Your head is pounding, your arms are like jelly and you’re surrounded by more boxes than a packing factory – you’re moving to the USA, and the pressure is mounting.
According to the UK newspaper, The Express, moving is viewed as more stressful than divorce by a majority of people. Sixty per cent of those surveyed placed it at the top of their stress list in a poll of 2,000 adults (see original article).
So just imagine the chaos involved in a move overseas – you’re not so much moving boxes as negotiating pitfalls.
But the big move is worth the effort. Approximately 678,000 British expats have made the US their home, enjoying its eclectic culture, grand vistas and seemingly endless new climates. Whether it’s the sun-kissed climate of Los Angeles or the open ranges of Texas, you’ll have to be prepared.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips to calm those bristling nerves.
Prioritise the little things
When you’re moving far from home, tiny mementoes and precious keepsakes are one of the better ways to make it through that homesick period in your new surroundings.
Human beings are, by their very nature, easily disoriented when they up sticks from their native surroundings. And it’s the little things that get us through.
The last thing you want is to lose those precious items in the move. So instead of relying on major moving companies to cart them overseas, find a high-quality delivery company to send each parcel separately and safely.
Package delivery to USA can also be cheaper than a major international moving company, thanks to price comparison sites that will get you the best deals – So there is no reason to lose something important.
Know your paperwork
Procuring a visa in the US isn’t an easy task, although it will be a lot simpler if you’ve already secured a job in the country before you travel. The immigration authorities split expats into various categories, from unskilled to skilled. Before you travel, check with your local consulate to determine your visa classification as well as to familiarize yourself with admin processes – you will thank yourself later.
No culture shock
You might think you know the U.S. from television shows such as Friends, Cheers and Orange is the New Black – but American culture is far more diverse than the T.V. would have you imagine.
Before you make the big move, familiarise yourself with the culture of your surrounding area. Whether it’s the fast-paced, high-intensity living of New York City or the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego, you’ll fit right in if you’ve got a grasp of your city before you jet off to the States.