10 handy hints for moving abroad

Out and Abroad, Abroad
10 handy hints for moving abroad
You’ve just made the hardest decision to move overseas, but now what? These handy hints will give you a brief look at what to expect and how to deal

Have you ever wanted to join the new movement that so many other 20-somethings are embracing? Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about moving abroad.

You’ve just made the hardest decision to move overseas, but now what? These handy hints will give you a brief overview of what to expect and how to deal with the many changes that you’re about to experience – the good, the bad and everything in between.

Hint 1: Don’t overpack

So it has been said, and I’m going to say it again. Don’t overpack! Take the essentials (no, this does not include toiletries). Believe it or not but most countries also use shampoo, conditioner and body wash! These are heavy items, and take up a lot of room in your suitcase, so either pack it in small denominations or even better, don’t bring it with you at all.

If you have a long haul flight, it’s not a bad idea to pack toothpaste and roll-on deodorant in your carry-on. It helped me feel fresh and less groggy when I landed in my new homeland.

Don’t make the same mistake I did when I packed my entire wardrobe. There’s clearly a reason why you never wore that top or bottom back at home. So you’ll most likely never wear it abroad. Pack comfortable clothes that you always wear, and is suitable for the weather in your new home country.

Lastly, don’t spend all your money in buying clothes before you leave, unless you’re moving to an exotic or extreme location like the Himalayas. 

The truth is, that once you arrive, you’ll shop and pick up on what the locals are wearing. Remember that you’re creating a new life for yourself, not taking your old one with you. So start a new wardrobe, and become whoever you want to be.

Hint 2: You’ll lose old friends, but make some new ones too 

Not everyone will lose or make friends. But from my experience this is exactly what happened.

As bigheaded as it sounds, be prepared that some of your “friends” may envy the journey that you’re about to embark on. It might suck at first that your friends aren’t excited for you, and would rather discuss super important matters like who hooked up with who over the weekend. Yes, it hurts, especially when you think that those you lost were your closest friends.

But the silver lining is that you find out who your real friends are – those who are truly excited for you. And remember that you have so much to look forward to in the road ahead.

Before you know it, you’ll be mingling with all kinds of like-minded people from around the globe in your new country, those who share a common interest of seeing the world. And it will be absolutely fabulous!

Hint 3: Make sure you’re doing it for you

For some unknown reason, some of us 20-somethings have a habit of doing things that our friends or everyone else is doing. But before you make this life decision, take a minute to be sure that you’re making this choice because YOU really want to do it, and not because it’s a trend.  

You don’t want to regret your decision and wind up with a hole in your pocket and feeling unhappy. If you’ve checked in with yourself and still feel 100% up for the challenge, then great! 

Hint 4: Prepare yourself for change

From the moment you board that plane, everything is going to be different. Good different and bad different. The best thing is to be open-minded and be prepared to go with the flow with all the changes happening around you.

The concept of different and normal are not the same for everyone, but if you’re one to stick to a strict daily routine and a diet of 6 almonds a day with a mango smoothie, then you might have a bit of trouble.

Be flexible and embrace the changes you’re experiencing in your new country instead of fighting them. After a while prepare to notice a change in yourself. The way you see certain topics may have completely altered. It’s like you’re seeing the world with new eyes.

Hint 5: Embrace every moment

I cannot stress this point enough. Enjoy every single moment that comes before you. This includes those terrifying moments when a local is screaming in your face in a foreign language, or when you vomited after trying the local delicacy and even when you’re sharing a place with a mob of cavemen.

Okay, hopefully you don’t have this much bad luck, but try and be positive. Don’t dwell on the fact you may now have food poisoning.  Focus on the fact that you are LIVING and EXPERIENCING all that your new country has to offer and which you otherwise might not have ever experienced in your hometown.

Hint 6: Be confident

Are you lacking in confidence? Don’t worry because this journey will teach you everything you need to know and more. Having confidence doesn’t mean that you are cocky. Confidence in a foreign country means you are outgoing enough to ask a stranger to take a quick snap of you with the Big Ben. 

Most people will respond positively to your newfound confidence, so go out and rock it! It will help you make friends, try new things, ask questions and even be able to take yourself out on a dinner date! So don’t be afraid to become super confident. It will help make life a little easier in your new homeland when you can feel good even when it’s not so good. 

Hint 7:  Research, research, research

You will never have enough research about your new country. Before you leave, prepare yourself with every spare second you have. Research anything and everything:  transport, local language, finding a GP, currency, cost of living – the list goes on. You’ll surprise yourself once you arrive about all the things you’ve learned just from scrolling through articles on the internet.

Hint 8: Don’t forget what you want to achieve while you’re abroad

Doing this on your own can be ever so daunting, and you can get thrown all sorts of curve balls along the way. But whatever you do, don’t lose sight of why you made this decision, and what you want to learn or achieve from this magnificent adventure.

Take something from home that will remind you of why you left and put it somewhere you will see every day. When you’re having one of those days where you want to give up and go home (and trust me, you’ll have those days), this “something” will motivate you to push on and help you remember why you made this courageous decision in the first place.

Hint 9: Embrace loneliness

Not everyone will feel lonely, but expect to feel a certain extent of loneliness when you move abroad on your own. For some, dealing with this will be easy. But for those of you who don’t find being alone as comforting, hopefully these few pointers might help.

Take yourself out for a coffee or a dinner date, have conversations with strangers, learn to take killer selfies (or ask a stranger to), listen and reply to your own thoughts, smile and say “g’day” and laugh at the funny things in life!

Just because you aren’t sharing this with anyone else doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the right to laugh at the things that happen around you. You’ve got to make the most out of each and every moment. If there’s one thing that I have learned, it’s that you can have just as much fun on your own as you can with a bunch of friends. Just be open to it.

Hint 10: You’re going to be exhausted!

Emotionally. Physically. Socially. Mentally. Spiritually.

You are about to be pushed to your limits in every way possible. Be prepared for this exhaustion by having strategies in place to deal with them. Allow yourself time to recoup. Take time to reflect on how you’re feeling, eat healthily and regularly. – Rappler.com 

This blog was originally published on Out and Abroad, a travel blog curated by Rappler contributor Rica Facundo. It was written by a travel blogger known as “Anonymous Alicia,” a 19-year-old Alicia jumped on a one-way flight from her hometown in Australia to London, embarking on a life-changing journey.

Photo of woman packing, friends talking in cafe, photographer in Myanmar, women taking selfies and coffe cup photo via Shutterstock 

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