The one thing most people don’t expect when moving homes is culture shock. This is especially true for those who relocate just out of state. Feeling so lost and confused seems like an over-exaggeration when you’re still basically living in your own country, right?
But the truth is, culture shock isn’t so much about the geographical location you’re moving into. Rather, it’s the unfamiliarity of the culture that plunges you into an abyss of disorientation, homesickness, and depression.
For sure, you know very well that the way of life in Miami is far different from that in Nashville or Idaho. So if you’re planning to relocate soon, aside from getting your logistics strategy in order, you should have a game plan for avoiding culture shock. Consider these steps as you get yourself ready:
1. Learn about the culture.
Know as much as you can in that location, from how people communicate and deal with each other to how they dress down to how they use public restrooms. Your goal is to be acquainted with the good, the bad, and the ugly of living there.
So weeks before your actual move, plan for at least a one-day visit with your entire family at the neighborhood you’re relocating to. Go to local pubs and restaurants. Spend time people-watching at the cafes. Check out your children’s future school. Strike a conversation with your neighbors.
Of course, you won’t be able to fully know what it’s like to live in that community in just one day, but your transition will be a lot less jarring when you know what to expect already. So go ease into your new home gradually.
2. Look to familiar things.
A new culture you’re moving into brings about culture shock precisely because it’s totally different from what you’ve grown used to. It’s easy to get lost in there. But you can get yourself back on track again when you see stuff familiar to you.
For instance, the simple sight of the same old furniture from your former home can bring a sense of comfort. So as much as you may want to get rid of your stuff and just buy new ones for your new house (it’s logistically easier, after all), it’s also wise to keep some.
If you are transporting fragile items and furnishings, get in touch with professionals offering moving services in Miami, FL. Removalists can help in securing your stuff better. Aside from the material things though, familiarity can come in routines as well.
If it has been your practice to have a mini barbecue party on Friday nights, don’t break that. These habits will make your new place a lot less foreign to you.
3. Latch on to the positive.
It’s important to remind yourself of why you’re relocating. As soon as culture shock hits you when you move in, the regret, the loneliness, and the uncertainty will drown your reason, and it will be more difficult to accept the reality of your new life.
So as early as now, think about the good reasons you’re doing this big decision. Career opportunities. The better life for kids. The closer bond with other relatives.
Latch on to that, so it will never leave your mind when you start getting homesick. It will give you the motivation to be open-minded and try new things in your new home.
Again, culture shock not only happens to people who move overseas. As long as there’s a drastic change in the way of life, it can hit anyone. So prepare yourself for that possible emotional turmoil. All the best on your move!