Moving to a new house can be incredibly stressful. You add to that a change in country and therefore a difference in language and culture, the stress can often lead to explosive levels.
Many people opt to use a relocations service like Chepyng but many opt to project manage their own relocations, especially if they don’t need assistance with immigration or financial planning and can afford the time but not expense.
Here’s five steps we would normally go through with a client which may prove useful for you in a flow chart:
This is the most critical step. Here you need to do your research and be absolutely sure that you have chosen the right place for you and your family, considering elements such as:
- Work opportunities or demand for products or services dependent if you are employed or self-employed
- Economic factors such as the state of the national economy and risk prognosis, interest rates, foreign exchange rates and level of tax.
- Quality of the healthcare – is it necessary to have private or is public available and more than sufficient? Is your body well equipped medically to deal with the diseases present in your chosen country? If not, then arrange vaccinations and see what other things you can do to ensure your body doesn’t suffer from health issues after you have relocated. Even a change in diet can upset your system.
- Immigration status and visas and what you will need to be able to reside in the country. Legal advice is not an option here and is absolutely necessary.
- Education and schooling, should you have children or be studying yourself. What is the standard like and what are the costs involved? Are the courses going to offer good value for money? Will they need extra support? Will you put them in private or state, local or international schools?
- Property and accommodation planning such as what type of residence you would like to live in, is this affordable and would it be more preferable or convenient to live in a town, city or countryside?
- Logistical considerations and efficiency of transport – for example, do you need to live near an international airport so that you can travel for work or to visit family? What is the local transport system like? Is it efficient and good value for money? Will you be reliant on a car and if so how do you go about getting a car?
- Weather – do you prefer to live in warmer or cooler climates? Do you like seasons or consistent sunshine? Are you prepared for the difference in temperatures and hours of sunshine between where you are now and where you are headed. You may need to take Vitamin D if you are headed further north and protect your skin from the sun if travelling south.
- Personal considerations and preferences such as preferring perhaps to be near one’s friends or family or being close to facilities such as sports and recreation facilities or good bars and restaurants, near the sea, near the mountains etc.
- Language – do you already know the language and what can you do before you arrive and after you arrive to maximise your chances of being able to communicate in that language? Online tutors are often useful for these circumstances.
- Crime rates – which crimes are most prevalent and which areas and are you prepared? Educate yourself and your family on new risks and how to stay safe. If the crime rates are higher than you currently are then how highly do you rate feeling safe?
Once you have asked yourself all these relevant questions and researched the answers, create a project plan with milestones and ‘To-do’ lists. Use excel to separate each mini project and tasks associated with it. Treat this as a professional exercise, one you will not rush or take shortcuts on. We are more than happy to help with this step if you would prefer to do the actual planning yourself but just want to start on the front foot. Absolutely every element of this step is critical and will be the grounding on which you will begin to plan your relocation.
Now you’ve decided where to go and made your project plan, step 2 is about ensuring that you are legally resident in your new country. You will need to find a reputable immigration lawyer that understands the law of residency and citizenship in your new location of residence. They will talk you through the process and guide you through the form filling to help ensure your application is successful. Our global immigration lawyers are worldwide and happy to offer support, wherever you are going.
This is a big one where you start putting your key mini projects from your big relocation project into action. Now it’s time to find and apply for that school, explore and select between healthcare options, find that perfect home where you will be for the foreseeable future. You will also need to arrange the actual movement of people and property between the two countries and arrange flights, hotels, and removal companies. If you have pets then they will need a pet passport or special vaccinations, as well as a specialist carrier who will transport them to your new country.
This after you arrive in your new country and you have unpacked the boxes and you’re ready to get yourself settled in. You may need to do things such as:
- Open new bank accounts
- Register on a population register or voting system (in some countries)
- Find a hairdresser and other special service providers
- Learn the language and arrange further lessons
- Find a job, open a company, or find a new premises
- Settle your children into a new school and purchase uniforms and school materials etc.
- Join a gym or other recreational facility
- Contact a Counsellor to support you as you go through settling in challenges or feel homesick – here is a useful post on homesickness and how to overcome it.
This is the ongoing maintenance part of your project once you have fully implemented it. Here you accept and commit to continuing with the things you need to be happy in your new country; perhaps a counsellor for support, language teacher, or even a commitment to go to the pub on a Sunday for a roast dinner as it feels familiar and keeps you in touch with your own culture from home.
Arranging your own relocation can be a huge project that will take up your time for the best part of 1-2 years. However, if you can afford the time and prefer not to invest in getting a professional to do it for you then follow the steps above to help you to achieve success and feel happy and settled in your new country.
You can do it!
Contact us here at Chepyng if you would like us to arrange your relocation for you.
Obviously, when you move to another country you’re not going to be with your friends and family, and often not around people who speak your home language. This will invariably make you feel insecure at times and you will crave the comfort of home and friends and family.
Here’s some top tips to help you settle in and get through the hard times:
- Try not to call home in the first few weeks and months as it encourages you to think more about home and prevents you from enjoying your present reality. Try to avoid being on social media or the internet and obsessing about what’s going on at home and focus on what is happening around your new location.
- Be okay with the fact that you will feel homesick. It is completely normal and will get better with time. When studying abroad the third month is usually the worst, and that’s November is you’re a student arriving in August or September. If moving further north then often the toughest time can be as the nights draw in and the trees and shrubs die and lose their vibrant colours.
- Bring a few things from home and try and make your new home somewhere that you genuinely enjoy so you feel happy about going home each day. A few mementos can offer a lot of comfort in your new home. This can be photos of loved ones, ornaments or even your favourite coffee mug.
- Make friends that make it feel like home. The culture shock can be significant but meet like-minded people and it will feel much easier. Do this from the first day that you arrive, even if you don’t speak the language. Just do it and see what happens. One day they may just smile and wave at you at that moment you need a friendly face.
- Find things and places locally that feel similar to what you have at home. For example, if you have many parks or nature at home then spend a lot of time in local parks in your new country. Equally, if you are used to busy high streets then take a trip and do some window shopping in the busiest street you can find.
- Make your favourite meals in your new home, learn to master recipes and share them with new people you meet. You’ll surprise yourself at how capable you are and how much your new friends enjoy trying new food.
- Try to avoid long distance relationships and take a break rather than trying to keep things going while you are away. It will only end up with resentment when one of you can’t live up to expectations.
- Treat yourself so you feel better, whether it’s shopping, a spa, or your favourite new restaurant. It will make you feel better, even if it’s only temporary. We all need a treat sometimes.
- Set priorities for your time in your new country. It may be completing a degree programme, getting recognised for doing great work in your company, or building a treehouse in your new garden.
- Plan a trip with your friends and family. Let them visit and show them those fantastic new places you’ve discovered or the new language you’re practicing on locals. It will surprise you how much it will boost your confidence to be able to chaperone them as their local tour guide and expert, and you’ll get to see those friendly faces you’ve missed so much.
Moving to a new country can be one of the most challenging things you will ever do, but it will enrich your mind and give you a confidence you didn’t have before. It will build your knowledge of the world and give you the opportunity to meet people you never would have done otherwise. It will broaden your mind and touch your soul. Moving abroad can even train us how to make positive decisions in our life.
Do it! You can always come back.
If you would like us to help you integrate and settle down in your new country then our global mobility coaches and local ambassadors can help. Contact us to discuss next steps to feeling settled in your new home.
The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!
Dwight D. Eisenhower
The most important thing in life is the freedom of choice.
Our brain is a toolbox and we have to use the tools available in order to live our lives to the full.
Decision makers know who they are and what they want and are self-determined. They have self-management and they implement their decisions in their daily lives and businesses. They stand by what they feel is right.
What do you believe in? If we understand what we need then we act on our beliefs in a more committed and dedicated way. Do you believe in safety and security? Then you will most likely prioritise living in a country where you can walk around at night alone or keep your front door unlocked. Do you believe in a healthy diet and local sourced fresh foods? Then you will most likely live close to nature in a country rich in fresh food sources. With so many options it is easy to become overwhelmed and find it difficult to make a decision as to where to go, or even to go at all.
Stimulus overflow, having too many options prevents us from being able to make effective decisions. It is a decision trap. There is so much choice and yet it is very difficult to know which one to opt for. Stress to be perform highly in our lives is another decision trap, and finally perfectionism also prevents action. Decision makers make decisions based on 80% of the information they need in order to make the decision. Therefore it is usually best to evaluate choice or next steps based on a ‘good enough for now’ approach rather than be concerned about the perfect solution that will make us perform the best.
The other problem when making decisions, including the one to move to a new country, is the force of habit. When old ways of making decisions are applied to new situations we end up making ineffective decisions and repeating patterns of behaviours that are sometimes negative. It takes a long time to change habits and ‘old habits die hard’ as they say. Big decisions such as moving to a new country can paralyse us and prevent us from taking action in something that may be extremely rewarding.
In the brain, the thalamus processes the information to the frontal cortex but under stress, the stress hormone, cortisol, prevents the thalamus from functioning effectively. The amygdala then steps in to help and overrides our systems and facilitates a ‘fight or flight’ response, and when it comes to making big decisions, we usually run away and avoid them. So we end up in this repeated stressful vicious circle of evaluation of options and considerations and before we know it, our whole life has gone by and we haven’t moved an inch.
To train your brain to work more effectively and avoid this block, decision makers constantly put themselves out of their comfort zone, changing things frequently and the brain works to make decisions without effort. We become so used to making small decisions that the big ones seem easier to evaluate and implement.
Therefore, changing your life and location can be a fantastic way to become ‘unblocked’ and make positive and effective decisions in your life, forever!
Our arrival on this earth as new-borns was something we didn’t get to decide; However, we can decide if our life is of significance; So make your decision; Today.
Do you need help in deciding where to go to next? Contact us to for a session that will help you to choose the right new location for yourself or your family.