Today a guest post from Leanne Stevens – Emergico
Relationships, however strong, can be seriously stretched during a relocation to Australia.
Coupled with this, in many cases an overseas move is a result of one partner’s employment – meaning that the other partner is “along for the ride” – for better or for worse!! What happens when one person is keen to move but the other is not?
When you consider that before and during a move, there’s so much happening in a short period of time, it’s hardly surprising that it’s stressful. You will have to think about all sorts of important things such as:
- Where shall we live?
- What about the kid’s schooling?
- Will we be able to afford our new lifestyle?
- I don’t like Vegemite -is there a cure??
- How will I learn to live with cockroaches and spiders?
These concerns, along with fatigue, fear, stress and excitement, can all give rise to a potentially rocky time ahead!
So how do you make sure that your relationship survives the move?
It’s important to talk about how you are both feeling. It’s much better to talk it through BEFORE you leave home. Once you are on the way, and arrive in your new destination, there will be such a whirlwind of emotions and new experiences that any lingering doubts and issues will quickly become catastrophes. Talk through the things which worry each of you, and make a plan for how you will both help each other to deal with this. Regularly revisit and add to your list.
Research your new destination thoroughly before you arrive. Make some contacts in your new place, and try to engage people who will help you to settle in. Social networking sites such as Facebook, are great for this. If you are coming to a new job in Australia, ask your employer to nominate a “buddy” from the workplace, who can give you some on-the-ground advice before you arrive, and who will become an instant “friend” when you arrive.
Develop an appreciation for the local culture, and try to become immersed in it as soon as possible after you arrive. This will not only help you to adapt, but you will be accepted into your community much more quickly. The famous Aussie Backyard BBQ is never far away!
Work out how you will retain ties with your country of origin which are important to you. My husband immigrated to Australia from the United Kingdom over twenty years ago, and to this day he still seeks out English shops which sell pork pies, Branston pickle and black pudding!
Make sure that you look after each other and regularly “check-in” to see how the other is coping. If one partner is at work all day, surrounded by new colleagues, it can be easy to forget that the other partner at home can be feeling socially isolated.
Oh…and I almost forgot, securing your Visa is often the number 1 stress. One of your best investments will be a credible Registered Migration Agent who will do their absolute best to make sure the visa and relocation process is as smooth and painless as possible – leaving you free to concentrate on the things that are more important to you – making the most of your new life!
Leanne Stevens is the Director of Emergico Migration and Relocation, which specialises in providing strategic advice and assistance on Australian visas for individuals and employers.