While many of us feel happiest living in the place that we were born and raised, some of us dream of taking a leap and moving much further afield. Not just across to the next city. Perhaps across an ocean.
Last summer we made a big move to the countryside, to the edge of the Peak District, just an hour from our previous home, but closer to the town where my husband and I grew up. It’s a very different life, but one that I absolutely love. I feel like I finally found my place. I’ve never had the urge to live abroad, but often regretted not trying it at least once. Who know once the kids are older maybe we will buy a house in the sun by the sea like the couple we bought our home from.
It is something we can easily dream of and talk about, actually moving is by no means an easy feat. In fact, the difficulties involved often mean that our dreams remain just that: dreams. It’s been a tough few months, with massive ups and downs, but I am so glad we made our dream to live in the country and run a holiday let happen.
If you are really are intent on moving abroad, there is always a way to make things happen. Here’s how to go about making the change of place a reality:
It sounds obvious but the number of people who plan a long distance move abroad without having ever actually been to the place they intend to call their new home is astounding. It’s absolutely essential that you visit the place you plan to move to before actually starting to plan the move.
Many of us are more than guilty of romanticising places and attributing them with qualities that we’ve picked up from films, books, or music. Often, these sources are fictional or emphasised, so the clues may as well have been picked from thin air. So, make sure to visit anywhere you plan to move to before actually going.
Spend time soaking up the atmosphere, don’t stay cushioned in a hotel, rent somewhere as close as possible to what you could afford to buy or rent if you moved and live like a local for your holiday – Airbnb makes this so easy. This will help you to ascertain that the move is 100% right for you.
Planning the Trip from A to B
Now, long distance moves may seem difficult to put into practice. But the key to success is organisation. You need to plan every step of the move well in advance. Moves take a lot of time and energy, you need to have at least one person who has time in their day to follow up with all the organisations involved.
The majority of us are used to short trips across a city or, at the most, a county. We will often attempt to carry the move out by ourselves, heading back and forth from our old property to our new property in our own vehicles with our boxed belongings in tow. But if you’re going a little further afield, this would prove impossible.
First cut down on the number of belongings you plan to take with you. Have a thorough clear out of your property, from experience this takes a lot of time and energy – physical and emotional – so allow space for it. If something is broken or simply no longer used, it’s time to trash, recycle, or donate it. Once you’ve whittled down your belongings to the essentials, you need to bring in the help of long distance or international removal services. Find a reliable company such as 1st Move International Removals.
Keeping in Touch
Make time to ensure friends and family know how to keep in touch. Practicing using technology like Skype or FaceTime with older relatives before the move can make it feel like less of a jolt when you do move. Book in some things to look forward to, visits from friends and family will help through those early months of feeling a little overwhelmed in a new place and make goodbyes seem less sad.
You can’t expect to settle into your new location immediately. There will be various obstacles. Perhaps a new language to learn, cultural customs and differences to get used to, kids to settle in to schools, new jobs and it takes time to make new acquaintances and friends. Everything feels like a project for a while at the other end too, like a pair of scales tipping back and forth constantly between your old and new life.
So if you feel a little uncomfortable or lost in your first few days, weeks and months, don’t lose hope. After a month I had the kids settled fairly happily in school, after two I felt like the scales constantly wobbled back and forth between old and new home, three months in I was excited but not quite relaxed, after six I loved the place but a cold winter set in, lots of things went wrong and I had some niggles, after nine it suddenly fell back into place and felt like I was at home on all levels.
But everyone is different, lots of people have told me it takes a year. It makes sense that experiencing every month and season gives you the confidence to tackle your second year!
There are plenty of things to take into account when making a long distance move. But as long as you are sensible, organised and don’t have unrealistic hopes and expectations, everything should fall into place.