Emigration tips

Emigration tips

I can hardly believe that it’s been almost a whole year since we emigrated! So I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of my top emigration tips on the blog.

If you’re new here you can read about why we chose to emigrate here and settling in the UK here. There are a few blog posts about our emigration journey under the ‘life’ category. Feel free to pop me a DM if you have any questions 🙂 but without further a-do here are my top emigration tips!

emigrating tips

Emigration top tips

  1. Remember that it’s an adventure and as daunting as it may feel, it’s exciting (and often a privilege) to be moving abroad.
  2. Research essential things such as grocery shopping (you can do an online grocery shop online to see what things cost), activities, transport, hair & nail salon prices, cleaner rates, etc. Even though I have lived in the UK before (I moved across in 2002) so much has changed and when moving across with a family you have other costs to consider.
  3. Consider the price difference (and stress involved) with shipping all your furniture over vs buying new on arrival. Also remember that if you do ship you will have about a 5 + week wait with no furniture so you’d need to have a temporary base that’s fully furnished until you are able to find your unfurnished home to coincide with the arrival of your shipment of belongings. Add to this the home sizes in the UK being that much smaller than what we (this certainly applies to us) are used to back in South Africa.
  4. Happy, settled kids makes it so much easier so choose schools/nurseries wisely.
  5. Try and make local connections quickly; parents at school, neighbours etc. Seeing familiar faces and chatting to others helps you feel more settled.
  6. Blue in the faceWhatever you’d budgeted expect to spend more! You can budget until you’re blue in the face but expenses always add up to more than what you expected. For example when you take the kids out for the day there’s a juice here, a snack there and you want to try different things that add up (quickly)!
  7. Get into a routine as quickly as possible. I’m a creature of habit (& routine) so knowing that each week is pretty much the same has helped enormously!
  8. Get out and explore your new area as quickly as possible. Find your local grocery store for a pint of milk if you need it at the last minute. Your local post office, park, coffee shop, etc.
  9. Expect to be sad, lonely and frustrated at times. It’s part of the process and all completely normal. Let your kids (if they are old enough) know that it’s ok to miss home, friends & family.
  10. Have a strong relationship with your partner. Talk a lot about your fears, concerns, excitements and everything else. You are a team and you need to be strong together as emigrating is tough!
  11. Join Facebook groups within your local area. You can ask questions, meet other moms, etc. Facebook is a fountain of (often useless) information.

And remember to give yourself and your family a chance; emigrating is hard for everyone. You’re leaving everything you know behind including friends & family. Your support structure is gone and you only have each other for now.

We are fortunate that my sister-in-law is here plus I have some friends from when I used to live here (2002 – 2005) and others from home that have also made the move. We don’t see anyone as much as I’d like but that’s ok; knowing they are there if I need them definitely helps.

So there you have it, my top emigration tips. I hope they help you or someone you know who’s making the move. Please pop me a DM if you have any questions or, if you’re already in the UK and want to connect; I’d love to hear from you.

Much love xxx

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