When you are planning to move abroad, you often get so focused on the paperwork and immigration/visa details that you may forget to give yourself time to mentally prepare for the fact that you are going to be leaving behind all that is familiar, including family and friends. Here are 5 top tips to help!
It is very difficult to fully prepare for living abroad, and if I am truthful, you cannot cover everything and be completely comfortable from the moment you step off the plane, but you can make things a little easier on yourself …
1. | Practise doing things at home (before you leave) that are slightly out of your comfort zone, you need to embrace the fact that things can be awkward and unexpected. If you can conquer that feeling, it will not be so difficult when you are living abroad and face a new situation, you will know that ultimately you have got this, and that awkward is the new cool vibe!
2. | Before you leave for foreign lands, it is a good idea to research, and locate places in your new home country, where you can go for a bit of downtime, and have space to be calm and relaxed. We all need an area where we can be away from the everyday stresses of life, and that is no different when you live abroad.
3. | The ability to make connections with people who have already made the same move abroad is vital. Finding an (online) social group is a great place to make friends, set up a support network, and also get the lowdown on what you need to know that maybe you have not considered. The best advice you will ever get is from those who have blazed a trail and are keen to help others.
4. | This is a simple one to explain, pretty much a no-brainer, but often gets overlooked in the paperwork, or general stress of preparing all your stuff for a move … you must make sure you plan your finances to include having extra money saved up for the unexpected. I would recommend having at least two months of all of your outgoing expenses as a backup.
5. | Leaving behind family and friends can be a tricky one to navigate, as how you will react about being away from them can depend on a number of factors, so have communications set up before you leave. Knowing exactly how, when and what is the best way for reaching your loved ones will reduce any potential stress around missing them.
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What did you wish you had known before you moved abroad? What advice would you give to those who are thinking about starting the process?