Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10 Steps to a successful move to a foreign country

I've signed up for a 31 day challenge to a better blog. I've not had "assignments" for round about 15 years or so, so I'm behind. Fortunately, there's no grade!

This assignment is to write a list post.
I've never done this.
I'm scared.
On with it!

10 Steps to a successful move to a foreign country

  1. You must be unhappy with the situation you are currently in. If not, moving to a foreign country will see ludicrous and absurd. So much so that you will quickly talk yourself out of the idea, or be talked out of the idea by others around you.
  2. The time between finding out about the move and when the move must happen must be a very short amount of time. Like 6 weeks.
  3. You must have to pack up and sell a home that was too big in the first place, sell two vehicles, and get four passports and visas all in those 6 weeks. *Note: This will require an expedited passport. This is not cheap.
  4. Be ready to defend your decision. You must tell all your friends and relatives who will then look at you in shock, once they realize you really are telling the truth. They may say something like, "You?"
  5. Figure out how much moving to a foreign country will cost. Then multiply that number by a large figure, something around 16.38 should be fine.
  6. Prepare your children (if you have any) for an adventure. Because this will surely be adventure. Flying coach, eating the food of your destination country in-flight, and being one of the only families from your country of origin for a 15 hour plane flight is always an adventure. This is just the beginning.
  7. Learn about your destination country. This one is very, very important! Certain gestures and facial expressions that may be fine at home may not go over well other places. Learn the social rules and follow them. Teach your children these rules, too. (That's one way to fill 15 hours on a plane.)
  8. Be willing to try many different things. Food will be different. Food is cultural. Your five senses that have always led you on the straight and narrow in this area may be confused for awhile until you have navigated them through a few meals. Your nose and eyes cannot always be trusted. But, be aware, sometimes they can be very trustworthy. (For example, if what is hanging in your neighborhood butcher shop looks like a skinned large dog, it probably is.)
  9. Prepare to be stared at. A lot.
  10. Embrace the country you are moving to. You will be living with it's people, rubbing their shoulders on a daily basis. Becoming annoyed will only annoy you more and make the move harder. Fact: It will be hard, there will be difficult days where you want to rush to the airport and buy the fastest ticket back home. When that happens, tell yourself this: That will most likely be the most expensive ticket you could purchase. And it would also be a huge mistake. Living in a foreign country can be extremely challenging, but it can also be the best experience of your life and your family's. Embrace it, because when you're back on native turf someday, and you're looking back on your life, you will smile when you think of that country and all that you saw, smelled, felt, heard and tasted there.


Anonymous said...

I give you an A++ on this assignment. (I was one of those friends of #4 in shock.) :) You are my #1 example of adaptability and flexibility, Beth!


Beth said...

Thanks, Tracy! I think everyone was in shock. Maybe even me :)

mwell said...

Beth -
I got such a chuckle out of this, (and now I am even more in awe of you!)

As much as I would love to do it...I think I'd pick someplace like Ireland...where at least things would be 'relatively' familiar,(and they don't eat dog!)

You sure have had an adventure!

dianne - bunny trails said...

Excellent post, Beth! You did a terrific job on your list.