Having travelled and relocated many times, I’ve noticed that some things do get easier with time (routines, checklists and looking after some relationships), but many things don’t (the bulk of relationships with people back home, the vision for the future, the feeling of what’s home and the constantly evolving feelings of homesickness).
I was asked the other week what the 5 key mistakes people make on their first move, and I thought this was certainly worth sharing. I’ve been through all these 5 mistakes myself and have learned there are many things to do differently if you want to create a happier move next time.
- Thinking ‘It won’t be that different’. It will be different in many more ways than we ever imagine. Both exciting things and difficult things. Small things, like struggling to find things in the supermarket to cook your favourite comfort food or bigger things such as struggling to meet new friends or find a proper job once you arrived. So what’s the solution? Accept that it’s going to be very different and not within
- Focussing only on the practical. When things change it’s easy to get stuck in the practical checklist. Even though some of it is necessary, we also need to life the gaze to set our intention for the move and also enjoy the moments. The special moments before you say goodbye to people you won’t see for a while. The moment of clarity when you remember why you set out on this adventure. The practical things will get done, but don’t let them drown you. Be clear on what is a ‘must have‘ and what’s a ‘good to have‘.
- Having a great plan of how to get there, but no plan for what to do once you arrive. There seems to be four kinds of relocators and travellers, at least from my experience. The ones that just leave their old home and hope it will work out along the way. The ones who have the perfect checklist, but then arrive feeling lost, because that’s where their checklist ended. The ones that have every step of the journey planned out. And lastly the ones who have a clear vision from the outset, but have not laid out every single step of how to get there. You don’t need to know everything to have a good move. But you need to know your big ‘why‘ to stay as grounded as you can in a time that will be full of changes.
- Listening too much to others. People will give you advise based on their experience. Sometimes it will be useful and sometimes it’s not relevant for your situation. It’s hard sometimes to know who to listen to. My guiding points are always twofold. ‘What has this person achieved and is it what I want?‘. I also practise the concept of ‘receive everything, decide later’. You never know when some advise will come in handy, so if you can’t use it right now, just file it in your mind and save it for later. It’s also perfectly within your right to stop listening to people who choose to be un-resourceful and unable to accept the decisions you have made.
- Not being clear on the intention and purpose of the move. We don’t move just for the sake of moving. There are reasons behind it. We crave change, challenge, variety and adventure. Or we get invited along with someone else to share and adventure and sometimes that scares us. How to get around it? Have a strong and clear vision for your move, get clear on your why and start your move with balance and confidence.
My online program works through all of these points and helps you start the move knowing what you want and what to expect, rather than getting stuck in the practical checklist (believe me, I know it feels endless!).
What was the hardest with your first move? Did you encounter any of the above mentioned ones?