Is there something holding you back from moving overseas?
Trying a new things can be exciting – but it can also be scary. Big, life altering decisions like moving abroad are bound to strike feelings of anxiety and discomfort. There is always a long list of reasons why people put off a big relocation but the reality is that if you want or need to move overseas, the timing will never be 100% perfect.
People often fear big changes that come into their lives but some of the best experiences and adventures come from plunging into the unknown. It is important to accept that it is okay to be afraid of moving and recognise that this is just a signal that you are conscious of the huge change you’re about to embark on.
If you feel apprehensive about moving overseas to a new country, don’t worry – you are not alone.
Here are the 7 most common fears people experience when moving overseas, as well as tips on how to overcome them.
1. Cultural differences
You may be moving to a country with a language and culture completely different from your own, and being in an unfamiliar territory can be intimidating. This, however, can be remedied with preparation and research.
Advice: Learn the language long before your actual overseas move. You don’t have to be fluent right away, but know enough so you can shop for groceries, dine in restaurants, and ask for directions with ease. This will make you feel less of an outsider and help you assimilate. Take the time to go through phrase books or language tutorials in the months leading to your transfer.
Remember that sometimes the behaviours you have always found to be acceptable at home may be offensive or misunderstood in your new country. Before moving overseas, look up local customs and social norms to avoid offending people you meet along the way.
If you’ve lived in the same city all your life, among relatives and friends you’ve grown up with, moving overseas can be a cause of anxiety. The thought of missing out on birthdays, weddings, reunions, and other special occasions will sound depressing. There will be times when you will wonder: “What if I don’t make friends in my new country?”
Advice: Take advantage of technology. Messaging apps like Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger are making the world a smaller place – you can get in touch with your loved ones from anywhere in the world, 24/7.
Be on the lookout for groups like internations.org, which will help you connect with other expats in your new city. Once you’ve settled in, sign up for activities where you can meet like-minded people. Nurture those relationships – these people will be your support group and second family.
3. Job prospects
Unless your current company is giving you the opportunity to move overseas to take on a new assignment or participate in an exchange program, starting from scratch abroad without a concrete job prospect is a big gamble.
Advice: Schedule a visit to your new country prior to your move so you have an idea of the employment opportunities available. This will allow you time for the interview process. Update your CV, create a LinkedIn account, look-up expat groups online and then network with professionals in your line of work. Learning the local language boosts your chances of being employed, so invest in language classes before your move.
Keep in mind, too, that the jobs available may be completely different from what you’re currently doing, and at least at the beginning flexibility is a must. Be open-minded to what work is on hand, and do it until your dream job presents itself.
4. The move
Admittedly, moving your ‘life’ and possessions overseas is a task that entails painstaking preparation and attention to detail. It can be so overwhelming for some people that they just go for the easier alternative choosing to stay within their state or country where life may be easier.
Advice: Hire movers with operations spanning countries, across different continents and who have decades of experience helping clients move overseas.
Make sure your movers can take care of all the details, from professionally packing all your belongings, cleaning your house when you leave, managing the safe and secure transport of all your things, as well as insurance, customs clearance, and even unpacking each carton at your new home.
Make sure all the necessary paperwork and documents are in order. This will include your visa and passport, among others.
People are often apprehensive when it comes to their safety while travelling or moving to a foreign country. Most often, this apprehension is due to the little knowledge the individual has on the country or region.
Advice: There will always be a certain amount of danger in any place wherever you are in the world, even in your hometown. At the end of the day, it all boils down to taking necessary precautions, as well as applying common sense and street smarts in day-to-day situations. For Australians moving overseas, Smart Traveller provides important, up-to-date information on international locations.
Moving all your belongings, processing all the paperwork, and looking for a job, as well as a home to settle into abroad will put a dent on to your savings.
Advice: Do extensive research on the cost of living in your new region before your move, to make sure you have enough money to support yourself throughout the transition.
You may have to take on part-time work in the meantime to tide you over. Again, flexibility is key and it always helps to find out which jobs are available.
If you moved overseas because you followed a person you loved, or for better career opportunities outside your home country, then sometimes things may not turn out exactly as you had hoped. If your move proves to be a wrong decision and you have to return, it can be easy to think it would have been better to avoid the risk of failure and not move overseas in the first place.
Advice: Give yourself time to adjust in your new country. Meet new people, explore the area, and learn as much as you can. If indeed the move doesn’t work out, consider it as a phase in your life that has made you stronger, and recognise that you probably aren’t the person you were before your international relocation!
Moving overseas is an exciting, life-changing experience. Do not let fear deprive you of the opportunity to explore, learn, and grow personally and professionally. Your future self will thank you for it.
WridgWays Removalists has 125 years of experience moving Australian families interstate with ease.
Our team of local, interstate and international removalists are skilled professionals, who provide understanding and care. Our services include packing, unpacking, cleaning, vehicle transport, insurance, and much more!