How many times have you moved abroad? We know that plenty of you are serial expats, who are clocking up homes in lots of different places around the world and so have a lot of experience with the process of packing up, moving and finding your feet when you arrive.
But a move anywhere can always be a bit stressful and there are always new things to think about. With that in mind, we’ve created this list of top tips to help you keep stress to a minimum so you can enjoy the next step in your expat journey.
Know your commute options
Wherever you are, there is always a chance of travel disruptions so it pays to understand the local transport that’s on offer. Just recently, the London Underground closed completely for an entire day and workers from all over the city had to find alternative ways of getting in to work. Failing to prepare for such an occurrence can be disastrous so make sure you know the bus routes – or in the case of some cities – the ferry routes!
Creative Commons || Flickr
Bring entertainment for long layovers!
For the serial expats among you, you’ll know just how boring long airport layovers can be. It seems trivial but discovering which lightweight, travel sized games can keep you and the family entertained during hours of waiting will become an invaluable feature of live on the road (or in the air!). Whether it’s a simple card game, a PSP or even knitting – ensure you’ve got something to fill the waiting time and the entire transition will fly by.
Look for fun ways to get to know a new city quickly
There are a number of ways to discover the wonders of your new location – getting a city tour bus is a little cliché and it’s not always interactive enough! Grab a few expat (or local!) pals and go on a city treasure trail – for a lot of large cities, you can find these games online. Follow hints and clues that lead you to the intricately beautiful details of the city that just can’t be seen from the open top seats of a trundling red bus.
Creative Commons || Wikimedia
Embrace what it is to be local
Wherever you are – go out and find your local shop, restaurant, bar or pub and become a regular! You’ll soon start forming friendships with locals and it will undoubtedly speed up the process of making yourself feel at home which is crucial to those who know they’ll be on the move again soon. Befriending a nearby establishment is a quick way to familiarise yourself with local people whilst potentially enjoying some great food and drink!
Don’t forget the little things…
It’s easy to get lost in all the excitement of starting a life in your new host country, but it’s important you remember to plan all the little details which will undoubtedly save you a lot of hassle in the long run! This could be anything from checking which plug sockets the country uses, finding out about local phone contracts or bank accounts to finding out where your nearest convenience store is for your bread and milk on day one. Spare yourself the stress and plan ahead – we’d recommend writing a list!