How To Survive Moving to a Different Continent
Recently, I decided that packing up and moving my life from Canada to the U.K. would be a great way to expand my mind, learn new things, and find new and creative ways to toss my money at random bits of government in exchange for important documents. If you’re thinking of grabbing all your wheelie-cases and hauling yourself to a new locale, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Look into things like banking, insurance, and phones before you leave
You know what’s super useful when you’re stuck in a new country with only a bag and some serious jet lag? Functional phones, and having all your paperwork in order, as most jobs and residences will require you to have these things before you even show up. Look into phone plans and banking arrangements in the weeks before you get there so that you can arrive armed with some knowledge that will save you time, money, and headaches down the line. You don’t want to end up trapped in a four-year phone contract that requires you to pay with plasma.
Get rid of all your stuff
You know how when you move from one apartment to another you think, “Hey, I can pack all this stuff in a day, I don’t have that much!” and then six hours before the van shows up you’re sitting in the middle of your living room in a pile of old socks sobbing and hurling things indiscriminately into garbage bags? Well moving to another continent is like that, only tenfold, because you can’t bring 90 percent of your stuff unless you have the raging desire to burn even more of your money shipping it across an ocean. Figure out what you need and then get rid of a third of it. Just keep chanting, “I can buy it there!” while tearfully throwing sweaters into storage boxes.
Be aware of differences in voltages and plugs
I recently plugged in an electronic device with a plug adapter and proceeded to blow out not only the fuse, but also ruined both my converter and a power bar. Other countries have different plugs and voltages, so if you don’t plan ahead you will end up with a stack of broken electronics sheepishly looking for a fuse box at 2 a.m., muttering to yourself about how you have to buy a new adapter.
Don’t let the blues faze you
If this is your first time away from your comfort zone, there will come a day early on where all you’ll want to do is go back to your best friend’s house or favourite hometown bar. You may wish you were anywhere but where you’ve ended up, and that’s fine! Unless things have totally gone down the tubes and you’re seriously looking up return flights home, things will get better. In the meantime, console yourself with some cheap beer and cry on FaceTime to some friends. You’ll feel better.