Moving!!  Ok, ok, so not 100 steps!  Because let’s be honest, if you’re anything like me (blonde, a little ditsy at times, and easily distracted by two little boys), you’ve already forgotten step 1 when you start reading step 2!

I’ve been moving for most of my life:

To give you some background, I’ve had a few significant moves in my life. Boarding school at 6, university at 18, living abroad alone at 22, Europe to Asia with my entire family at 33 and my most recent move, India to Frankfurt (think I may skip disclosing my age this time)

Move to Frankfurt

One thing I’ve learned is that no move is easy. Hell, if it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Of course, some were easier than others; for example, moving countries single and with only one bag is significantly less complicated than with a husband, two kids, 300 boxes, 20 suitcases and a sore head!

I wrote a similar post when I moved to India; the premise for the moving country remains the same, i.e. get there.  Saying this, each move is very different, and you learn something new each time.  Here are a few moving tips that I’ve learned to date that you may or may not find useful

Moving Tips: Before you move

  1. Get a moving company that packs your stuff (pay the extra – throw your money at this one). I cleaned out 2 ‘Man Draws’ (if you’ve never watched Michael McIntyre’s ‘the man draw’ do yourself a favour and watch it ) in the time it took them to pack up my entire house…
  2. If you are moving to Europe, try to make sure it’s in the summer months (ignore this at your peril)
  3. If you are moving to Asia, buy all your ‘home comforts’ (and I mean a year’s worth) and pack them into your container before going.  To clarify, when I say home comforts, I mean everything from dishwashing tablets to your favourite bubble bath and shampoo.  Of course, you may find it on the other side, but you’ll have to remortgage your house to buy it!
  4. Embrace 99% and scream 1% (often it’s a choice – the move, I mean, is often a choice)
  5. Wine! Always have wine on hand!
Frankfurt moving tips

Moving Tips After you’ve moved:

  1. Embrace it (this needs repeating – it’s essential!)
  2. Organise a relocation agent or make sure the company moving you has.  You need someone who can help with things from finding an apartment, translating the rental agreement, talking to a local tradesperson, and giving you advice on which internet package is best!
  3. Be positive.  Nobody wants to be stuck with ‘whining Winni’ at every party (people have enough of that with their kids at home). Saying that, everyone has bad days, so whilst you may be her once in a while, don’t remain her!
  4. Remember, your kids are only human.  Whilst people often offer up ‘kids are so resilient’ (and they are) they are only human and need kindness, patience and love.  Because whilst you were involved with the decision and had a choice, they often didn’t
  5. Everything takes time.  Take a step back, breathe and be kind to yourself
  6. Localising\culture. Take time, if not to ‘localise’, then to appreciate your newfound country. I stress the word appreciate here and not tolerate; you may think there is only a subtle difference, but they are miles apart.  Learn the language, go to the local festivals, try the food and definitely, definitely try the local tipple (my German definitely gets better ????!)
  7. Loneliness is a killer. I really learned this with our most recent move.  Those dreaded Facebook groups and meet-ups may be worth a shot
  8. Wine! Always have wine on hand!!

Biggest Lesson to date

My biggest lesson was from our most recent move when I realised how poignant point 7 is.  Loneliness is\was a killer. From the moment I reached India (well, two days after), I met one of my very best friends, and from then on, we navigated our way through the Indian streets together! Frankfurt, on the other hand, took me a lot longer, and I found it a lot more challenging. I’m definitely considering starting a “Fresh off the Boat” support group!

So, if you feel you are battling when you get here, please feel free to get in touch with us.  We are happy to give you a few pointers and tips!

These may all seem like common sense, and they are – I’m no genius.  Sometimes, though, you suddenly find yourself miles away from home, immersed in a foreign culture, and you have no idea where to buy bread. Do they even eat bread here??  You May need a little reminding!

Janice Henry

A little insight through a few labels life has ‘given’ me! Also, no one label is more important than another I might add. So here it goes, boy mum, wife, friend, yogi, photographer, banker, coffee addict, global citizen, travel enthusiast, entrepreneur and writer!