Uprooting your family for a move to another place is never an easy thing to do. Roots are hard to transplant, especially if you have a relatively comfortable life in your hometown or community – but sometimes opportunity knocks with something you and your family can’t refuse.
That opportunity might be to start a new lucrative career in another country, to reconnect with distant family or simply to experience a new climate and landscape altogether. There are many incredible places a family can emigrate to around the world, but Australia is perhaps one of the most promising. It is a land of vibrant community, incredible culture and fantastic career opportunities – to say nothing of the unspoiled wildlands a mere drive away.
Still, becoming an expatriate is tough on a household, not just due to the logistical issues that can plague such a significant move but also due to the emotional element. Moves of any kind are hard, but culture shock is all the more real for young children making a life in a new country. With this in mind, how best can you prepare your family for a move to Australia?
Of course, the first concerns you face are logistical in nature. Managing an international move means managing the movement not only of your family members but also of your belongs – and even your finances. The first and most important part of the equation is organizing visas.
Australia is notoriously stringent with its visa program, meaning the application process should start as far in advance as possible. It is also necessary to have passports and other identifying information in order for this process, ensuring your travel will be smooth on the day.
You might be making a complete fresh start in Australia, but there will still be some chief home comforts you’ll want to bring along. US appliances and white goods will not work with Australia’s electrical grid, but other home items can be shipped over to Australia independently of your flight – minimizing the risk of important homeware getting lost by the airport.
A Family Effort
Moving country can be an isolating experience, particularly for younger children. Between important logistical steps and physical packing, kids can feel left-out of the experience. This is why making the move a family effort is key to keeping everyone onboard. The children could help you pack, research exciting things about your new home or even draw up some plans for your new home’s décor!
Exciting as a move can be, it can also be somewhat mournful – again, especially for children. So, giving your family a chance to properly ‘say goodbye’ to your old neighborhood can be a be a beautiful way to start your transition, while giving your family the closure they may need.
Similarly, arrival in Australia can be stressful and disorienting. If you get swept up in the admin of moving in, you might miss the opportunity to properly welcome your family in to your new life. Even a short tour of your new neighborhood can help you all feel that bit more grounded.