundings.

You start to adapt to the new culture, language, and way of life. You form new friendships, find a job, and settle into a new routine. The adjustment phase is an exciting time as you start to build a new life and feel excited for what your future may look like if you continue on your current path.

Phase 6 – Happiness And Feeling Settled

The happiness and feeling settled phase is the culmination of the emigration journey.

It is the phase where you start to feel at home in your new surroundings. You have formed new friendships, found a job, and established a routine.

You feel comfortable and confident navigating the new culture, and you start to appreciate the opportunities that the new environment offers. It is an exciting time where you start to build your future in your new home.

The Challenges Of Moving From South Africa To Australia

Moving to another country can be an exciting but daunting experience, especially when moving from a vastly different culture and environment.

When moving from South Africa to Australia, there are several challenges that one may face. Firstly, adjusting to a new culture, language, and way of life can be overwhelming. The language barrier, even though English is the official language in both countries, can still present difficulties due to different accents and slang.

Secondly, there are practical challenges such as finding a job, a place to live, and adjusting to the cost of living.

Additionally, the emotional challenges of leaving family and friends behind can also be a significant obstacle. Homesickness and isolation can be challenging, especially during the initial stages of the transition. It is essential to research and prepare for the challenges that may arise, stay open-minded, and seek support when needed to make the transition smoother.

In conclusion, moving to another country is an emotional journey that can bring excitement, nervousness, frustration, depression, adjustment, and ultimately, happiness and feeling settled.

The emotional phases of moving overseas are not always exactly the same for everyone – remember that. Your emigration journey is your own, so don’t let people tell you how you should be feeling at any given point.

It is essential to remember that an overseas move is not always smooth, but with patience, perseverance, and an open mind, you can overcome the challenges and embrace the opportunities that come with moving to a new country.

About Author

Helping you move to, settle in, and explore your new home in Australia. Avid reader, beach lover, and horse addict. As someone who has emigrated, not once, not twice, but three times, I know exactly what you’re going through. The ups and downs of emigration are faster than a rollercoaster and I’ve been there – three times!


  • Kenneth Mould
    29th March 2023 at 5:41 am

    Hi Reeva,

    I, my wife Jana and 5-year old son moved to the Sunshine Coast from South Africa at the end of December 2022. We’ve been following your website and post for 2 years.

    Thank you for your recent post on the emotional stages of emigration. I am well and truly in the depression phase now, so it helps a little to know it’s normal.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    Kenneth Mould

    • Reeva Cutting
      30th March 2023 at 11:10 am

      Hi Kenneth, thanks for taking the time to share here – it is very common so please don’t feel alone or ashamed. Seek support from your family and friends and try to focus on the reasons why you moved here to get you through these tricky times emotionally 🙂


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