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Overcoming the Fear of Moving Overseas

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If you are planning an international move, it's no surprise that you are scared and apprehensive. Leaving behind your loved ones, your home, and everything that is familiar to become immersed in foreign culture and an unfamiliar language is a staggering thought.

To get prepared for your overseas move and ease your culture shock-jitters, read on for some helpful tips that will make your international relocation and adjustment to expat life a breeze.

Plan ahead

Moving to a new country is intimidating--there will be a lot of changes to adjust to and a number of important tasks to accomplish. The best way to alleviate moving-induced stress and ease your worries is to be prepared.

Some of the most important things to take care of prior to your international move include:

  • Obtaining your visa and/or work permit


  • Finding a reputable international mover


  • Hiring overseas auto shippers


  • Organizing all of your necessary documents and paperwork


  • Transferring your money into an overseas bank account


  • Getting necessary immunizations


  • Getting health certificates for pets


  • Contacting the embassy or consulate in your new country about the customs regulations. Find out what you are prohibited from shipping, what taxes/duties you can expect to pay, etc. International movers will usually aid you in this process but it's a good idea to be informed.


  • Finding a job in your new country


  • Finding a place to stay (temporary or permanent)

The more prepared you are for your overseas relocation, the easier it will be to avoid making a common mistake during your international move, and the less fearful you will be during the process.

Have enough funds

Moving is always an expensive venture, but an overseas move is especially costly. The services of your international movers, the duties on your imported goods and family pet, even the necessary paperwork (passport, visa, work permit) can have an impact on your bank account.

Making sure you have ample money saved and employment secured in your new country before making the move is important to ease your fears and make your transition to life abroad much easier. You will already have so much to handle once you arrive--worrying about how you will buy food is stress you certainly don't need!

Seek support from others

A strong support system can effectively calm your apprehension regarding an impending international move. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by the burden of planning your complicated relocation, lean on your loved ones for emotional strength and assistance with moving-related tasks. Once you head for your new home in a foreign land, you will have to bid farewell to your most cherished friends and family--quality time together before you leave will certainly help ease your fears about leaving them behind.

Also, seek advice from others who have moved to your new country by visiting expat forums. This can even help you begin the friend-making process by becoming familiar with others already living in your destination.

Learn about your new country

Most fear stems from the unknown--no matter where you are moving, becoming familiar with the area before relocating will make your transition easier and lessen your worries about culture shock.

  • Learn the language. Developing a working knowledge of the country's native tongue will limit your feelings of alienation, making the move much less frightening socially. It will facilitate everything from searching for a job, making friends and buying groceries.


  • Learn the customs. Knowing the cultural norms for acceptable behavior in your new country is essential for making good impressions and avoiding offending the locals. The easier you assimilate and show you have appreciation for the culture, the less ostracized you will feel.


  • Research your neighborhood. While your new home is a vast foreign land, finding out more about the specific district you will call home is important before establishing residency. If you are buying or renting a property, you will want to know the quality of the area to ensure that it is safe and suited to your planned lifestyle. Additionally, knowing the lay of the land and researching some points of interest (grocers, shops, cafes, parks, restaurants and nightspots) will help you to feel more at home and find your way around effectively once you arrive.

Visit first

A visit prior to making your move is a great way to calm moving anxiety. While research is an effective tool for learning about your new home, it is no substitute for experiencing it firsthand. If you plan to purchase a home or rent an apartment in your new country, an advance visit to check out properties is a good idea to ensure you are not swindled by a dishonest landlord.

While visiting, avoid tourist areas and stay among the locals to give yourself a more organic perspective of your new country. If you have already chosen a specific neighborhood, check out the local eateries and entertainment options. You can even introduce yourself to residents so that you have a few familiar faces when you arrive permanently.

Get excited about new experiences

The best way to combat your fear is to maintain a positive attitude and get excited about your move. Moving overseas is certainly scary, but it is also an invigorating way to make a fresh start, have exciting new experiences, and grow as an individual. There are many reasons to move overseas, and enriching your life with diversity is a great one.

Planning an International Move?

If you are planning a move overseas, it is important to compare quotes from several international movers before choosing one for hire. Be sure to check credentials to verify any overseas mover you are considering is trustworthy and qualified, ask the right questions to avoid making common mistakes during an international move, and have all of your necessary documents prepared before you relocate overseas. You can start comparing quotes from international movers right now at Movers.com! Simply fill out the fast and easy quote form and begin browsing up to seven quotes from reliable international moving services.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on September 4, 2013

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