Moving to a new country is an exciting prospect – particularly if you have not lived abroad before – but it may not be for everyone. The first consideration is whether you, and your family, are willing to leave the familiarity and certainty of your home country. This will depend on factors such as your life-stage, the educational stage of your children, and more simply whether you can be comfortable with being a VOIP or ‘Skype’ call away from family rather than being able to see them physically as often as you are used to now.
The most successful expatriates are those whom, at a personal level, and with their families, approach living outside their home country with the right mindset.
This means being open to new experiences and new cultures – including all that this brings, such as food, people, traditions, language behaviors, and so on. One which embraces every day as a new adventure, and, of course, being tolerant, patient and to some extent understanding that you are a ‘guest’ in your new country and adopting a level of respect and humility.
Adjusting to a new culture and lifestyle happens at a different speed for everybody, and you shouldn’t expect to feel settled and comfortable straightaway. Being away from family and friends can be daunting, yet living overseas brings with it such a fantastic opportunity to broaden your beliefs, your knowledge and create memories that will last a lifetime. Remember that cultural adjustment is something you do, not something that happens to you.