Tuesday, July 2, 2013

7 Things to Know When Moving Continents or Countries

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Moving anywhere can be very daunting, especially when you're not going to be joining family or friends at your destination. When I moved here, I had Atala so it was easier, but when I moved from Nigeria to the UK I knew no one at all in Edinburgh, and though the masters programme was a stabilising factor, it was still a massive challenge.

I received this email from a reader of this blog and I decided to share my reply here.

I’m a long time reader of your blog and know that you used to live in the UK before moving to the US some years ago. I'm considering making the same move myself. It's not marriage that is taking me like you, but I’m at a place in my life where I need to figure out my future. I just got a visa and hope to be able to get a job when I get there. I'm not leaving a job or any BF here in case you're wondering. What do you think I have to bear in mind before I move?

The major thing to bear in mind is that more than just the physical stress of moving, there's also the mental stress of the new and unfamiliar place. Here are the main things it would be good to know.

1. It will be lonely - Some days may be better than others, but generally the early period can be quite lonely before you start making friends. To salve this, try to plug yourself into some already set up groups, like church, work, etc. Don't be too anxious or fast to make close friends, those are better when it takes time.

2. You will need faith - Any kind of faith. Faith in God, faith in yourself, faith in your abilities and faith in your chances. Because this kind of move is certainly a leap of faith. But if you're convinced in your mind or spirit to move, then don't let doubt stop you.

3. How healthy are your savings? It will be good to have quite a good nest egg before moving. Some people are very lucky to land a cushy job right after they move, for others it may take a while.

4. Keep your eyes on the ball. While it is OK to do jobs you may be over qualified for, it won't be so great to get stuck in them. You're moving to better your future, so do those jobs part time, and use the rest of your time to look for better jobs. So you see why you may need something to subsidize your earnings?

5. How disciplined are you? I'm talking about spending. Spending on clothes, shoes, bags, etc. I know you've lived in the UK so you are used to malls all over the place, but I think it's worse in the US. And I believe things seem cheaper. You may be tempted to over shop, etc. Make a budget and stay within it.

6. Are you a friend of burgers and fries? And Pizza? Then you're literally coming to heaven. A medium size pizza here could feed four people or one person could finish it if they want. All the portions are larger, even food in restaurants, and especially fast food, and also more processed and GMO than the UK. Be careful how you eat or you'll blow up quickly.

7. There is a time difference – I live in the US west coast, which is at best 8 hrs behind Nigerian time. This matters because I have family and friends in Naija or UK. Either they call at odd hours, and I get mad when I'm woken from deep sleep. Or I need to call at an odd hour and I don't, then I forget, and they get mad cos I've lost touch. You get the idea.

I hope this helps, all the best with your move.

What have I left out?


  1. Point 2: You will need ALOT of faith. Getting a job in the US depends alot on your visa status, if you are coming on a visitor's visa, it won't be easy. So you need to 'prepare' your mind, and brace yourself to push on. If one door closes, seek the next one. As long as this is the path you have decided to follow, prepare yourself mentally.

    Myne, your tips are on point o. No one mentioned Point 6 when I moved from Naija, I thought I was in paradise. After 6 months, chineke!

    1. Thanks air-mecca., That is so true. I am myself in the battle of #6, lol...so it's at the front of my mind.

  2. Thanks for thiese tips Myne, theyre very useful for me.

    1. You're welcome. All the best to you too, if you're planning to move.

  3. I've heard about scary American food portions too lol. I think that's what put me off the fast food route here in the UK. #2.50 sandwich with 2 slices of bread??? Mba oo. I shall buy my bread and make my own.

    #2 is soo true. My confidence took a bashing. It was my faith that kept me going.

    Myne, you didnt mention that the US transport system as i heard isnt half as smooth as in the UK. So planning for a car might help.

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  5. I love this piece of info. It definately sure will be useful 4 me in the near future. Thanks a lot 4 sharing Myne.


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