Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Having spent 15 years as a global nomad, and 10 years helping others move around the globe, we see common mistakes. These can not only be costly, but can have a real impact on your emotional well being - short and long term. Here are a handful of common mistakes for you to learn from.
1. Thinking you can just transplant your life
There is a very big world out there and most of it is usually very different from your home country. Not only are the processes different, but the people you will engage with, your new friends, your work life, the way you get to the office, what you might do on the weekend not all “same-same. When migrants arrive in a new country they can count their friends on the palm of one hand, so thinking you will have the same social life immediately, is unlikely. It is this reality that many people don’t even consider while they are still in the comfort zone of their home country. Many new arrivals want a large home with an expansive entertaining area, but remember, it is not going to be the same, not for a few years anyway. Downsize, reduce and prepare for different.
2. Don't move too much stuff
Your home is your castle and it is often a status symbol to be admired in your own home country. In other countries, especially Australia and New Zealand, this is not the case. Labor is not cheap in a first world countries and house cleaning services are expensive. , By bringing all those dust attracting ornaments, or having the biggest house on the street, will only result in more housework for yourself. We often see families bring large beds that can’t get up the staircases, or an abundance of kitchen appliances so they can entertain the masses!
Knowing what takes up space in your container is the first step to culling what you have in your home. A good example is a bookcase –they take up space in your container because they are not load bearing. They are cheap to replace in your adopted country. The second step is obviously bringing ONLY what you need to get started, and don’t be in the mindset that you must buy lavish items when you first arrive! Cheap and cheerful will get you by which could be replaced over time with more durable items.
3. Engaging cheap removalists, then crying over the hidden costs
Social media posts are peppered with questions like “Who’s the cheapest removalist?”, “Recommendations for good, cheap removalists please.” Or, even “How can I make sure my goods don’t get broken during transit?”
The key here is to understand removalist company quotes and be able to compare apples with apples. Know what questions to ask, how to negotiate and how to identify what is missing in quotes. Rather go with a trusted and accredited removalist that you can negotiate with, than choose a cheap removalist, give them your worldly goods and hope for the best!
4. Not budgeting effectively
This is a tricky one for most because once the decision has been made to leave, and the visa is approved, there can be very little time for effective budgeting. Very few people commit to the process more than 2 years in advance – which leaves no time to budget or save for everything you need to undertake and complete the move effectively. This lack of savings will already place you on the back foot when you arrive. You will feel even more pressure to make important decisions quickly in order to save money. Know all the relocations costs involved before you start the visa application process, save accordingly (and fast!) otherwise, you will be leaving too much to chance.
5. Asking for advice on Social Media and Online Forums
Every relocation is different and every family has a different dynamic. Asking the masses on social media can often send you running in circles. To often people pick up other comments and go off on a tangent, completely missing your question! What works for one family, is unlikely to be YOUR family’s ultimate solution. Not knowing the person or the basis on which they have given you random information online, will still leave you in doubt as to their advice. Get expert advice, that is relevant to you and your family otherwise you will just keep guessing, wasting time and wasting even more money.
Our Relocation Guide books give you the information to budget and plan your move based on your family needs. We offer the tools so you can build your own new life in Australia.
Written by Robyn Vogels
Owner; Personnel Relocations and Author of Your Move Guide for Australia