I always get in a reflective mood around this time of year. I’ve spent a lot of time being reflective all year too, what with shipping the family 6000 miles. On Jan 3 it will be five months since we were THAT family with far too much luggage for their trip at Manchester airport.
So what better time to go public with some thoughts? Keeping with the five theme, here are five things I’d urge anyone migrating to expect / think about:
1. Never underestimate the power of friends and family. Whether it’s how much you’ll miss people back home or how much you appreciate the people in your new home, it’s really taken me aback. And the ones that came with me have proven that they are even more amazing than I already knew.
2. You will cry. Thankfully for me it’s been for mostly good reasons, but I haven’t been so emotional since… well… ever. From tears when I got the job offer, to teary goodbyes, to moments of pride in the kids it’s been quite a year.
3. Keep your eyes open. It’s all too easy to fall into an expat life, but there is so much ore out there. Some of the most interesting people I’ve met so far have been driving taxis, on the bus or out on the trails. Actually this is more of a lesson for life I think: strike up conversation s with everyone. Being in the right places helps, which brings me onto…
4. … Location, location, location. We’ve always lived where we can afford to live before. This time we found the area and then found what we could nearly afford. And boy has it paid off. Never again will I live in a place because I can afford a mansion there.
5. Expect everything to be new, then embrace it. UK to Canada should be an easy move right? But all the little things are different, which drives my inner control freak crazy. From getting lost in grocery stores to everything being done face to face (and nothing done online!), life is way more fun if you go with it.
5.1 I have to sneak this in at the end. The past 5 months have been amazing adventure. To anyone that has the tiniest itch to make a big move of any sort: DO IT!