“Again?” I remarked at my husband’s decision to move in a new city in Sweden, although I had sort of seen it coming as his project was being shelved. My thoughts took me back to two years ago when I was reluctant to the idea of moving abroad, and now I am reluctant to the idea of moving back or moving to any other city for that matter. In a time of a year and a half, we had shifted two places and three houses. Now that was something. As much as we all love being in a new city and its share of freshness, moving while being abroad always has its pains and problems.
Here are some pains one faces when relocating to a new place in a foreign land:
1) The mental baggage riddance
After gathering yourself together that there is going to be a move again, you first make up your mind. Virtually, you begin by shutting off any impending plans that you have at the current place: Be it in school, university, friends, activities, gym memberships, etc. You stop imagining yourselves in situations involving you and imagine not seeing the same bus stops, trees or lanes that you pass by every day. You start to take it easy on work and relationships that you made here. In totality, you start to look at everything with a temporary viewpoint.
2) The unending packing ordeal
Once the initial excitement has died down, and the D-day begins to draw near, the torture begins. What to take, what to cast away, how to pack, what to pack, how much to pack and so on. The packing sessions begin and then new suitcases are bought to fill in the new clothes. Packing your entire life in some suitcase isn’t that easy. With the luggage, you pack not only your belongings but your identities, your memories and your time spent here together.
3) The sentimental side of the story
During the packing process, we tend to have our own low moments. Thoughts of not meeting the same friends again; thoughts of not shopping the at the favorite grocery shop again, of not sitting by the lake and having your ice cream or laying down in the park in front of your apartment and reading a book on a lazy afternoon. You remember with a sigh all the memories this place has given you and suddenly all the foster friends you made here seem like prized possessions.
4) Financial burden
Even though some of the relocation costs are managed by your company, your bank balance does get shaky once you plan about moving. Transportation costs, mortgage, rent, deposit for apartment, new memberships, school admissions, flight tickets, etc, take a heavy toll on your savings. Also temporary accommodation in hotels and guest houses initially takes a blow on your stability and incurs some overhead costs.
5) Time to ask for favours
Yes, as soon as the time to move gets closer, you tend to ask people all kinds of favours. Some common ones include contacts in the new place, help to pack, unpack, drive you, pick you, move furniture, and ask the local hot spots and what not. Unfortunately, lack of having lot of people to turn to when living abroad kind of puts you in a fix and you need to ask people around for all kinds of help. At times you may even stick out your neck and even ask some not so good friends too for some help.
6) New place. Hello!
Even before you reach the new place, you start assuming things about it and wish that it would be as good as the current place, if not better. You wish to make some substantial friends before you set your foot in the new place. You go through all over social media and check out all the good restaurants, best places to rent apartments, parks, gym, etc. You even check out groups in Facebook for communities of your interest. As the world is becoming more and more global, it is easier for us to see and venture out the place even before we reach there. Google maps have made life much simpler.
7) Tearful goodbyes?
As much interesting is accepting a place and the freshness associated with it is, the goodbyes are the toughest. Almost certain that we might not see the people and the place anymore, we choke and get on with our new lives, unwary that the people are still left there, and we would have an indelible effect on them.
8) Weather blues
While moving to certain new places abroad, one of the major challenges are coping with the weather changes. Until and unless you are in a temperate climate, adapting to fluctuations in the weather can be quite tacky.
9) And we start all over again
Life encourages us to move ahead: New place, new friends, bus routes, work places, social life and almost a new way of life. We slowly start forgetting the old roads, bus stops and names of the previous places that we had lived in. The memories just remain fleeting and starts to fade as new ones begin to take their place.
10) Where is the stability?
With all the moving in, the stability in life goes for a toss; new place, setting up the house time and again, making and breaking off relationships, temporary memberships, etc., takes a toll on the stability in normal life. We had been wondering than just in one and half year of our marriage, we have changed three places and four houses. Quite a nightmare, eh?
11) The itch to venture out again
The good or bad thing about moving is that it kind of makes you a globetrotter. Somehow you like being settling down, but itch for the freshness of a new place stays. The dull humdrum of life gets onto you and you look forward to the move somehow.
Finally, moving abroad definitely gets on your nerves but allows yourself to be prepared for the uncertainty of change that life proposes. Life is momentary and keeps on rolling, it is always good to look forward and embrace whatever new that it brings – good or bad. The places and the move might not always be very pleasant but can definitely teach you a lesson or two.