Taking the stress out of a stressful part of life
I have personally moved around the country and the world a lot, either due to work, education or for adventure. My current situation at WRS Tech sees my either on the road or in a plane seat visiting clients and contractors that we have the privilege of working with around the world.
The global nature of the work our clients are involved in, WRS Tech’s consultants spend a large portion of their times supporting candidates and contractors in their relocations around the world.
Traveling is often romanticised on Social Media as being carefree and stimulating to the soul the reality is that moving around a lot can take a toll in just about every fashion: mentally, emotionally, financially, socially. Traveling is not a negative thing in and of it, but I also don’t want people reading my articles and thinking that the life of a “digital nomad” is all sunshine and Pina Coladas.
Here are some tips that will help you weather the storm of moving for a job or contract:
1. Pack light
What do you need to bring when you move to a new country? I assume half of you are thinking you need to go out and buy oversized suitcases and bubble wrap. In fact, it is preferable to work towards taking one little suitcase that is small enough to stash in the plane’s overhead compartment and a computer bag. That’s it. If it can’t fit it in either bag, leave it at home.
As trite as it sounds, the things you own will end up owning you. The more stuff you have, the bigger a pain it’ll be to move from place to place. From having to keep track of it when you hit the road to having to pay to transport it to freaking out over forgetting something, all having a lot of stuff does is create headaches.
Take my advice (learned personally and from standing on the shoulders of giants) and just dump most of your stuff. You don’t need appliances, towels, wine glasses or any of that junk; you can buy new necessities when you get to where you’re going. For example, when moved to Korea, I ended up having to furnish my apartment with towels, silverware and other necessities that I had to throw out when I left for London...
Travel light, take only what you need, and watch your worries fade away.
2. Have a good friend (or two)
While lacking a strong network is definitely a problem when you move, sometimes you don’t need a network so much as you need one or two solid guys who have your back.
While you don’t need to have a million friends in a city in order to make it there, you need to have somebody to help you adjust to the local culture. Even if you can handle basic living issues (finding an apartment, moving furniture etc.) on your own, you need friends in order to fulfil your basic need for social interaction.
Sports clubs and shared hobbies are vital in integrating yourself in a new city. A number of guys in our office are keen Rugby players (myself included) and joining a local rugby club is certainly a useful route to developing a local network (and also good for your health!)
Ultimately, you can go without a coffee table or wine glasses for a few days or for how long it takes you to find a good deal as fitting out a new apartment can be punishingly expensive and often erode the financial benefits of working or contracting abroad.
You obviously don’t want to cut corners on necessities, blowing money on new furniture is completely unnecessary and a waste of your funds. If you pay attention to Craigslist and keep on the lookout for deals, you can get the necessities of life at a fraction of the cost.
4. Don’t rush it
The very act of moving is stressful for obvious reasons. Human beings are not perfectly adapted spend their entire lives going from point A to point B in a short period of time; indeed, keeping that lifestyle up requires a character that most people don’t possess. If you’re going abroad to work in a new country, you also have to deal with culture shock, which will take an additional toll on you.
My advice is to just slow down and don’t try to overwork yourself. Don’t rush anything, whether it’s buying furniture or signing a lease, and throttle back on other stressful activities to keep yourself from going insane.
Ultimately, moving or traveling abroad is going to tax you mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s not a decision you should make lightly, but if you approach traveling with the right mind-set, you can minimize the negative effects and maximize the positive ones of which there are a multitude.
For a further conversation on the options over seas (or further afield form the city you are currently in) please don’t hesitate to pick up and contact one of our expert Marine and Offshore Recruitment consultants.
WRS Tech are THE industry’s premier Marine and Offshore consultancy who work with the best companies and consultancies in the marine and shipping industries.