Moving overseas is a massive change in one’s life—here are a few tips.
Well, congratulations seem to be in order for you! You’re probably reading this because you’re about to move abroad for a new job, and you’re in the middle of preparing for it. When you first get the news, you’re probably filled with excitement. But wherever you’re going, whether it’s still in Asia or halfway across the world in Europe, moving overseas is a massive change in one’s life. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent your whole life traveling—being a tourist is one thing. Living there is another.
When you’re moving abroad, you have to be prepared for the worst and the unexpected. It’s not the same as traveling to a different country for leisure. You’re about to make an entirely different country your home, so it’s important that it feels like it. It’s also important that you’re prepared not just physically but also mentally, because living abroad comes with a few challenges that need to be faced even before you step out of the plane.
If you’re preparing to move overseas, here is everything you need to make sure you’re all set and ready to go—mentally and emotionally.
You need a good support system
When you move abroad, you say goodbye to your friends and family in your home country. Your despedida may be fun because of the overload of food, drinks, and company, but it will also definitely be sad and bittersweet. If you’ve lived in the Philippines your whole life, homesickness will definitely get to you faster, so it’s important that you have a good support system right behind you. This can comprise of your best friends, your family, and whoever else is important in your life. Strengthen your bonds with your best friends before you go, and spend quality time with your family. Make sure you don’t leave on a bad note; this will make the move harder and perhaps even sadder.
Research to back you up
It’s normal to feel nervous before moving abroad. After all, it’s an entirely new country with an entirely different culture from us. You may experience culture shock in your first few days, weeks, or months in your new home. It’s important that before you start packing, you’ve been researching on your destination’s culture and current events, so that you know exactly what you’re heading into and you won’t be (too) shocked. Spend a few days scrolling through travel blogs—if you’re lucky, you might even come across entries about someone who went through the same experience as you, an OFW who is moving abroad. What’s important is that you don’t go in blind, and that you know what to expect.
While you’re preparing for your big move overseas, you’ll need a planner too. Listing down your to-do lists (which will be a lot once you land!) will help clear your mind. You’ll have a better understanding of what it is you actually need to accomplish to help yourself get settled in. A planner can also be helpful later on, even once you’re settled. You can use this to plan new activities to immerse yourself into the culture, as well as staying away from your routines. Having a routine is good, but too much of it can make your days quite dull.
An open mind
Maybe for the first few weeks or months, you’re going to be very homesick and you’ll feel like moving was a mistake. Remember: you’re still adjusting, so allow yourself to feel these feelings, but also remind yourself that you moved abroad for a reason. Whatever that reason is, stay true to it and don’t forget that you’re doing this for the people you love most, as well as yourself. It’s easy to feel lonely in a strange new country, so don’t say no to new friends and new experiences. Explore your area; don’t just shut yourself in your apartment or living space. Make the most out of this experience, and you’ll either be home soon enough or your family will be there with you!
Make sure to check out WorkAbroad.ph for more helpful guides and tips for OFWs.