Relocating and living abroad became more common trend in the last years. Reasons are multiple and can be very diverse too. Among them: new job opportunity, change of lifestyle, retirement decision, better education, relationship reasons or simply to travel and experience new cultures. The list is longer and as unique as our life can be. Same refers to the duration – be it one way or two ways move – temporary, long term or maybe indeterminate one.
Have you ever relocated or considered option of living abroad? Or maybe that’s something that is just ahead of you in your life. Would you change your home-country to create your new happy place? But how to create this new happy place…
A bit of my story
Remember that ‘life changing sofa‘? That moment I knew that one day we will relocate for our future (back then) family, simply living separately wasn’t a long term option for us. It was just a matter of time. Just that, in that moment, I thought I would have ‘slightly more time’ to set my full readiness for it. I guess mainly the one in my head ? But ‘life changing sofa’ drove all next promises we made each other. Within one year from marriage, we will start living together.
Our drive for action, came from our ‘little blessing’ – Our Little One. So as the situation changed and we were awaiting expansion of our family – it was clear: time for next plans and decisions. For me to relocate to India, Bangalore. So that we could start our expanded family there. And all together we could share each day together, knowing my maternity leave would fully allow for it. So here I am, on the other part of the world, 8345 km away from my home-town Gdansk, writing this story.
Settling into a new country is like getting used to a new pair of shoes.
At first they pinch a little, but you like the way they look, so you carry on.
The longer you have them, the more comfortable they become.
Until one day, without realizing it, you reach a glorious plateau.”Tahir Shah
With many different variations in relocations and decisions for living in another country, there can be various approaches in how to actually move between two countries. Some people are leaving all behind and moving to the new place with one suitcase only. Some select to take with them all life’s treasures to restart the life in the new place. Options can be many.
In our case we decided to continue our life in both places. We maintain both houses so the relocation for me was easier. Packing was less (although still a lot ?). I am really happy that we have this option – to keep our life across the borders. Important for the family, so smooth for travel and staying in both places. And regardless if this is India or Poland, we feel home, as we are always at our home. I am just sometimes lost, if ‘that dress’ is in India or in wardrobe in Poland or in which box did I leave my favorite earrings? These are the small nuances that make me smile now. I am so happy I have such problems.
We are yet to understand our next life steps. But that will come with time, maybe we will need our ‘life changing sofa’ for it again, to see what’s next. Or simply life somehow will help us – what to do next. For now we know for sure: travelling anywhere is not an option. ?
many stories, many happiness factors
Relocating and living abroad, including its diverse reasons, will each have its own story behind it. And very often, that individual story will shape our key happiness factors. Some of us might be relocating to completely new place, even without touching its ground earlier on. In some cases it might be a proximity to other family members that will trigger the decision. Or even, just better weather condition. As many stories, as many different happiness factors. To create our new happy place.
Our recent blog post author AZAssistenteVirtuale, who relocated to the land of “dolce far niente” to, on the contrary, keep herself sweetly busy, says there are 3 main factors for her own little big happiness in her new home land:
? Have home that you like
? Try to adjust and understand that you are in a new country so things naturally will be different
? Make friends and find safety ‘anchor places’
MY LIVING ABROAD
I arrived to India with 4 suitcases. Two big and two small. But it wasn’t just it 🙂 I had already a bit of my things at our home in India. I was also lucky as 2 of my colleagues were travelling to India within same week so they helped a bit too! Took part of my wardrobe, anything that was important for remaining months of my ‘blessed months’, a bit of things for Our Big Angel and back then, yet to appear, Our Little One. Yes, and I would not relocate with many jars of my favorite Polish mayo! Call it addiction or simply home taste!
So how is it to live in another country, on another continent, over 5000 miles away?
First of all, I take it as an amazing opportunity. Not everybody has this chance to experience living abroad, in completely another culture, in so colorful, mystic and diverse country like India. Secondly, when I was on my way here with my 4 suitcases, it was already my 12th visit here. So I knew what to expect, I knew the city well enough, I knew a bit of language too. So I wasn’t worried.
NEW HAPPY PLACE – TIPS:
#1 Relocation is a great opportunity to review all you have. Before you pack your bags, revise things at home, share what you don’t need anymore with others. There is no need to relocate entire house. I really loved this, 2 months before my travel I kept on revising my home, made many other people happier and home seemed much ‘lighter’.
#2 It takes on average about 6 months to settle fully, just like for a new job or any other major change in your life. So take it easy, don’t feel bad with yourself that you find it still difficult or challenging to organize fully your daily life. It all comes with time! I found my gym, I know well where to find my non-veg food or how to function not to be treated each time like a tourist. However, learning continues all the time!
#3 Make yourself feel good at your new home. If you can select a new place, that’s great! There are big chances that you will find a place that you will enjoy a lot. Otherwise, make changes in the existing house. For me, it was having at least my two grey walls 🙂 and two new white cupboards.
#4 Don’t be afraid to explore the new place. Meet new people, find your places. You will find yourself closer to the new location if you emerge a bit into it, also on your own. Your favorite spots for a walk, or maybe running. Best place to grab a coffee or lunch. This is your new home-town, so just feel like at home.
#5 Take the advantage of this relocation! Such travels are life opportunities. Maybe you will be able to learn a new language or skill. It might be a great opportunity for travelling in the new area or part of the world. Each place and its surrounding will have very unique opportunities. So chase them! Hmm. Our plan for 2020 was to travel in Asia! And what happened? Entire world is on the travel ban! 🙂
#6 There isn’t a perfect place. Each will have its colorful spots and also a bit darker side. Even paradise beaches after a few months (or years) of living there might turn to be boring. Or places with amazing weather can have other challenges. Yes, grass is always greener on the other side. So let’s appreciate the garden that we have! If needed, make a list of + and – for both of your locations, you will realize!
#7 It never has to be a one way move! If you think you explored the place already or you can’t find there real connection, don’t worry. I am sure that after one relocation, it is easier to take another step. Each long term travel can be turned into another one, be it back home or to explore another unknown place. World is in front of you.
Does it mean I do not miss Poland? Always. It won’t change. I know it, it is just me. I miss my family, my friends, my places and home of course. In my dreams I am running to the garage to drive my car, yes, I miss it a lot in India! I love driving and here driving is ‘a bit’ different 🙂 It happens to me (My Better Half, don’t read this part please!) to complain! No path-walks in the city, air quality isn’t good, I can’t take stroller and go skating. I think it is natural. There are days like this. As a result of missing home or maybe any other frustration. But then I look at my family, check weather temperature, look at the palm trees, go and sit with a coffee on the swing on the balcony… and I am back with a smile.
So missing home won’t change. But what has changed is that when I am in India, I miss Poland immensely. And when I am in Poland, I have started to miss India. That’s how I know that both of them are my two homes. Living across two countries is so interesting. I am lucky to live this life’s lesson.
never enough of helpful tools
The leading network & guide for expats in 420 cities worldwide. Connect with fellow expatriates at top events and receive tips & advice on expat life. Wherever in the world life takes you, InterNations Communities help you feel at home.
Radio Garden allows you to listen to thousands of live radio stations world wide by rotating the globe. Every green dot represents a city or town. Tap on it to tune into the radio stations broadcasting from that city. Radio Garden’s idea is to connect listeners with distant cultures and re-connect people, who are thousands of miles away, with their homes.
Learning languages gives you freedom to travel unexpected roads with confidence. Learn languages online for free with Mondly, the language learning app loved by millions of people worldwide. Immersive, interactive, and fun.
The RW3 CultureWizard blog offers insightful multi-cultural perspectives into daily global workplace situations. With topics ranging from intercultural business behavior to gender and diversity issues affecting global virtual teams, leading with a global mindset, general management, and talent development, these articles are engaging and provide insight with a diverse cultural point of view.
Moments that matter, no matter the place.
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