So you’ve decided to pack up your life and start again in a new country. Regardless of where you go, moving to a foreign land can be stressful, so here’s some top tips that will help take some of the stress out of the move beyond the obvious like sorting passports and visas.
1.You don’t have to take everything
Other countries do have shops, so think about selling, storing or donating things that you don’t really need or hardly ever use especially if it’s something you can buy if you decide you do need it after all. You don’t want to pack and ship things overseas unnecessarily.
2. Give yourself time to settle in
It will take a few months to get familiar with the local culture and find your feet so if you’re feeling a bit unsettled it’s only natural. Take time to immerse yourself in the local culture so you become familiar with it and this will help you feel part of the local community. Having to deal with lots of new things every day is tiring so give yourself time.
3. Be open to new things
Be ready to experience new foods, people, and customs. It must have been one of the reasons why you wanted to move, so go to local events, markets and shops. There might be some quite different customs that you will have to get used to and possibly a different language.
Travel outside the city you’ve moved to in order to experience the ‘real’ country you’re now living in.
4. Make local friends
Make friends with the locals – they can help you navigate the local culture and help with things like where the best places to go or buy something are. If the local language isn’t english they can also help you learn to speak the lingo.
Try joining local clubs or attending classes so you can meet new people.
5 Do your research before you go
Is there anything you aren’t going to be able to do? Is there anything you should do before you go like set up a local bank account or get references from landlords, employers etc. Find out if you can drive on your existing license or whether you will need a new local one.
Find out if you favourite things can be bought locally and take some with you if you have to.
Research things like transport, the local geography and towns and politics. There may also be some requirements you still have to fulfil at home, such as voting or submitting a tax return, or updating your passport.
6. Take your documents
Along with your passport take a copy of your birth certificate, marriage license, education and qualifications in case you need to apply for something that will require proof of ID and entitlements that need more than your passport.
7. Don’t lose touch with those at home
Get social accounts, addresses etc of your friends so you can stay in touch with whats happening back at home. Especially when you first arrive and it can feel a bit lonely.
But be prepared for a time when it feels like you might be drifting apart from some of your friends back home as your life takes a different path and context to theirs because you are no longer sharing local outings and events.