Tips for Moving Abroad

These are my top tips for moving abroad, based on my own experience. Many of them could be applied to any move; I found relocating within the UK harder than I did moving halfway across the world.

1. Be positive. I cannot stress this enough. If you approach the move with a positive attitude you are much more likely to enjoy the experience and settle in quickly.

2. Accept you will be probably feel homesick at some point, and accept that these feelings are normal. Talk to someone about it; the chances are that everyone who has moved abroad has felt homesick at some point.

3. Throw yourself into your new life. Go out and meet new people; join a class; learn a new skill; invite someone for a coffee… The more you put into your new life, the more you will get out of it and the more people you will meet (plus a good excuse to get out of the unpacking!)

Sailing a Hobie Cat

4. Don’t pine for your old life. There will be some brands of breakfast cereal you can’t get; people who are no longer around; activities you can no longer do. Instead of wishing for things you can’t get, find out what you can do in your new country that you couldn’t do before, or what they eat for breakfast instead. Meet new people (and keep in touch with your old friends).

5. Do it. Don’t spend years wondering if you’d like it, or if you are too old. You can always move back if you don’t like it!

Please share your tips with me, I would love to hear them.


5 thoughts on “Tips for Moving Abroad

  1. Alright then, further to your invite on Blogging 101, one thing that definitely helps is your ability to integrate yourself in a new environment. But what if it is a different speakin’ language area???
    Make sure as much as possible to get to know a few words. Even if you’re limited, don’t be shy. Local people as long as they’re clever will understand you’re comin’ from another country and made an effort talkin’ to them. There’s a lot of self satisfaction on this when you realize you learn a bit more day after day…
    Then, you can think of reachin’ the next step. The knowledge of etymology might be of a big help (say for instance you’re speakin’ French and would like to set up in Italy, with the help of Latin) and it goes the same with the main families of languages (Slavic, Scandinavians, Saxons, etc…). Last but not least, there’s nothing better than analogy while associating the way it’s written to the way it’s spoken and vice versa. Something for instance you may easily get while watching a DVD and select for instance the Spanish or whatever you like version, meanwhile comin’ up with the subtitles in the same language (and I mean the same language, as opposed to your native one). Wishin’ that might be of a help for everybody reading these lines. See you later, bis später, hasta mas tarde, ate mais tarde, a più tardi, à plus tard, pe mai terziu, vidimo se poslije, zie je later 😉

    1. Thanks for your tip. I always think it’s polite to make some effort to learn the local language although sadly I haven’t practised my Malay enough. Saya cakap Malay sikit sikit (I only speak a very little Malay). The response in Brunei is usually to laugh at any foreigners who try to speak Malay and, although it’s meant in a friendly way, it’s very off-putting!

  2. Points 3 and 4 above are really important – get stuck in the minute you arrive. Your new home doesn’t owe you a living, you have to go out there and get it!

    Don’t pine for your old life (haha that point made me chuckle!) Believe me, there’s nothing worse than someone whining because they can’t buy their favourite crisps anymore…really?

    And my tip to add to the mix would be to DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Especially if you are upping sticks and move the whole family and setting off for a new life in a different country. You have to think of education, health systems, cost of living, jobs market, cost of utilities, etc, etc and that’s just scratching the surface. You might be moving into a completely different culture to your own (as you have) and learning to fit in might be a real challenge for some people.

    Treat it like an adventure which it certainly seems you are and I look forward to catching up with it over the coming months.

  3. Thanks for your advice, I will definitely be researching wherever we move to next more carefully now that we have a little one to think of. Moving to Brunei was done blindly as we had no idea what to expect but thankfully it turned out well!

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