Thinking about studying or moving overseas? These tips will help you become better prepared and help shake those nerves!
When we think about moving abroad, we think “ughhhhhh packing ughhhhh headache”. There’s SO much to do! As someone who has lived abroad for a good quarter of her life now, I totally get the pains of moving and having to set up in a new environment from scratch.
But moving doesn’t have to be so difficult.
If you’ve decided to move abroad, you’ve definitely put a lot of thought into it and have decided that this is certainly going to be a worthwhile adventure!
So, whether you’re moving overseas for an exchange, for a new job, or migrating for good, here’s what you need to know to get you all set up for your next trip abroad so you can kiss those worries goodbye and start getting psyched!
1. Pack. And start packing early.
You know how in all those movies, when the girl breaks up with the guy, all she ever needs to do is take her luggage, chuck a bunch of clothes in and that’s it? Well, in reality, it’s not so simple. We all take this for granted, but start early by making a list of the stuff you will need to bring with you, and pack them in as the days tick closer. You’ll find that this saves you from wanting to rip your hair out the night before your flight.
2. Think about what you can throw away.
We all have memorabilia or things we loved as kids that were great for display, but simply don’t use anymore. One thing I found about leaving home was the lightness of bringing just the essentials – everything that I needed. Leave that pair of jeans you’ve had for years behind, and you’ll find a sexy new pair at your new destination that you’ll now attach to the new place you visit.
3. Prepare enough savings.
When you’re moving to a new destination, you want to be able to have some spare cash to enjoy yourself. Immerse yourself fully into the new culture’s offerings and what the locals do on a day-to-day basis. Even if this means ticking things off a bucket list, like visiting the Palace of Versailles, or soaking in the magic of Tokyo Disneyland – you will wish you had saved more to be able to enjoy these without feeling guilty.
4. Always keep an open mind.
Always be prepared that things may not turn out the way you’ve expected. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what you’re doing, unexpected situations happen all the time and there’s absolutely no way to have prevented these from happening. The trick is all in the mindset! Keep an open mind, and stay positive. Be open to trying new things, or even ways of doing things differently. Don’t lose yourself to disillusionment, and remember what you came for.
5. Familiarise yourself with the local culture.
What do they usually do there? Is there a new language you can learn? Where are the best places you can go to? All of these will set you up well for assimilating straight into the new environment! Do your research, whether this means asking friends or surfing travel blogs on the net – there’s an endless array of resources out there and all you need to do is get familiar.
6. Talk to new people!
It’s so easy to tell a friend to get out and start talking to new people, but when you are faced with a room full of strangers yourself, sometimes you can’t help but feel at a loss too. When you’re moving abroad, you open yourself up to a whole new set of faces. Strike a conversation with locals on the streets, in the malls, at the coffee shops – wherever! You’d be surprised at how much comes out of an everyday conversation with a stranger. And if you need an extra incentive, try taking on the 100 Strangers in 100 Days Challenge. Who knows? You might surprise yourself.
7. Remember to keep in touch with loved ones back home.
As you make new friends, don’t forget about your loved ones back home. There will be times when things get difficult and the ones that you turn to will be the ones that have known you the longest, and the best. Drop them a message every so often to let them know that they’re in your thoughts, and ask how they’re doing. Don’t forget – just cause you’re abroad, doesn’t mean you wipe out your old life entirely!
8. Finally, enjoy the ride!
So many people fall into the habit of stressing over the everyday practicalities, that we simply forget to enjoy our experience, or forget why we originally signed up to be there. Remember, you’re moving for a purpose – and whatever it is, this is what you wanted! So take it, relish it, and make the most out of it. It’s going to be a blast.
We always wonder if where we will be next is the better destination for us, and if it’s better than where we’ve been. The thing is, we never really know till we’ve tried. Our biggest learning journeys are often the ones where we’ve stepped out of our comfort zone and taken the risk. Moving abroad is an exciting time, and we hope this list has got you mentally set to make the most of your experience! If you've read this article out of pure wanderlust, perhaps you should forget about moving abroad and consider the adventures around you!
If you want to find out more about what it’s like travelling with a partner, check out this blog.
And if you have other concerns about moving abroad, we’d love to hear your thoughts!