Find Your Feet: 5 Tips for Settling in After Moving to a New Country
Moving overseas can be thrilling, but scattered in amongst all those moments of excitement, you will likely experience at least a few sparks of anxiety. While it’s tempting to simply ignore these jittery feelings, it’s better to give them the attention they’re seeking. Doing so will empower you to take action to alleviate the concerns, thus setting yourself up for a smooth transition into your new way of life.
1. Start with financial stability
Your first step should be to explore the tax agents, investment advisors, insurance companies, banks, and other financial professionals in your new town. Find the best of the best, and engage their support to establish a sense of financial security.
This is foundational to feeling comfortable in a new country because once you have financial stability, many other stressors will automatically melt away. You won’t, for example, be worried about getting your taxes wrong or being unable to afford medical care if you have the right professionals assisting you.
2. Set yourself up for good health
Your health is just as important as your financial security, so your next step is to set yourself up with the elements you need to maintain a healthy mind and body. For some, this may mean finding a therapist, the best local osteopath, and a highly-rated Muay Thai gym. For others, it may mean plotting out a good path for morning runs, picking up some high-quality yoga gear, and finding a conveniently located yoga and pilates studio.
Your health needs will be unique to you, but the key is to waste no time in setting up the products and services you need to stay in top shape as you adjust to life in your new country.
3. Learn the language and local customs
If you’re moving to a country with a different native language from your own, it’s crucial to get as much of a headstart as you can on learning basic phrases. Find a tutor online to begin with, and once you arrive, swap this out for in-person lessons and language exchanges with locals.
Even if you already speak the language, it’s important to learn a little about the local way of life. Many Americans move to Canada without bothering with any cultural research. This is understandable given how culturally and geographically close the countries are. However, you’ll have a far easier time fitting in if you’re aware that some Canadians speak French and that it’s not okay to criticize Tim Hortons until you’ve genuinely given it a chance.
4. Find new comforts
It’s tempting to bring your home comforts with you when moving abroad. However, this isn’t the greatest long-term plan. We know Australians who’ve paid $60 to have Vegemite shipped to them in Germany. If they were willing to branch out a little, they could have found a new sense of comfort in the kebabs, Flädlesuppe (pancake soup), East Frisian tea, and other warming delights Germany has to offer.
5. Maintain some home ties
While it’s crucial to set down roots in your new home by establishing new comforts and cultivating new relationships, that doesn’t mean you should neglect what you love from your home country.
The most important home ties to maintain are those that connect you to your family and friends. Aim for phone calls, letters, and emails rather than the pseudo-connection of social media. And consider selecting a home with a spare room so you can invite loved ones to stay with you.
Follow the tips above, and you’ll have an easier time finding your feet in the country you now call home.