When moving to a new country there are a million things to organise: from health insurance to visa to getting a new flat and learning the language.
While these are super important and often terribly frustrating, I want to talk about an often-forgotten area of preparation: mental preparation.
Don't make the mistake of only focusing on the logistics - take time to mentally prepare.
You are about to lose your normal reference points: your favourite ice cream store at the local mall, the lovely smell of the alternative cafe close to your office, the friendly waiter at the Vietnamese restaurant, the neighbour's dog greeting you every day etc.
All those small things and interactions that made you feel comfortable and gave you a sense of belonging will be gone.
Suddenly, spontaneous meetings with your friends turn into Skype calls planned weeks ahead.
You need to google the smallest things from reasonable taxi fares to new expressions to store opening times.
You have no idea of street names being thrown at you. Are they far away? Is there a night bus and is it safe?
Amongst all the excitement of discovering a new city, there can be profound moments of loneliness, utter frustration, and complete disorientation, that’s okay, it is part of the relocation process.
Make sure that you remind yourself that being overwhelmed is ok – no need to hide it or suppress it, but a moment to reach out for support.
Take a moment from all the craziness and planning to mentally prepare yourself for what is coming.