Just met with a friend of mine over the weekend and she was in process of relocating to Singapore. After being in India her entire life she was very anxious and hassled thinking about shifting her base from a country she has grown in to some strange city. Shes been there as a tourist but then travelling and living in a country can be totally different.
After moving 5 countries in past 7-8 years I think I have at least learned the art of adapting if not mastered it. My advice to her and anyone who is relocating abroad is simple:-
- Look forward to new beginnings – Rather than focusing on what you are leaving behind and what you might miss, it might be a good idea to start looking forward to new things and places which you are going to experience. It sets a positive frame of mind before relocating which is very important to deal with blues of missing friends, family and familiarity of the country you are moving from.
- Learn local language – This is one of my biggest regrets. First it helps you navigate the place more confidently. Moreover there are fair chances that you might find people who have recently relocated in this process. The moment you know the language its easier to settle in a country
- Use public transport- This might seem very silly but navigating the country/city on your own using public transport really helps boosting your confidence. Also its the easiest way to understand the geography of new place better.
- Try local food- Its a natural tendency to want to stick to your food and culture but explore the food, cuisines and flavor of the locals. It gives you insights in the culture of the country you are trying to settle in. Moreover it gives you flexibility and adaptability to survive in case you don’t find your comfort food easily
- Explore the place fearlessly- With google maps its kind of difficult to lose your way these days, so go ahead, open the map and explore the new place. Take a walk till local grocery, parks, etc. The more you interact with the new place the more you fall in love with it.
- Join some classes – If you are not working its important to join some local clubs or classes, its the easiest way to meet people. In fact its better to stay off social network for sometime and meet people face to face. Check out if there are any local meet up groups and go ahead and meet new people. Friends in new place instantly make it a pleasant experience
- Give yourself time – Its important to give yourself time to let the place and people grow on you.So don’t be in a hurry to make judgement about your experience. Give yourself adequate time to settle and enjoy the place.
For me relocating is always a beautiful experience. Every time I relocate I have possibility of making new friends in new places. Exploring new places and cultures and making new friends can be totally awesome. So my advice to anyone who is considering to relocate would be just go with the flow and everything will fall in place.