Moving to another country can feel stressful, overwhelming and exhausting. Moving when you have little kids makes it even more so. But moving abroad is also a huge adventure that comes with so many positive experiences for you and your family.
1) Join a migration Facebook group
People around you probably won’t understand what is driving you to want to change your life so dramatically. Sometimes the people you care about don’t want you to leave and they will put pressure on you to stay.
You need to find support from other people who ‘get it’. People who are either going through it at the same time as you or people who have already done it and made a success of their move – these are your people. Facebook groups are amazing places to get this support and find a new community of like-minded families.
Be warned: some Facebook groups are kind and positive places and others can be negative and draining, so choose wisely and if you don’t get a good vibe from one, look for another.
2) Create a detailed to-do list and refer to it often
Having a written plan of what you need to do ensures you stay on track with your moving admin and means you don’t forget any major steps. Moving countries involves a lot of things from selling your home, moving your belongings and maybe even your pet, considering what insurance you might need, transferring money… When you break it all down into small chunks, it doesn’t feel as daunting.
3) Get your finances in order
Moving is expensive. Knowing you have enough savings to cover you while you get settled and find a job really eases your financial stress. Think about the cost of moving plus the cost of setting up your new life – things like cars, car seats, bond for a rental plus household goods like a lawn mower and vacuum cleaner etc. If you aren’t sure about costs, a good place to start is asking questions in the Facebook groups I mentioned above.
4) Tap into local knowledge
The best way I found to do this was through local Facebook groups. Instead of migration groups, this time search for the suburbs you are looking at moving to and try to find local groups – mum groups, parents groups, business groups, expat groups – whatever is relevant for you.
Being part of community groups and watching the chat threads gives you so much information, and also posting to ask your own questions will help you with everything from choosing a good school to finding a rental in an area that doesn’t flood. This local knowledge is gold and it can also be a handy way to begin making friends.
5) Seek out recommended professionals and services to help you
Don’t just trust Google to give you the best services to help make your move a reality. Look for recommendations and ask around in groups to find services that come with a recommendation. From my experience of running my website, I have been approached so many times by people who have been left in the lurch by an agent or shipping company. Do your research carefully before you hand over any money.
Karen Bleakley helps families move to Australia without the stress at Smart Steps to Australia and is a regular travel writer for Australia and New Zealand magazine. She publishes regular travel posts to help families discover Australia. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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