Moving out is stressful, very stressful. But moving in is so exciting! What if your moving involves changing country too? Well, then the excitement reaches an all new level and the stress for the moving out falls in the background.
So far I have experienced “only” 3 moves (such a beginner, you will think) and 2 of them were abroad: one to Finland (Helsinki) and one to France (Antibes, Côte d’Azur). Pretty good average, eh? In 2 months I am going to face a fourth one and guess what? It’s abroad again! I am moving to Finland for the second time (Helsinki to be precise) and I couldn’t be more excited! Can you tell? 😉 Anyway, this is to say that even though I might be a newbie as a “mover”, I consider myself pretty much an expert in moving abroad.
But where does all this excitement come from? Honestly? No idea! 🙂 Apart from jokes, I guess from the many more challenges you need to face when your feet cross not only a new door, but the border of a new country. When you move abroad, you don’t only cope with the common little worries like leaving your old comfy couch or your beloved bed, or finding your new best route to work, or getting along with your new neighbors. You also need to be ready to embrace BIG changes.
Easy or difficult, you will have to learn a new language. Even if your working language is English, the inhabitants are well known for their excellent English, and all the movies are in their original language and hence mostly in English, get ready to learn the official language. Trust me, you want to learn it. You don’t want to be the reason why a group of people should switch to English. You don’t want to feel inappropriate when someone makes a joke, everyone laughs at it and you are the only one to stay serious. You don’t want to go to the supermarket and have to go through all the lanes to find a can of tuna just because you cannot understand the indications written for each lane. You don’t want to miss an important yoga workshop just because you cannot understand the advertisement on the bus. Again, trust me: if you don’t want to miss a thing, learn the official language!
Like it or not, you need to get used to the new culture. You don’t want to look rude when the bus stops and you are the only one trying to get on from the back door. Nor you want to be the only one leaving the restaurant without first leaving a tip. Or the only one waving and shouting at someone you only met once, but that you already consider a friend. If you don’t want to be considered a total weirdo from the very beginning, observe first and then act. Not saying you should forget the way you are, no no no! Just saying you should embrace the new culture too!
Worse or better, the weather will be different from the one you are used to. You better get used to it quickly and change your wardrobe accordingly. This way, you will feel like everyone else and avoid surprised looks due to your improbable clothes. Believe me, it’s no fun going to work with a colorful summer dress when outside it’s only 15 degrees although it’s August. You might feel a fish out of the water, in addition to frozen!
Unless you are not moving too far or you are very lucky, you are going to live in a new timezone. Is this good? Is this bad? In my opinion it’s not a big deal: you will still have your 24 usual hours every day! The only difference the new timezone might bring in your life is getting calls at unconventional times. Which, let’s be honest, just means one more good laugh during the night!
Forget about your favorite dish, you won’t find it in the new country. The sooner you accept this fact, the faster you will figure out what’s your new favorite food. Don’t be afraid of trying the local specialties and don’t complain when your own dishes are not cooked the way they should be. Different country also means different tastes.
Learn, observe, change, laugh, accept. These are the main reasons of my crazy excitement about moving abroad. And in case you are planning to, they are my best tips too!