We’ve all been through it, family or friends uprooting and moving to greener pastures abroad. In fact, City Press put the number of South African emigrants at 102,793 people over the past ten years!

So, you’ve packed your suitcase, you’ve said goodbye to your loved ones and you ask yourself, “Have I made a mistake?”

Moving to a new country is exciting, but can also bring profound challenges. Getting used to the environment, the food, the smell, the culture and/or language could be, well … daunting to say the least! Just remember, whatever your reason for moving abroad, there’s no shame in being dissatisfied with your life here. If you think that you could be happier, and are looking for ways to achieve this goal, then starting anew abroad could be an exciting option.

Truth is, the search for happiness is one of the main reasons why more South Africans choose to leave the country and live abroad, it is the driving force behind the decisions we make. It is life’s most cherished goal!

On every continent, in every country and in every culture, when people are asked, “What do you want?” the most popular answer is “happiness.” But, are you living it? Think carefully though. If you think that happiness is outside you, you will make happiness into a search. But, however, if you know that happiness is inside you, it becomes a compass, a teacher and an enabler that helps you to live your best life.

The first few weeks and months in a new country can be disorienting at best, but we have a few tips to make your transition a little easier:

  • Pack one or two very personal items (preferably light ones!) and take them with you. It could be a special mug or a photograph; this will remind you, no matter where you are, that you’re home.
  • Download Skype. Love Skype! Schedule a regular time to catch up with loved ones.
  • Book a ticket back home for the next holiday.
  • Be kind to yourself. Make the most of your alone time. Do more of what brings you joy.
  • Embrace new challenges. View every day as an adventure, immerse yourself in the new culture. Adopt the travellers’ reaction and share your “crazy story” with loved ones at home. Explore this new place you call home with enthusiasm.
  • Build a social support network. Join a class or book club. Make the first move, start a coffee lovers group! This will increase your chance of developing meaningful relationships.
  • Pay it forward. Repay good deeds it’s mind-blowingly awesome! Perhaps you had someone who helped you when you first moved abroad, or maybe someone introduced you to new friends - they didn’t have to do that, but they did. Doing something for someone else will make you 100% happier!
  • Smile. You’ll get the same in return.

The grass is greener on the other side; but only if you #ChooseHappy!

Source: katinedinburgh.com, expatandoffshore.com, happysis.com, www.oprah.com, offbeathome.com, www.forbes.com, www.lifehack.org, gypsysoulitchyfeete.com, www.hartleytherapy.co.uk, monkeysandmountains.com, travelpraylove.com, girlinflorence.com


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.