Move Abroad with Your FamilyiStockphoto
When moving abroad with your family, team work is essential.
Include Your Children
While you are struggling with your move abroad, try not to forget about your children. It is easy to simply brush their worries aside as childish and trivial, but remember that they are often as nervous as you are – they are also in on the move abroad. Dionne (33) and Perez (34), US expats in India and parents of two, remember:
We set aside some extra time early on to explain to our children why, when and where we were going to move abroad. They are part of our family after all, and we wanted to involve them in the process. We gave them little tasks like helping to pack their belongings in boxes or planning a farewell party with their best friends. It really helped make them feel like they had a say in the move abroad, too.
Be a Team
Remember that you are in this together. A move abroad is not an easy feat, and your partner and children are going through the same highs and lows as yourself. It is important that you work together as a team and prepare for the move abroad together. It pays out in the end: After your move abroad you can all relax and enjoy your new home.
To make sure that you are all working towards the same goal, you need to include your family in the expatriation process. On the practical side, this means dividing the tasks for the move abroad fairly between your partner and yourself.
It also means you should sit down together and find out more about the place where you are going to spend the next few months or years, or even the rest of your life. Browse real-estate websites to find comfortable family accommodation, explore local sights and traditions in travel guides, or study the local language together. All these steps will help you all feel more excited rather than isolated and confused about your move abroad.
Stay in Touch with Family and Friends
As you move abroad, you will always be leaving someone behind. Thus it is good to find an easy and fun way with which to keep in touch with your loved ones after your move abroad.
Social networks and online blogs are good ways to let everyone know you have arrived safely. Once your move abroad has been finalized and you and the family are settled in, you may want to consider setting up a blog or photo gallery with snapshots from your new home. Sending letters and postcards the old-fashioned way is also a nice way to keep in touch. Children will also enjoy receiving packages and mail from their old home too!
It is important to have some sort of regular schedule for keeping in touch, so your friends won’t feel neglected in the “out of sight, out of mind” way when you move abroad. For this reason, Sigrid (37) set a fixed time and date for phone calls to her family and closest friends after her move abroad from Norway to Brazil two years ago.
Even before I left, we made plans together for the holidays when I would come home to visit them. It gave us all something to look forward to. So, our farewells weren’t all that sad when I did actually move abroad.