If you have decided to pack your bag and see what the rest of the world has to offer congratulations, you are more courageous than 24 percent of the Japanese population. The great thing about moving abroad from Japan is that you get to interact with new people, learn about new culture and quench your thirst for adventure. However, if you want to enjoy your decision to the fullest, you have to prepare both physically and psychologically for the stress that comes with moving abroad from Japan. Below are a few tips and guidelines to help you.
Preparation for the move
If you are moving overseas for work, you have to be prepared to do a lot of paperwork. Different countries have different requirements that have to be met before you can get a visa, work and resident permits. It is therefore wise to take time and learn about everything that you will require. To gather the information which you need on living and working in a particular country:
- Visit the embassy of the country which you have interest in and talk to the office about the requirements of living and working there.
- Talk to people who have moved and worked there; they will give you the most useful advice about the process.
- Read blogs posts connected to the country that you want to move to. Another great resource for information about moving abroad is blog posts from international moving companies in Japan. Also be sure to check reviews of companies.
Start the preparation several months in advance, and ensure that all your documents are in order beforehand. Doing a last minute rush will add to your stress and make a move very hard to manage.
Managing expectations about the flight and arrival
When moving to a new country, you should expect tear-filled goodbyes at the airport. However, after the goodbyes, you will board the plane, and the anxiety mixed with excitement will begin. A little dose of reality is important at this step of the journey. For instance, it is good to expect a warm welcome, that you will find your entire luggage within five minutes of checking out, and that the airport transfer to your destination will be seamless. However, knowing that the flight could be delayed, luggage could take longer to find, and that it might take a while to connect with your host after checking out helps you manage your expectations, and avoid frustrations.
Settling in the new country
When you have already arrived and started settling in the new country, it is always wise to remember that:
- You need to get used to being alone. It is true that you will make new friends and they will fill parts of your time with happiness; you will be left to your own devices a lot of the time. You have to learn to use the ‘lonely’ time to your advantage.
- Know that your problems will follow you regardless where you go. Moving abroad from Japan is just a temporary change of scene, and it is not a solution for perpetual restlessness.
- You have cultural basis that you might not know about. Things like not showing your emotion and keep quiet or not expressing your opinion seem reasonable in Japan, but in other cultures, it could be unusual. Be ready to learn and get accustomed to a new culture.
- Be willing to learn the local language. If you want to open doors that you never knew could open while abroad, learn the local language and let the locals feel that you are more of one of them. They invite you to gatherings, secret societies, and you will overhear it when you are being discussed!
- Romantic relationship dynamics will be different. Do not carry stereotypes about a certain community or race to your new home, but have an open mind when approaching the dating scene.
- Surround yourself with good friends and keep in touch with people back home. Nothing makes you feel better when living abroad than calling back and catching up with everyone; do it as often as you possibly can.
These are just some tips that will help you to manage the stress that comes with moving from Japan to another country. Lastly, know that to achieve a life of adventure, you will need a lot of risk and sacrifice. Maybe your Facebook profile will be envied by many of your friends, but you have to get used to feeling lost and questioning most of the life decisions that you make.