Relocating abroad and integrating into a new culture can be a challenge. But, take heart, thousands of expats every year do it successfully, and for many of them the positives outweigh the negatives. Expats may get to live in a dream location, further their careers, discover strengths, explore new places, meet new people and enjoy fresh experiences.
What you need more than anything to make a go of relocation is patience. Change is rarely easy, particularly if you have young children who may also be finding it hard. Settling in takes time, so it’s important not to expect to feel at home immediately. The main thing is to stay busy, enthused and positive… and wait for the rest to fall into place.
After years of living in familiar territory, we can become set in our ways, but it’s important leave all preconceptions behind when you board the plane to start a new life overseas. Think about your personal and family goals and go back to the drawing board to plan how to achieve them.
If you have a family with you, keep talking! Even kids as young as toddler age can be unsettled by change, so make sure you explain to them what’s happening. Let them know that their new room will eventually contain their favourite teddy bear, toys and prized possessions again.
The fact that you’re now overseas doesn’t mean you’ve left planet Earth. So keep all channels of communication open with friends and family back home. When you arrive at your new home, arrange regular Skype chats so that you don’t lose touch with anyone in your VIP network.
Setting about transforming your new house into a home will start to make you feel safe and comfortable. Just as important as making your surroundings homely, maintaining similar routines to those you had back home will keep your sense of displacement to a minimum.
As the newcomers in town, it can be difficult to meet new people. So you’re going to have to go the extra mile to get involved in activities that interest you, such as sport, music, school or expat associations. Becoming a social butterfly will help you find kindred spirits quickly.
If someone reaches out to you with a social invitation, expat advice, or tips on where to go to eat, bite their hand off. Soak up the experiences of others and always be grateful of their interest in helping you become part of the community you have joined.
While it’s great to explore the new people and places around you, it’s also helpful to immerse yourself in something familiar from time to time. Find out where you can pursue your hobbies and interests locally, so you have something from your “old life” you can still enjoy.
Respecting the culture of your new country will put you in a favourable light with locals. Learn the basics of the language, so you can at least say please and thank you, and keep on learning. Being able to have conversations with people in their native tongue will be a huge positive.
PSS International Removals is a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. It’s our desire to ensure your family enjoys a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. Whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage, or a vehicle, we recognise the importance in ensuring that you receive a high standard of care and attention.