Guest Post by Nick Ball
Whether it’s the prospect of a new career or a life in sunnier climes, a move abroad can be an exciting and promising time for anyone upping sticks. With the unknown road ahead, it’s easy to forget the most basic components of your move – but moving to another country is a huge commitment and, in order to do it successfully, it’s important to be prepared.
So where do you start? At your destination, of course! In today’s post, the Lanzarote locals from Optima Villas are bringing us 5 reasons why future expats should consider a trip to their new country before making the move.
For anyone making such a big transition, the prospect of expatriate life can, at times, be daunting. Holidaying in your new country is an opportunity to take in and experience the conditions and surroundings of your new life and most importantly, make sure you’re comfortable with the changes you’re about to make.
Of course, there are internet and travel guides that can advise you on any need-to-knows, but there’s no substitute for getting out there and experiencing your new country first-hand. Holidaying in your new country will teach more than any travel guide, and knowing you have tried and tested your new environment will allow you to relax and get excited about the big move.
Affairs in order
Though a holiday typically conjures images of leisurely strolls and local cuisine, visiting your new country is also a perfect opportunity to touch base and make progress with your move. Whether you spend some time looking for a new home or familiarizing yourself with your new commute, spending this time time will make your migration a smoother process.
Discovering nearby stores and amenities will put you at ease as you’ll know where to find all your essentials before you arrive – and you’ll soon become familiar with the local faces. While it might seem like an extreme measure, it may put you at ease to know the location of the British Embassy, as legal and practical information can seem daunting and confusing – particularly if you don’t speak the language.
Involve loved ones
Familial considerations and arrangements are arguably the most difficult part of uprooting your life. Whether your entire family is moving with you or you’re leaving loved ones behind, your decisions inevitably affect those around you. By holidaying in your new country, you can invite family and friends along for an introduction to your new world – and support each other through this life changing move. Chances are, if you love the place they will too – meaning, they’ll be back to visit!
It just makes sense
Holidaying in your new country will not only help you finalise your decision, but also offer an array of practical opportunities. Packing up the entirety of your life can be both challenging and confusing, but when you visit your new country in advance, you can determine what is needed ahead of the move. From finding a place to live to figuring out the local transport network, you’ll find your move that much easier by getting to grips with your surroundings before you move.
Taste of new language
The best way to learn a language is to be completely immersed in it, and holidaying in your new country is a perfect way to test the bilingual waters. Whether it’s ordering food or conversing with a supermarket cashier, a holiday is the perfect opportunity to chat to locals and test out your language skills. To make the most of your holiday and language learning, a cultural trip to the local theatre or even choosing a less touristic accommodation option will give you a subtle introduction to the voice of your new world.
Traveling to your new country before you make the move, could make an all-important difference to your moving process. After all, what better way is there to start your new life than with a temporary holiday to warm up?
Nick Ball is part of the marketing team at Optima Villas and has lived on the island of Lanzarote since 2001.