Dealing with the Stress of International Relocation
While many people sit around and dream of the excitement and adventure that accompanies a move to a new land, few of those people (unless they’ve lived through it before) take time to think how complicated and stressful such a situation can truly be.
Once the initial excitement of moving to a far off country begins to wear off, the actual work involved in your move can begin to set it, leading to worry and excessive stress as you face the prospect of days, weeks or even months of extensive preparation. International moves are inherently stressful, but there is no need to be overwhelmed or frustrated. A few simple precautionary measures can help alleviate a great deal of the anxiety associated with such a monumental life change.
Don’t Second Guess Yourself
The first step toward handling the pressures of an international move is to give the whole idea careful consideration before committing. Weigh the pros and cons of such a move and discuss in detail with your loved ones, who may be able to offer insight. Once you’ve decided on a course of action and set the move into action, don’t second guess your decision. A lot of pressure can come internally simply from second guessing your choice, and won’t do a whole lot of good if the move is already under way. Instead, keep yourself focused on your tasks and trust your own judgment.
There are a great many details to remember during the moving process. Countless aspects of your life must be rearranged, cancelled or restarted in your new home. If you have a family, you are also responsible for coordinating similar transitions for your spouse, partner or children. Before you get heavily involved in the moving process, sit down and come up with a manageable plan for executing all the necessary steps to relocate yourself and your family. Keep detailed to-do lists to make sure that nothing is overlooked. Remember that before you establish yourself in a new country, you must attend to such matters as your banking (including foreign exchange), credit, expat health insurance, and housing.
Get to Know Your New Country
Much of the anxiety that you experience during a move overseas can stem from uncertainty about getting settled in a foreign country. If your move is associated with work and you’ve never been to your future home, make it a point to visit at least once before you officially relocate. Also, make an effort to learn the local language if it’s different than your native tongue. The stress of dealing with language barriers can add much strain to relocation, so even a basic knowledge of the language can totally change your whole international experience.
Share Your Experiences
While research and careful evaluation are a vital part of a successful move, there isn’t much that can replace the valuable advice of fellow expats. These relationships can serve as one of the best resources for sharing your concerns and receiving advice born out of experience. When you feel overwhelmed or unsure of how to proceed, fellow expatriates can offer insight into the process that a travel agent or informational website might not have. Making such a bold decision to move internationally can affect your life in ways you never expected, and it can be very useful to have the wisdom and advice of someone who has already made it successfully to their new life.