Starting a New Life Abroad
For some people starting a new life abroad is their ultimate dream come true, for others it’s a daunting but necessary lifestyle change brought about by a career move or a relationship requirement for example.
Whichever category you happen to fall into one thing is for certain, starting a new life overseas is an incredibly exciting opportunity but one that requires courage and commitment – this article shows you how to find that courage and commitment to enable you to get the very most out of your brand new life.
1) Spousal Support
There are significant stresses and strains placed on a relationship during a move overseas. Chances are at least one in the partnership will be embarking on a new job, taking on different responsibilities and meeting new people…the other spouse may well have to take on the burden of getting accommodation sorted out, dealing with the necessary bureaucracy and getting the family unit into a routine alone. Both parties will be experiencing challenges and will need the full support and understanding of their partner, therefore you should take time out of your very busy lives to discuss your day, to share experiences and to give each other the critical moral support to keep plodding away at building the new life.
2) Coping With Change
Before you move abroad try and understand how you cope with change – if you adapt easily, make friends quickly, are not addicted to your routine then chances are you’ll find moving overseas a breeze! If on the other hand you’re shy, hate making the first move or need to know where everything is and which tasks you have to fulfill tomorrow you will need to prepare yourself mentally for your move. Don’t try and take on too many tasks in one day – where you might be able to achieve 15 different chores in one day currently, the slow pace of life in your new host country or even just the language barrier may well slow you down. See each achievement as worthy of celebration and don’t push yourself to settle in too quickly. Take each day at a time and at the end of the day look over even the smallest things you’ve achieved that day and give yourself a pat on the back!
3) Making New Friends
When you move abroad you may well be leaving behind a strong network of family and friends on whom you know you can rely. This support network is often something we take for granted but as soon as you relocate you’ll find you miss it a great deal. While it is essential you keep in touch with everyone back home with phone calls, emails and letters, it is also critical that you get out there and build a new network. The sooner you can get in a situation where you’re meeting new people the sooner you’ll be in a position to make friends and the sooner you’ll have people there who can support you, offer advice and even show you around the best bits of your new host country. So, take a deep breathe and go out to expat events or popular bars and start networking!
4) Finding Familiarity
Your new house will feel like a home when you are 100% familiar with it, your local surroundings and the people who live nearby. And while it is hard to speed up the familiarizing process too much, you can make an effort to ensure it is progressing as fast as it can! Find local shops, hairdressers, dentists, doctors, schools, pubs and restaurants straight away. Drive round, walk round and learn where all the amenities, facilities and services are in the local area. Get to know your way around easily, and then slowly but surely everything will seem so familiar to you that when you return to your house after work or a day away you’ll feel like you’re returning home – then you will feel 100% happy and secure in your new environment.
5) Getting Stuck In
The sooner you make that first trip in the car alone the sooner you’ll know your way around. The sooner you approach that group of strangers at the party the sooner you’ll make friends. The sooner you get the bureaucracy in motion the sooner you’ll be a legal resident. The sooner you look for work the sooner you’ll have financial security. You’ve made the decision to live abroad – so don’t put your new life on hold once you make the move – get out there, get stuck in and start living and loving your new life.