The thought of relocating to a new area can be overwhelming, even more so if it’s a new country. You may not know anyone, have little knowledge about the local area and not fully understand the customs. Using a relocation agency will alleviate some of those fears as they will be on hand to introduce you to the area and provide you with all the basic knowledge you will need to build your new life. However, making friends and building a happy life will be largely down to you so how do you do it? How do you make that transition and deal with the inevitable periods of homesickness? You have to find the right balance between keeping your previous life within reach so that you still feel connected to it but not at the expense of your new adventure. You need to take a leap of faith, step outside of your comfort zone and write a whole new chapter.
Here are our top ten tips:
1. Technology is your friend. We are so lucky in this day and age to have so much literally at our fingertips. It has never been easier to stay in touch with people especially without having to worry about time differences. You can send texts, make audio calls, video calls and share every step of your journey via social media.
2. Television and radio. Often technology also allows us to continue to watch our favourite television programmes and listen to radio stations local to ‘home’. This not only creates some nostalgia but also allows us to be able to chat about them with friends and family.
3. Food and drink. Missing friends and family is a given but other home comforts such as our favourite food or drink is also something that we’ll crave. You may be able to find a local shop that stocks international consumables but if not then you will almost certainly be able to purchase them online. You could also ask someone from home to send you regular care packages!
4. Visitors. It’s not always possible to have family and friends visit you regularly, especially if you have moved a long distance but if you are able to then it’s a great way to get a dose of familiarity as well as share your new life with them. They will be excited to see your new home, your new neighbourhood and all that it has to offer. This will in turn build excitement and pride in you and will reconfirm all the reasons you made the decision to move.
5. Expat networking sites. It’s a great idea to research some ways for you to connect with expats in your area. They will be able to share invaluable information with you.
6. Traditions. Continuing with traditions is a really good way of blending your old life with your new one. Whether you continue to do yoga at sunrise every day, have a roast dinner on Sundays or light sparklers every November 5th, it will all help to keep homesickness at bay.
7. Explore. It’s an obvious tip but so important! The more time you spend in your local area, the sooner it will feel like home. In your spare time go and visit local places of interest, research local history, spend time in a nearby coffee shop or restaurant and find out about community events. Why not create a ‘bucket list’ of all the places you want to visit or things you want to do and tick them off as you do it?
8. Exercise. We all know exercise is important for health reasons but because of the release of endorphins, it is especially important to do some exercise if you feel down and homesick. It may seem a far easier option to have a chocolate, duvet and Netflix day and actually that’s ok sometimes, we all like to wallow once in a while, but it would be far more beneficial to jump up, don some lycra and go make your heart beat faster! You’ll thank us after…honestly.
9. Join clubs. You could join a gym or a sporting team, continue with a hobby or take up a new one, take a course or join a parent and baby/child group. This is a great way to get you out, occupy your time and most importantly introduce you to people you have something in common with. If you use social media, another great way to meet people is to join local community groups.
10. Say yes! Accepting invitations to as many social functions as possible will help you to settle in far quicker. Socialising with neighbours, colleagues, parents at your child/ren’s school, people you have met at classes or clubs will all help you to build social circles. If you have children, try getting involved with the school PTA or volunteer at local charity or community events.
Starting afresh is a wonderful, exciting opportunity. Be sure to make the most of it!
If you are thinking about relocating, please contact us to see how we can assist you.
0118 947 0029