5 Things to Remember When Moving Abroad
Okay, so aside from your personal belongings, kids and pets if you have them, passports and tickets, here are 5 things that you might not consider when moving abroad;
Lose any assumptions you might have around what your daily life will look like in this new country because 99% of the time you will be disappointed. Even if you move to a country where you know the language, or think that it's going to be the same as home, your new way of life is going to change in ways you never thought. The smallest, simplest tasks like going to the food market will be different, opening up a bank account and how you do the laundry will change. If you're someone who sweats the small stuff, then you're in for a journey! These things, although they will have subtle differences, will have differences nonetheless. So go all in with an open mind. You might want to do a bit of research as to what daily life looks like in your new community. Get ahead of it as much as you can so that your expectations are closer to the reality.
Public transportation is going to be a huge part of your daily life if you don't think you'll be having a car. Even with a car, roads, laws and even common societal road knowledge is going to be something you will have to learn not to mention obtaining of a new drivers license. Figure out what you will need to do that. With public transportation, bus and trains, you will have to do the same of course (in terms of societal knowledge and rules) and figure out how much it will cost you from month to month. It can be quite costly so, again, do your research to avoid any major surprises and adjust your budget. You might want to learn a little about the routes from your home to major areas that you might frequent to get a better feel of how long it will take you, etc... but this is something that can wait until you're settled of course. Just a thought! ;)
This is an area that you should definitely do your research on prior to your arrival. Get to know what the people are like, their customs, their societal differences and expectations around their own daily lives. How do they view expats and what can you do to help the ease of your acclimation? Be kind and open to their views and respectful of course (I really don't need to tell you this! But it's just one of those things you need to say out loud... or at least write!) Learn their language the best you can and be mindful of the slang terms that can create offensive reactions. This is all learn as you go but much of this can be learned prior to your transition so find out what you can to help yourself get more acquainted.
If you're moving on an assignment then most corporations will hand you a relocation package that should include a lot of resources and guidance to help you along. However, this doesn't mean that you will automatically "fit in" to your new workplace dynamics right away. Every culture has their own work ethic and set of expectations around how employees should respond, behave and structure their work days. So check in with the office/teams that you will be working alongside, if you can, to get a feel of what their days are like and ask questions. Get a sense of what's expected of you and if the transition is going to serve you in the best possible way on a professional level.
After a relocation, there are feelings that might arise after all the excitement is over and you are settled into your new daily life. You might start to feel really lonely being that you haven't made any friends yet and your spouse is at work all day. Or you might feel like you have no purpose, especially if you have left your own work behind. Resentment, guilt and sadness can start to set in leaving you with no confidence or motivation to see or create your potential opportunities. Consider these feelings and get yourself in a place (mentally), or some guidance, where you can move through them mindfully and with ease.
With all of this, just remember to make the transition with an open heart and mind. Know that you're not alone and that there are so many opportunities in front of you. If you need support, look for it and find the people that you connect with. Create a group if you need to! Put yourself out there and make the effort to learn about your new community and culture. Have fun and be gentle with yourself when things don't go as planned. This all a part of the expat life. It's your time to re-invent yourself and create the life in joy you so deserve!
With Gratitude x
P.S. You can learn more about the emotional challenges after relocation in my mini ebook on Amazon ($7.99) I share the challenges I faced in the beginning of my expat journey and the lessons I learned along the way. I also share the resources, tools and inspiration that helped me through it all that can help you too!
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