How to Make Your First Move Overseas

12 Ways To Enjoy Luxury Travel For Less

Is there a funner adventure than your first move overseas? If there is, we have yet to find it. While vacations can be fantastic for broadening the mind, actually moving to a place can literally change your life for the better. Whether the move is for six months or ten years, you certainly won’t forget the experience or the things you learn for the duration. Moving abroad can be so refreshing, in fact, that you may even find you want to keep moving from one country to the next as a result!


You wouldn’t be alone. The avid overseas moving community takes wanderlust to entirely new levels. But, if you’re to join them with your mentality intact, you need to address the fact that the first move can be as daunting as it is exhilarating. Even if you’re used to travelling on the regular, suddenly settling to stay is a brand new experience, and it’s often a tough one.


Of course, once you overcome initial homesickness, your fun can truly begin. But, for first overseas moves especially, some rookie mistakes could extend your suffering and stop you from enjoying the experience the way you should. To make sure that doesn’t happen, we’re going to look at what those mistakes are, and how you can avoid them during your big move. 


# 1 – Jumping right into a language barrier


Embracing new cultures is the best part of moving overseas, so you might not see any problem with a move to a country where large language barriers come into play. You’ll pick it up, right? Sure you will, but you can bet that arriving in a strange place and finding yourself unable to speak the language is going to exacerbate homesickness straight off. That’s no way to remind yourself that you’ve made the right decision!


We aren’t saying that you should never move anywhere with a language barrier. Learning by speaking is a straight-up fantastic experience. But, take it easy on yourself. This first-time overseas move is change enough, without isolating yourself further when you arrive.


Luckily, English remains one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, meaning there are plenty of places where you’ll be able to get stuck right in and feel more settled. Locations like Australia are ideal for this as they offer landscapes like you’ve never seen while still retaining that language comfort. And, as you’ll see from this moving to Adelaide guide, you’re certainly not going to regret a relocation like this. Equally, you could move to England itself, and enjoy a touch of class that’s not miles away from what you know. By keeping homesickness at bay in these ways, you prepare yourself for even wilder moves later on. 


# 2 – Cutting ties back home


As we’ve mentioned a few times already, moving abroad is an adventure. In fact, this is probably the most significant and potentially transformative thing you’ve ever done. As such, you wouldn’t be alone with wanting to cut ties with everyone back home. Many an avid relocator has ended a friendship or gone a little quiet on the family front in attempts to embrace their new lifestyle. You may even feel like your old friends just won’t fit you anymore once you move. And, of course, some changes to your relationships are inevitable.


But, don’t make the mistake of purposefully losing contact, or worse, ruining relationships before you leave. Within a few weeks of arriving at your destination, there’s every chance that you’ll feel the urge to phone your mates for a catch-up or let your family know how you’re doing. If you’re unable to do those things because you were too rash when leaving everyone behind, then homesickness is sure to eat you up.


Instead, realize that your loved ones will prove a great comfort once you arrive somewhere new, even if they get on your nerves sometimes. While contact may inevitably peter out if your move is for the long term, these initial reassuring calls will be far more comforting than you could ever know. 


Instead of telling everyone that you don’t want anything to do with them, then, make arrangements for Skype video calls within your first few days of arriving. Admittedly, getting stuck too much in the people you’ve left behind can worsen homesickness, so you won’t want to dwell on this or spend messaging. But, with that planned call in mind, you may find things easier to deal with. 


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# 3 – Failing to lay friendship groundwork


While throwing yourself into your new location and making an effort to meet people off-the-cuff is important, you should also note that laying friendship groundwork as much as possible also matters with a move like this. If you don’t know a single soul in your destination, then can you really be surprised if you feel a little lonely during your first weeks? Of course not. And guess what? Loneliness is guaranteed to make you feel a whole lot more homesick!


The good news is that there are now plenty of ways to lay friendship groundwork ahead of even an overseas move. Social media, in particular, allows you to connect with people that will be there from the moment you arrive. Of course, taking care over who you meet and where is vital here, especially when you aren’t familiar with your surroundings. But, when approached right, setting friendships in a place like this can really help you towards a smooth transition. 


No one’s saying that these friendships will maintain you for the duration of your time in any given country. You may find that you lose touch with these new friends altogether once you start to settle. But, who doesn’t want someone to show them the ropes and the best coffee shops within days of their touching down? Remember, too, that friendships can lead to further friendships when that person starts to introduce you around town!


# 4 – Not getting a job right away


Along those same lines of setting the foundations for your new life, failing to get a job straight away can also worsen homesickness to a larger extent than you might realize. Of course, the best relocation is one in which you secure a job before moving, and phone interviews do make this possible if you make a habit of searching online.


That said, you’ve got a lot going on. Don’t beat yourself up if you move without a job in place, but do be strict with yourself about getting one. Too often, we decide to give ourselves a few weeks to settle, then a few months, and before you know you’ll feel totally out of place in your new surroundings. More importantly, that lack of employment will make friendships harder to come by, as well as leaving you with far too much time to dwell on what you’ve left behind.


Instead, be clear with yourself that your aim is to secure an interview within your first week at least. This job hunt alone will keep your mind distracted, and it could just lead you to a more settled routine that further helps you to focus on your new life rather than your old one.


# 5 – Treating your move like a vacay


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The last rookie mistake that could let homesickness in is that of treating your relocation like any other holiday. You may scrap your regular habits, eat like it’s going out of fashion, and generally act like a tourist in your new home. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with this for a week, but try not to let it go further than that. 


Vacation living is excellent, as you well know, but it’s only great because it’s a step removed from reality. If you keep up that lifestyle, your mental health will soon start to suffer, and homesickness becomes inevitable. So, give yourself a week to splash out if you want, and then get serious. Start setting your alarm for a reasonable time again, and get back into the habit of food shopping instead of eating out every night. 


As soon as you slip back into the routines you were used to back home, you should start to notice that your new destination isn’t so different, after all. And, once you reach that conclusion, homesickness should fast begin to fade. 


A final word 


Even with these pointers in mind, don’t be surprised if you do feel homesick. You’re making a big move, after all, and missing what you’ve left is inevitable no matter how excited you are about those new horizons. As such, your final and ultimate step towards avoiding overwhelming homesickness is to just accept when you aren’t feeling great. Be honest when you need to phone home, and permit yourself to do so. Over time, and if you keep up with the efforts mentioned here, you should find that homesickness eases until you barely ever feel it anymore. And, then, you’ll know that you’re ready for the rest of your life!

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