Whatever the reason someone chooses to relocate, whether it is because of a new job, family reasons or the desire for change, moving to a new country can be an exciting and scary experience filled with many emotions.

The first few months will be full of new experiences and you may step out of your comfort zone. This can be tiring and overwhelming at times and you may experience some degree of culture shock or homesickness. Nonetheless, it is important to try and embrace the change and remember that these feelings will not last forever. 

These are some tips to help you relocate. So you can make the most of it: 

Plan ahead

The more you organize yourself beforehand the better prepared you’ll be when you arrive. This is important as you will have a lot to do when you arrive and some countries have long bureaucratic procedures (like the Netherlands). Not only does this prevent you from becoming overwhelmed when you arrive, but it gives you more time to explore and do the things you want to do.

Know your local community

I always find it useful to get accustomed to your local area, and learn about your nearby shops, hangouts and neighbours. Getting familiar with your immediate surroundings and knowing the in’s and out’s of your area can help you feel more at home and safe. Checking out google maps, or taking a short walk can help you learn about your new area.

Learn about the culture

Sometimes when moving to a new country the local traditions and the way people behave can come as a shock to you, this can feel alienating and uncomfortable. A great way to reduce culture shock is to go to language lessons. This can help you to understand people better (literally and metaphorically!). Doing some research on the local laws and traditions can also be helpful.

Finding new friends

For some people this is their biggest fear, and understandably, moving somewhere alone can be isolating. However it is important not to worry too much about this, friendships will come naturally once given the opportunity to meet people. Be active, take up invites, attend events, join a sports team, volunteer, try online apps… whatever suits you best!

Keep in contact with old friends

In this day and age, just because you moved, doesn’t mean you have to leave your old friends behind. Stay in touch with your family and friends. They can provide much needed support during this turbulent period. Speaking with them can give you a sense of familiarity and stop feelings of homesickness.

If you are struggling or don’t have much support after relocating it can be useful to get started with NiceDay to help you settle in.  

Tags: friendship
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Martijn Thomas

Hi, I am Martijn, psychologist at NiceDay. In my spare time I like to produce music, exercise and hangout with friends.

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