Even though you might think you are all settled in your home right now, you have no idea what the future may hold for you and your family. One day, you might have to consider moving house. More often than not, the main reason for moving home is a new job or career opportunity. But what if the reason you need to move takes you further than you had originally expected? Like, abroad for example.
No matter your reason for moving abroad, it will always be a daunting prospect. After all, you will be leaving your usual life behind and set up a new one for your whole family in a completely foreign country. Does that sound really off-putting? It might do at first, but there are various ways you can make the big move a lot easier for you and your family. Still not convinced? Read on for some great tips that can make this a totally smooth transition!
Give Yourself Plenty Of Time
This is a big move and one that you will need to spend lots of time preparing for. You’ll need to get mentally prepared as well as physically prepared with all your belongings. Once you’ve made the decision to move to a different country, you should sit on it for a couple of months to ensure that this is definitely the best option for you and your family. This will also give you time to iron out any worries and to try and find answers to all the questions you might have. It also leaves you with plenty of time for finding a moving company to help you out and arrange any storage that you may need for some of your belongings.
See If Work Will Cover Costs
If you are moving abroad because of a job transfer or a new position at a foreign company, you should always ask them if they will cover the cost of moving for you. Most reputable companies should cover all of the costs you incur from moving. If not, it’s worth seeing if they are able to offer you a contribution to compensate the expense you will incur. Before you do approach the company about any compensation, you should have a general idea of how much you will need to spend on the move. Ideally, you should take a look at MoveBuddies.com to get an idea of how much a moving company will charge. Don’t forget that you should also factor in travel costs, including airfares.
Explain To The Kids What’s Going On
This isn’t just a nerve-wracking time for you and your partner - your kids might be really anxious about the big move as well! After all, they will be leaving their school, relatives, and all their friends behind. So, in order to reassure them, you should be very transparent with them and explain to them what is going on in as much detail as possible. Even if you think that they are too young to fully understand, you should still try and be transparent with them. Kids usually understand a lot more than what we might think!
Visit The Country Before You Go
Even if you have previously visited the company on vacation, you should still make a trip for a week or two before you move to get a proper feel for the culture over there. Rather than doing all the usual tourist things on this trip, you should spend some time exploring the expat community. There will be some expat groups and clubs that it’s worth checking in with so that you can speak to people who have previously been in your situation. They can answer any questions that you might have and can put your mind at ease. It’s also worth taking a tour of potential schools that you could send your kids to. Their new school won’t be so alien to them once they arrive for real! This trip will also be a great chance to take a look at some permanent accommodation.
Have A Physical Before You Leave
You don’t want to be surprised by any unexpected illnesses or health conditions once you move abroad, so it’s a good idea to go to your doctors and have a quick checkup. Ask for a full physical for your whole family, so that your doctor will give you all a thorough once-over.If you are moving to a country that has a problem with diseases such as malaria, typhoid, or yellow fever, they will also be able to give you advice on how to stay safe and healthy in your new country.
Take Language Classes Before You Move
One thing that makes people very nervous is if their new country has a completely different language to their native one. If this is the case, then you should sign up for some language classes before you leave. Ideally, spend a couple of months before you move at these classes so that you know all the basics before you arrive at your new home. It’s also a good idea to find a language school at your destination so that you can keep up with these lessons. It’s super important to try and learn the language rather than just sticking with your own, even if you just socialize with fellow expats at first. Learning the language can really help you with getting around your new town or city and it also makes things like shopping and going to the doctors much easier.
Don’t Always Be The Tourist
It’s perfectly fine to do the usual touristy things in your new destination for the first few weeks, especially if you have never visited before. But once you have seen and done all the usual stuff, you should start to work on settling in and embracing the destination’s local culture. That means you need to start finding some local friends outside the expat circle. It’s also worth shopping at local supermarkets rather than using ones that stock food from your home country. All of these things might seem like little things to do, but they can help you settle in quicker and get used to your new home a lot longer than if you simply tried to hold on to your home culture.
You will find that you might feel homesick, down, and depressed in the first few months at home in your new country. This is absolutely normal and isn’t anything to worry about. These feelings should pass over time, especially the more you are able to settle into your new destination. When you do start to feel homesick, you shouldn’t try and ignore these feelings as that will just result in you bottling them up and they could express themselves in more unsettling ways. If you find that your homesickness starts to turn into a depression that you aren’t able to shift, then it’s worth seeing a doctor or counselor. They will be able to help you work through your feelings and they will also be someone who you are able to openly talk to without fear of judgment.
Give It Time
You shouldn’t expect to feel completely settled into your new home after just a couple of weeks. In fact, settling in is a process that could take longer than a few months! But generally speaking, most people will start to feel properly settled in after a year. So, as you can see, it is really important that you give yourself plenty of time to get settled in. If you feel very homesick and down in the first few months, it’s important that you give yourself more time. Try and push past them if possible, as they shouldn’t be around for too long. The more active you are in your social life, the quicker you will find that you can start to feel really settled in your new home!
Limit Contact With Home At First
Thanks to online tools like social media and Skype.com, it is now easier than ever to keep in touch with all your friends and family back home. It might be very tempting to chat to people back home as often as possible once you get there in an effort to combat loneliness and homesickness. However, that really isn’t a good idea. Ideally, once you arrive in your new country, you should try and limit contact with back home to once a week. Otherwise, you will only get more homesick and will end up missing everyone back home. Once you start to feel right at home in your new country, you can then start to increase how often you speak to everyone back home. Rather than spending a couple of hours skyping someone, you could always head out and try to make some new friends or start a new hobby!
Moving abroad can be very difficult, especially if you have your whole family with you. But all of these tips should make it a lot easier for you hopefully!