How to settle into your new home abroad?

Relocating internationally is no small feat – it requires a ton of planning, some serious grit and determination, and bucketloads of paperwork.

Everything builds up to the day you leave and – then what? How do you settle in? Move about? Find friends?

As an experienced Relocation Concierge service, we have some answers for you.

Pre-location. Say what?

The more you plan ahead, the better prepared you’ll be once you arrive. It is particularly important to find a reliable and legitimate relocation service that can help you plan and arrange your move. You want to ensure that you have someone who can help and support you every step of the way and Juniper Shores is ideally suited to assist.

Other than the actual moving logistics, there are plenty of ways you can prepare for your relocation. Ensuring that the basics are in place before you move makes settling in that much easier. The basics include things like opening a bank account (where possible), pre-arranging utilities (such as internet, phone) and immediate living arrangements upon arrival. Juniper Shores can take this load off you by giving you all the information - and setting up - you will require so that you don’t get caught up in an admin nightmare.

We also offer pre-location visits where we show you around, and make sure that you have a good idea of your local haunts, where the fun is at, and also where you will find all the essentials to make sure that you can settle comfortably from the moment you arrive.

While it might not always be possible to have everything in place before arrival, it is possible to have a thorough to-do list that will help you navigate what’s left quickly and easily once you have arrived.

The emotional rollercoaster

Settling into a new home abroad feels much like working through the various stages of grief. You’ll mourn for what you’ve left behind, and all the ‘newness’ will be a shock to the system.

Studies show that international relocation follows a settlement curve which consists of fun, fright, flight, and fit.

The fun stage is after you’ve just relocated, and you are feeling excited and ready to explore your new surroundings. Fright often happens when there something occurs that is beyond your control – be it in your new environment, or back home. Fright leads to flight, where you might feel that you want to ‘go back home’. If you’ve stuck it out, fit is the final stage where you reach a comfortable level of understanding of your new environment, and it begins to feel like home.

Be aware that almost everyone experiences these emotions, and that you could spend longer in one stage than another. Prepare yourself as best you can before you leave and be patient with yourself as you take some time to adjust.

What did you say?

If you’re moving to a country where the language is foreign to you, be sure to get some lessons on the basics before you leave. Even if English is widely spoken, it is important to be able to find your way around the local gab because it will help you fit in, meet new people, and navigate your way around.

Am I coming, or going?  

When you’re used to being in a country without an extensive public transport system, it could be quite daunting to navigate your way around. This is why it is important to get to know the public transport system before you need to go somewhere important like your first day at the new job.

Grab a travel guide and city map, embrace your inner tourist, and go explore your new city. Travelling for pleasure first will help you be more comfortable with travelling for work when you need to.

But I miss you!

Keeping in touch with your family and friends is critical if you’ve moved abroad. Moving away from all your support systems and people who ‘get you’ can make a new home feel incredibly lonely. Luckily technology these days makes it simple to connect with those you love most, and you can even include them on some of your adventures. If you’re taking strain and missing home, remember the stages of relocation, put your pride in your pocket, and give your family a call.

New home, who dis?

You’ll want to get to know new people as soon as possible as this will help you settle in more easily. If you’ve moved for work, ask your colleagues about local clubs or groups where you can join to meet like-minded people. Volunteering in your local community is another great way to engage with new people.

Join some online expat forums. Facebook is abuzz with people who have relocated internationally and there is no doubt that you will find a fellow expat – who is likely experiencing the same as you – nearby.

On the whole, people are willing to help someone new, so don’t be ashamed to ask if you are unsure about anything. Observing how people behave in situations that are unfamiliar to you can also help you understand the right way to conduct yourself.  

Let it go, let it gooooo!

Relocation isn’t easy, and no one makes it through entirely unscathed. Cut yourself some slack and try to enjoy the process as best you can. Focus on what’s going right, and the rest will work itself out eventually.

Remember that Juniper Shores can help ease a lot of the relocation strains and pains, making your resettlement as smooth and pleasant as can be.