Moving is scary! My whole life I had lived in the same town, in the same house. In September 2017 I decided I wanted to try living somewhere new. There was nowhere else in Australia that really grabbed my attention, and I had always dreamed of living in the USA. On April 30th 2018, I finally made the big move! Here is a bit of my experience on moving abroad, how to deal with homesickness, and some of my tips for moving overseas!
I decided to move to the US and work as an au pair. For me this seemed like the best option for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as an au pair you live with the family you work for. This meant I would not have the costs of renting and bills. I also wouldn’t have the stress of finding a place to live in a new country!
The visa process for me was relatively easy, although I would recommend looking into the visa requirements for anywhere you are planning to move. I also wouldn’t recommend booking flights and accommodation until your visa is approved. If for some reason you are denied you do not want to be heavily out of pocket.
At the present time I have been living away from home for over a year and a half! For the most part I love it, although there are definitely things I miss about home, mainly my family, dog and friends. Oh and of course the food! I cannot wait to go home next June and dig into a chicken schnitzel burger and a pie! I love everything about living in America, and am planning to continue living here once I finish being an au pair in May.
The process of actually moving can be very daunting. I found it very hard to know what I should do to prepare for the move. Hopefully I can make moving overseas a little bit easier for you by giving some suggestions on what to do before you leave and what to expect.
Things to do before you move:
– Do a big closet clean out before you move. I would recommend doing this at least a month or so prior to moving overseas. Sell any clothes you don’t want online or at a market, and donate the rest or give to friends. Not only will you have less items to take with you, you will also have a bit of extra cash.
– Do not leave your packing to the last minute! If you are a last minute packer like me, I can assure you this is the one time you do not want to pack the night before. Write out a packing list, make sure you have all the essentials, and do not bring clothes you never wear at home. If you don’t like them enough to wear at home, I doubt you will want to wear them abroad.
– Pause or cancel any memberships or subscriptions you have that you will no longer be needing. Many gyms require a minimum of one month’s notice prior to cancelling your membership, so make sure you check the cancellation policies and do this prior to moving overseas!
– Plan a fun event with friends and family before you leave. I spent a week in New Zealand visiting my grandad, aunt and uncle, and then my whole family came over and we had a vacation together. It was such a nice way to make sure I had quality time with my family prior to leaving. The weekend before I moved I had a going away event with my friends which was super fun.
Things to know:
– Homesickness: I have been really fortunate to not have a ton of homesickness. I have found that speaking with my family and friends regularly has helped, but would say the number one thing is to keep busy. The times I have been the most homesick has been during the winter, when it has been summer in Australia. This has been partly due to the fact that I am freezing in the US while everyone at home is at the beach, but also because I wasn’t getting out an doing anything. To combat homesickness I find exercising, hanging out with my new friends, and talking with close family and friends at home really helps me.
– Dealing with the weather can be tricky. The weather in Maryland is vastly different to what I am used to in Australia! The summers are hot and sticky, and the winters are freezing cold. Oh and the temperature can change 40 degrees overnight! While I do not mind the hot summers, the winters can really get the best of me. I simply am not used to the level of cold it gets here, and it has taken a lot to adjust to it. Last year I felt quite depressed in the winter time, and staying at home all day does not help with that! I found that getting out and seeing friends or going to the gym, helped me to better deal with the weather.
– It can be lonely. You don’t just move to a new place and instantly make a million friends! It can be hard to meet people after moving overseas, and social media does not help to make you feel less lonely. Be bold and make the effort to meet new people. I did a post on making friends which you can read here. If you are feeling lonely do talk to your friends and family at home, but try and avoid scrolling through Instagram all day long, I promise it will just make you feel worse!
If you have any questions about moving overseas please message me! I would be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading!