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Tips for Settling into a New Country

© by Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Moving to a new country is hugely exciting, but requires a little planning.

If you’re making the move to a new country then there are some things that will seem exciting, and others that you may find a little daunting. Feeling a little anxious about change is completely natural, it would be more worrying if you didn’t have any reservations. Unfortunately, knowing that it’s normal doesn’t make the feeling any less uncomfortable. The good news is that there are some pragmatic steps that you can take to ensure that settling into your new home goes more smoothly than you could ever have hoped for.

Learn the Language

Although this first step might sound obvious, many people who migrate to a new country leave it far too late. The idea that we learn a language better when we are surrounded by it may well be true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some groundwork in beforehand. Try to learn everything that you would want to know as a holiday-maker. Usually, it’s a good idea to get to grips with some basic groceries, how to ask for directions, the names of different services, and of course, how to introduce yourself. 

Finding time to learn a language can be tricky for those with a busy lifestyle, but apps like Duolingo and Babbel make it free and easy. The lessons are broken down into easily digestible chunks of around 5 to 10 minutes, which even the busiest schedules can make room for. Start your learning a good few months before you go and it will accelerate your mastery of the language when you arrive.

Make the Move as Stress-Free as Possible

Once you’ve got the language under control, it’s time to think about the practicalities. If you’re moving to a fully furnished home or planning to buy your furniture once you arrive then this step will be a lot simpler. Even for those doing this though, there’ll be certain things that you have collected over your life that you’d like to take with you. You need to be realistic about how much space you really need to move your belongings in. 

There are hundreds of tips for moving long-distance out there, but one of the most important is downsizing your belongings before you move. Leave yourself at least a couple of weeks, but ideally several months to go through each room in your home and declutter. All of the things that you haven’t used in a year can be donated and it goes without saying that the actual junk can be recycled! Arriving in your new country with a truck full of beautifully organized boxes will feel so much better than arriving with an arctic lorry full of stuff you don’t need.

Embrace Hobbies New and Old

Once you’re all moved in it’s time to start your new life. This bit is often the stage that people feel the most frightened of, but it’s actually by far the most fun. This stage will be very personal to everybody, as we all have our own hobbies and almost all of them will be possible in your new location. With that said, there are a couple of hobbies that require just a tiny bit of extra effort to keep up. For example, people who enjoy iGaming sometimes struggle to find a website that allows them to play locally, particularly in parts of Asia and the Middle East where laws aren’t as clear as in the rest of the world. However, it is totally possible to play online slot games in Asia if you know where to look. Check out some review sites before you arrive and your hobby needn’t be interrupted at all. 

Niche sports can also be more difficult to play in other parts of the world, but just as with iGaming, it’s possible if you want to make it happen! Often ex-pat clubs will play sports from their home countries and joining in can be a wonderful way not just to enjoy your old hobby, but also to make new friends. If you can’t find an ex-pat club or a sports team then starting your own one is another great way to get to know your new community. The other option is to find a local sport that is similar. If you enjoy baseball now but are moving to India, then consider getting involved with a cricket team when you arrive, although the sports are different, they share many similarities. You never know, you might even be better at the latter!