Moving overseas can be an exciting adventure full of new experiences and opportunities. There might be several reasons to make the life-changing decision to move overseas. Many entrepreneurs are now moving to regions of Asia where economic conditions might be more favorable. However, an international move can also be a stressful and overwhelming process. From the endless paperwork to the mind-boggling logistics, it’s no wonder that people lose their minds in the process. But don’t worry; we’ve got your back. With these six tips for a stress-free move overseas, you’ll be well on your way to a smooth transition.
The first step to a successful move overseas is to plan ahead. Start by researching the country you’re moving to, including the culture, language, and customs. So, grab a pen and paper, and start listing all the critical tasks you need to complete before you leave, such as obtaining visas and permits, arranging for international shipping, and setting up utilities in your new home. Being proactive and organized will help avoid last-minute panic.
Learn The Language
The language barrier is often considered one of the biggest challenges of relocating to a foreign country, especially if you’re moving from an English-speaking country to the Eastern region. In many Asian and African countries, a large chunk of the population doesn’t speak or understand English. This can make even the simplest tasks, like ordering food or asking for directions, incredibly challenging. So, unless you’re a pro at charades, you might want to learn a few basic phrases in the local language to avoid awkward misunderstandings. So, if you’re moving from the US to Asia, you should try and learn Mandarin Chinese, which is spoken by about 51% of Asia’s total population. If you can learn to say “ni hao” and “xie xie,” you’re already ahead of the game.
Fortunately, plenty of resources are available to help you learn the language and culture. Start by downloading a language app like Duolingo or Babbel and practicing a little bit every day. If you have the time and resources, consider taking a language class or hiring a tutor. Learning the language and customs will make it easier to navigate your new home and help you connect with the locals and make new friends.
Moving overseas presents the perfect opportunity to declutter your life and finally say goodbye to things you never actually liked but kept out of sheer laziness. And it’s a great way to save money on shipping costs! But where do you even start?
First, tackle one room at a time, and sort everything into three piles: keep, donate, and toss. Be ruthless in your decision-making, and don’t hold onto items out of guilt or obligation. Do you need that dusty old lamp you haven’t used in three years? Probably not. And do you really want to lug that cumbersome couch across the ocean? Definitely not. When it comes to large items like furniture or electronics, consider selling them online or hosting a garage sale. Not only will you free up space, but you can also make some extra cash.
Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help
When moving overseas, getting help from others can be a huge stress reliever. Don’t be afraid to call in your family or friends, even if it means bribing your cousin with pizza to help pack your old record collection. And if they’re busy, don’t worry – professional movers are always available. They can help you navigate the complex logistics of moving overseas, including packing, shipping, and customs regulations. You can also hire a professional organizer to help declutter and downsize before the move.
You can also join online or in-person ex-pat groups to connect with other people who have gone through the same experience. They can tell you the nitty-gritty details of daily life in your new country that you won’t find in a guidebook. For example, it’s customary to take off your shoes before entering someone’s home in Japan.
Regarding packing for an international move, space comes at a premium. Generally, most international airlines allow a checked bag to weigh up to 50 pounds (23 kg). For carry-on bags, the weight limit is usually 16-18 pounds (7-8 kg). To avoid any surprises at the airport, check the luggage restrictions for your airline and ticket before packing.
Once you have figured out how much space you must work with, it’s time to get creative with your packing strategy. Packing for an overseas move can feel like playing Tetris, except the stakes are higher, and the shapes aren’t as forgiving. You need to strategize how each item can fit together like a perfect puzzle block. Consider investing in packing cubes or compression bags to maximize your space. Instead of folding your clothes, try rolling them to save even more room. Use items like socks to fill in gaps and utilize all available space. Pack heavy items at the bottom of the suitcase and lighter items on top to prevent crushing.
When packing fragile items, forget Tetris and think you’re playing Jenga – delicate items must be carefully placed and balanced to ensure they don’t topple over and break during transit. Use soft items like scarves or t-shirts as padding.
Fly With Ease
Flying long distances can feel like a never-ending marathon. However, with some preparation, you can make the journey more comfortable. Start by wearing comfortable clothing and shoes, and bring extra layers in case the cabin temperature fluctuates. Consider investing in noise-canceling headphones to tune out the noise of the airplane and the other passengers – especially the wailing infant in the row behind you.
To combat jet lag, adjust your sleep schedule a few days before your flight. If possible, choose a flight arriving at your destination in the evening, so you can go straight to bed and adjust to the new time zone. During the flight, try to get up and stretch your legs every few hours to prevent stiffness and blood clots.
And last but not least, bring some entertainment to keep yourself from succumbing to boredom-induced hysteria. Download movies, TV shows, or books onto your tablet or e-reader, or bring a physical book or magazine to read.
With these tips and tricks, you’re ready for a stress-free international move. Remember to make a checklist, discard unused items, and pack for your move efficiently. Try to learn the language of your new country, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. With the right mindset and a willingness to embrace the adventure, your international move can be an exciting new chapter in your life. So, take the plunge and enjoy the journey!