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7 Things that will help you settle faster in a new country

Me: We are moving again.  – I typed. I had not talked to my friend in almost 4 months.
Pam: Where are you going this time?
We just moved to Canada last month
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Me: Ha! cool! What are you doing there?
For us It was a toss up between NY and Miami. We went for NY.
Matthew´s Work
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Pam: Also Work
How long are you staying
is it permanent?
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Me: You never know
At least a couple of years. Maybe more.
Sad to leave Costa Rica. you know we love it here
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Pam: I’m sure you will visit often
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Me:  we already have our return flights for November
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Pam: Will you be there in NY for Jan?
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Me: prob
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Pam: 😮 ! We´ll be in NY the 2nd of Jan. see you then .
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I closed the app with a smirk on my face.
Is it normal to talk with so much ease about moving to another country?
These days, I honestly think its quite common.  I have lived in 5 countries since Pam and I last lived in the same place. I think she has done 7. We always end up bumping into each other for holidays and talk at least once every 3 months over chat and when we do it´s like we have never been apart.
This is the life of an expat. It is not that we don´t love our own countries or the countries we live in – we adore them all like our own. But we love the idea of the unknown more.  So we keep moving, be it by need or choice.
So after 9 moves, I have found a little formulae that helps me fit in and make a life in a new place faster. If you are in this situation, I hope it helps. If you have moved more than me, I hope you agree (leave a comment if I missed something!). And if you have never tried it – you must.
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7 Things that nobody ever speaks about but will help you settle faster in a new country
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  1. If you don´t let go, you never settle.

Before you leave your previous home, make sure you tie loose ends. The minute you get on that plane you need to tell your self: Chapter closed. Now onto the next. The longer you grieve, dwell and miss things, the longer it will take you to adapt. This is not to say you will forget the place and the people -quite the contrary. But life is short make use of the time the best you can and go full forcedly into your new adventure. If you miss someone make sure they visit you often or you visit them! For now, look forward and open to change . 2.Getting social fast is key. Sometimes, you arrive to a new country and you know NO ONE. Maybe you don´t even speak the language but humans are social beings – and how much more fun is it to find all those hidden treasures and have adventures with a solid crew. So the minute you arrive look for groups like “internations.org” or “The American Women´s Club (they usually accept other nationalities) – or  i join a club or classes of some sort and start chatting. NOTE: Take the lead and ibe the one making invitations. People don´t lower their guards to strangers, you have to tell them who you are, where you come from and show you come in peace. :p I know, it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how hard it is sometimes. . . . 3. Keep something stable When you move, your world turns upside down. Embrace it – but make sure your feet are fully grounded. In times like this a little stability is key to adapt faster. Whether you can bring your old routine with you or find a new one, make sure you stick to it as much as possible. Keep your eating hours, morning rituals and exercise routine stable. Also nurture the relationships you currently have. . 4.Embrace the discomfort. Part of the fun of moving is that you are kept on your toes. You leave your comfort zone. You question how you want to fit into this new place and what you want out of it. Sometimes, your move is by choice, this is easy and fun. Sometimes moves are imposed and the adaptation process gets harder -so lets just make it easier on ourselves and have fun. Its just a game – and the advantage of having lived in other countries is that your vision of society changes. It´s like having a “bird´s eye view”. . 5.Don´t compare. I know a lot of expats that always complain about the country they live in. Guys, this is a massive shame. If you have the opportunity to LIVE in a different country, enjoy it. Things WILL NOT be done the way you are used to. Even if the same language is spoken, little cultural nuances appear. People´ habits, concept of time, sensitivity towards certain subjects – everything to eating hours – it will all be relatively new. EMBRACE it, don´t compare and remember you are a GUEST. You are the one that must adapt, not the country to you.And if all else fails and you hate it – maybe this country isn´t the right fit. It happens. Enjoy it the most you can and plan your next move. . 6.Don´t take things personally & keep your sense of humor. Having said the above, depending on where you are, some places welcome foreigners more than others. Moreover, some places welcome some nationalities more than others. This is mostly by people who have not had the chance to travel or are scared of anyone different to them so when something goes wrong, or somebody snaps at you or simply does not connect with you, first analyse if you have done something culturally inappropriate then take a deep breath and remember it is not all about you. It is probably their issue not yours. Whatever it is, try to keep a smile and carry on with a positive attitude. . 7.Define Your Moving Budget. – – then add 30% Ok, here is the golden secret that nobody tells you: Moves are always more expensive than you think. They are also more expensive than companies budget for you. So if you want to enjoy it, before you move to another country research:

  1. cost of rent/property
  2. cost of living (groceries, gas, transport)
  3. earning opportunities
  4. cost of getting there
  5. shipping things and settling in (will you have to BUY a new bed? cutlery? sheets? clothes (due to weather nt fashion)?)
 Then add about 30% to that and start saving before you move. Trust me, it makes life infinitely more pleasant. And I know it may hurt even looking at this amount but no other thing or experience will be as worthy as this.
 Have you ever lived abroad? What helped you adapt? Leave a comment!

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