In the 21st century, more and more people have to move from one place to another for employment reasons. Should you emigrate abroad? Here are five keys to be successful in this new facet of your life.
Life is tough and presents challenges on a daily basis. Despite that, you should consider that each change that comes is the opportunity to learn and enjoy the new that the package brings. Now, imagine your husband has been presented with the opportunity for a promotion at her job, which translates into better pay. But in order to take office, you must move to another country. This implies selling or renting the house, learning another language, getting away from family and friends, looking for a home and school for the little ones, adapting to an environment completely unknown to the whole family, and so on.
This situation is increasingly common in our century. Sometimes these changes for the better implicitly refer to sacrifices that the whole family must assume. For this reason, I want to share with you some keys to help you achieve an effective adaptation to the change of residence and culture:
1. Look for colonies or groups of people of your nationality
Wherever you go in the world you will find someone from your country. I have neighbors who are from China, that is, they are — literally — on the other side of the world. In such a small city (that one says that no one else in the world knows it exists), meeting Chinese, Irish, English and so many other nationalities seems implausible, but it is not: they have found their space within the place where they are touched or chose to live. Among them they speak their language and teach their children born in Colombian lands both Spanish and their mother tongue. And they are doing very well, to the point that they have chosen to take the rest of their relatives with them from distant lands.
Reread: 4 things to do as an Expat Wife and 8 attitudes to avoid.
2. See the glass as half full, instead of half empty
Change is difficult, I know from my own experience: different food, sometimes different times, the weather, the words and the way of expressing yourself (some expressions that in your country are harmless, where you are going to live are very offensive), customs, etcetera. Anything is unbearable at first and the most normal thing is that the first few days you want to “throw in the towel.”
It’s really all a matter of attitude. Food may seem disgusting all the time, or you can learn to love it. Although it is a bit difficult to express yourself in another way, with time you will find that the change is a rewarding learning. What I want you to see is that with the right attitude, you learn a new lifestyle, enjoy it, and take advantage of it to succeed in that new place where you live.
Relee: If you are leaving your country, consider these points of view
3. Keep in touch with yours
The distance instead of separating those who love each other, unites them more and makes the emotional ties unbreakable. With the use of the Internet and technology, although you will not be able to touch your parents, siblings and others, at least you will be able to see and hear them daily and share birthdays, Christmas and New Years celebrations, despite the distance.
4. Connect with the locals
Do not fight against the impossible: the longer you give the matter, the more it will cost you to get used to the idea of your current situation. Do not refuse to change because you are going to be more damaged than necessary. Add to that that you can discover in your new neighbors and co-workers wonderful people who can become your “family” far from those of your blood.
Relee: Expat families, nomads of the 21st century.
5. Make your family your engine
In Spain they have a word that is given to those who fall ill with nostalgia for their land and their family: «Morriña». That love of the land, of the family, makes many give up in this eagerness to find new options in other horizons. Don’t fall into that trap. When you think of your family, don’t think about how much you miss them: better think that you have to succeed because of them. Make your family an engine to succeed, not an anchor to not advance.
The change that life makes you should always look at it as an opportunity to be happy, so always look for the bright side of your life and be ready to enjoy it while it lasts.