Packing up and leaving for a foreign country is a huge decision, especially when you must take your entire family with you. Moving abroad can be stressful for everyone involved, so here are a few tips on how to organize your expatriation without putting too much strain on your loved ones.
Work Together as a Team
Working together as a team is key. Moving to a foreign country is not easy for anyone, and your partner and children are going through the same excitements and struggles that you are. Make sure you are all working towards the same goal and to include your family in the expatriation process. Sit down with your partner and divide tasks for the move fairly between the two of you. Find out more about the places you are going to spend the next few months or years together by reading travel guides, exploring local sights and traditions, or take local language or culture classes together. Sharing these experiences with your partner and family will help you feel more at ease rather than isolated and unprepared for your move.
Children Must Be Included
While moving abroad can be a little hectic, try not to forget about how your children feel. It is easy to disregard their complaints or worries, but remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are. Make sure you set some extra time early on with your children and explain to them exactly when, why, and where your family is moving. You can also keep them involved by assigning them little tasks such as helping to pack their belongings in boxes or plan a going away party with their friends. Your children will feel like they had a part in the decision to move, and it can ease the transition period of a big change.
Keep in Touch with Friends and Family Back Home
You will always be leaving people behind when you move abroad. It is very important to find a fun and easy way to keep in touch with your loved ones. Social media networks and blog posts are a convenient way to keep people involved in your life and update them on what is new. Sending letters, postcards or photos the old-fashioned way is also a great way to keep in touch. Children enjoy being sent packages and mail from family in their old home country as well, and sending mail first can prompt mail in return.
Staying close to your family and friends is important and it’s good to have a schedule for keeping in touch. Set aside certain times and days to call or Skype your family back home. Make plans to visit during the holidays and stick to them so that you have something to look forward to. This way, your friends and family don’t feel neglected and forgotten and you are given a sense of security and belonging, especially in the beginning of your transition.