Author Topic: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about  (Read 52815 times)

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persephone

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DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« on: May 31, 2006, 06:44:35 PM »
THIS IS A PLACE TO DISCUSS THE TOPIC: Before you move:  Things to really think about.  I'D LIKE TO KEEP THE ORIGIONAL AS AN EASY TO NAVIGATE LIST.  THANKS.  MINDY



Thanks, I really like this post.  It's like a mental checklist to make sure you've really thought hard about your decision.  Even though I have not moved yet, my move is coinciding with a birthday, a wedding and a graduation.  Also, I have to remember it's very different from just visiting there, or living there for a set time (if you are planning to not leave).  My study abroad time, when things got bad, I could always just tell myself, that I only had a month left or whatever.  Moving there to be with a husband means an adjustment of my mindset.  I really appreciate the thought that went into this post, and the reminders of how big this decision is.  Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006, 07:21:13 PM by Mindy »

Offline Bluewillow

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 12:49:12 PM »
This is a really great post. I know there were certainly some things I didn't give enough thought to when I moved, such as missing out on major events with my family, as well as not being able to be there for my nephews and watch them grow; I figured my friends would keep in touch, which they haven't.........there are really quite a few things I didn't give enough thought to. Very good post, Mindy.

Offline shugga

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2006, 01:07:23 PM »
This is a topic that I've been thinking about for awhile now.  I haven't posted it as a response to anyone, and I don't want anyone to think it's aimed at them.  It isn't.  It's just some honest advice that I think people should take into consideration before making the move.  I think that at times people get a bit carried away with being in love and don't think about the reality of moving to a different country.  And I also think that because our two cultures are similar and we speak the same language they think that it's going to be easier than it actually is. 

I also don't want to be too negative or scare people off.  You can move here and make a life and be happy, but there are some things that I think would be a good idea to ask yourself.

*Are you open minded?  Moving to a new country is remarkable experience, but you need to be able to look at things from a different viewpoint than the one you were raised with. You're going to meet people with different backgrounds, opinions and ways of doing things.  You need to accept that the American way is not the only way.

*Are you set in your ways?  Things are different here.  Schools, hospitals, banking and work practices are just a few of the many things that you're going to run up against that are 'not the way we do it'.  You have to be willing to learn how things work if you are going  function in a country that is totally not like your own

*Are you diplomatic?  You're going to come across people who are critical of your country and its government.  You are going to need to keep your cool and talk yourself out of some situations where you feel uncomfortable.  You're also going to have learn when someone's only joking and when someone's serious about this. 

*Are you good at watching and listening?  You need to learn everything.  The best way to do this is to watch other people, see how they do things without telling them how you think it should be done.

*Are you a homebody?  If you've never left the place where you were born, if you're very close to your family, then it's going to be difficult.  Really difficult.  You need to be prepared to have years between visits home, you need to be prepared to not see parents, siblings and nieces and nephews.  The most difficult part of being an expat is having bad things-death, illness, accidents-happen and not being able to be there.  You're going to miss good things too-weddings, births, family parties.  And not all family and friends are good about keeping in touch.  A lot of expats feel abandoned by their families when they move.

*Do you have family support?  You need your family to be behind you in a supportive non-judgemental way.  It's not impossible without this, but it sure makes it easier.

*Are you determined?  It's not easy making friends here. British people tend to make friends young and hang onto them for life.  You can make friends but it will take determination and a thick skin on your part.  You need to be outgoing and proactive.

*Are you adventurous?  You'll have to take buses and trains, and go to unfamiliar places.  Everyone will be a stranger to you.  You have got to be brave or you'll never leave the house.

*Is your career everything to you?  Because it's not always easy to find a job in your field and a lot of people have had to take jobs that they were vastly overqualified for.   And not all degrees and qualifications automatically transfer.  It takes a lot of perseverance to find the right job for you.


I'm sure there are more, and if anyone wants to add their own, that'd be great.   :)  But I don't want this to turn into a debate about which country is better. 

I wish I had this checklist b4 I came over cause alot of those comments im going through right now. I thought i was able to handle change but im having a tough time with that 1 myself. I had a lot of people say to me b4 I moved I have more respect for u  cause I wouldnt b able to pick up my life an move to another country. well little did I know what I was in for!! like that post says even though we speak the same language there r alot of different aspects over compared to back home. I have been here just under 2 years next month will make it 2 years. im still having bad days not so many but I have to take it 1 day at a time if not then I fall 2 pieces then that makes dh sad as well. im  glad to hear its just not me who is having a hard time making friends. im struggling to keep the 1 have I back home let alone trying to make any new ones here. I  have a hard with the english sense of humor as well mainly with the brother-in-law. I think I he thought I was taking his brother away from him. so he wud make little snide remarks & try to play them off as I just didnt get the english humor so needless to say I dont go around him if I dont have to. if I have to like for family functions I try to aviod him or say little as possible to him. im to the point with him 1 more rotten snide an he will get a mouthful from me & it wont b pretty either. then poor dh has to b put in the middle I dont want to put that much stress on dh if it can b helped. I think England is like Florida nice to vist but wouldnt want to live there. by the way whoever is from Florida that wasnt a snide comment. thats just what my family & friends say it gets way to hot for us down there. but for the time being I will stick it out here hopefully it will get better with a bit more time. the way I see it is I came over here to England & tried it. so when its time to move back to the states I can say i tried it, who knows maybe by then I will have had a better experience. but we are talking years b4 we move back to the states. 1 thing I do miss & it's a big thing I miss is WALMART I know we have Asda the sister company but dont make me laugh!! there r 2 things im ever so gratful for is I get along ever so well with my mil & fil also my family is very supportive about me moving over here.  basicly long story short just make sure u have thought long & hard about your decession to move to another country, even if they speak the same language as you!! sorry if I stepped on anybody's toes about the FLORIDA  comment. I wasnt trying to say your state wasnt worth living in by all means!!

zeusy99

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2006, 01:09:53 PM »
Ok,
 I have been seeing this trend throughout many of the posts I have been reading, is it really that hard to make friends in England?  When I say this I am not saying it with a condesending tone but a questioning tone (I don't want to offend anyone because I know it can be easily done when someone can hear the intonation of your voice).  I am not shy by any means and I have the tendency to talk to anyone, and from my own personal experience in England I foud the people to be fantastic and very friendly, I even have a few that keep in constant contact with me via email or phone.  I realize that everyone is different whether in personality or situation so I realize the experiences are different throughout the board.  Althought the last couple of days I have been reading at least 3 posts on how it is quite difficult to make friends.  Just needing to know in case I have to step up my game in the friend department, you be prepared for that moment when I realize that I did this too myself and by myself (of course DF will be there to blame, hahahahahaha that was completly a joke).

Thanks for the list Mindy I have to say when I first read it, I puffed out my chest and said "Yeah I am all those things open minded, adventourous....etc0". But I thought on it for an evening and realized that I am fearful too but I am taking active steps to prepare myself and I am now using your post as my personal checklist.  So thank you.

Offline MrsPink

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2006, 01:24:46 PM »
Yes, it is difficult to make friends.  In my experience, people have been exceedingly friendly and helpful since the day we arrived but anything further than that, unless you've been in their lives for a millenia, then they are reluctant to bring you into their circle.  my best (and only) friend here, coincedentally, is Canadian and from my hometown. We didn't really know each other before I moved over.    The only other people I would consider 'friends' are Americans that I've met over here. 
Riding the rollercoaster of life without a seat belt!

Offline shugga

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2006, 01:35:28 PM »
Yes, it is difficult to make friends.  In my experience, people have been exceedingly friendly and helpful since the day we arrived but anything further than that, unless you've been in their lives for a millenia, then they are reluctant to bring you into their circle.  my best (and only) friend here, coincedentally, is Canadian and from my hometown. We didn't really know each other before I moved over.    The only other people I would consider 'friends' are Americans that I've met over here. 
 

i have to agree what friends i do have r my fellow Americans as well. mosty English people r nice & helpfull but i wouldnt call them my friends maybe aquaintances. hopefully in time i will make some English friends sometime soon in the near future.

Offline sweetpeach

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006, 07:16:47 PM »
I've found it much easier to make friends with English people here than it was to make friends with Americans in the US. I've never made any effort to make friends with Americans in Britain, other than typing on this website, because I've never felt the need. I guess it just has to do with the individual.

I do think it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, though. If you think British people are naturally unfriendly, then you'll probably unconsciously be giving off signals that you don't think you can be friends with them.

I am confused about what happened with this thread. It looks like Mindy posted the original post, then deleted it, and then Shugga copied it.

I don't know why, as Mindy's post was excellent and very helpful.

12yearsandcounting

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2006, 07:18:57 PM »
the origional thread is still there.  I've split the discussion off in order to keep the origional more list-like and easier to navigate.   :)

http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=25243.0
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006, 07:23:21 PM by Mindy »

Offline MrsPink

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 07:21:25 PM »


I think making friends depends on who you interact with on a daily basis.  I just don't interact with any British people as I work in an international institute and no one in my area is British.  Also, our neighbourhood is either "oldy boldy" or primarily Indian/Hindu/Sikh and unfortunately, the ethnic groups don't mix very well.  We're working on it though..
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Offline sweetpeach

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2006, 07:30:26 PM »
the origional thread is still there.  I've split the discussion off in order to keep the origional more list-like and easier to navigate.   :)

http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=25243.0

Thanks Mindy. I thought maybe there had been a "problem."

otterpop

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2006, 08:25:22 PM »
I have been seeing this trend throughout many of the posts I have been reading, is it really that hard to make friends in England?  

No, it's not difficult, but you do have to 'put yourself out there' as some have said.
You cant expect people to flock to you begging to be your friend!  ;)
Once you get a job and start working, it happens naturally.
I really feel for stay-at-home mums that are lonely and feel friendless... i dont have any idea how i would meet people & make friends if i didnt go to work.  :-\\\\

(just wanted to add, in case it's not obvious... i didnt mean 'you' to zeusy... just expats/newcomers in general!)

Offline wvgirl69

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2006, 08:34:34 PM »
I really feel for stay-at-home mums that are lonely and feel friendless... i dont have any idea how i would meet people & make friends if i didnt go to work.  :-\\\\

It was like that for me, at first, being a SAHM and all.  I eventually found NetMums and have made several really good friends from there.  It helped break me out of my shell.

zeusy99

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2006, 08:54:37 PM »
You mean no one wants to be my friend???  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!  I am just joking...

I am completly ok with putting myself out there...sometimes I can't keep my mouth shut.  I will talk to anyone and I mean anyone.....My DF says it is to my determent, when I was over in Jan I talked to this women for 45 mins and he actually asked me (on my first day in the UK ever) Did you know that woman???  I said No but she was friendly wasn't she??? 

I will just MAKE people be my friend or I will get my own imaginary ones.  Ha ha!!!  Thanks Quarter Gill I got what you were saying.

Hey anyone want to be my friend now???

otterpop

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2006, 09:17:58 PM »
I am completly ok with putting myself out there...sometimes I can't keep my mouth shut.  I will talk to anyone and I mean anyone.....My DF says it is to my determent, when I was over in Jan I talked to this women for 45 mins and he actually asked me (on my first day in the UK ever) Did you know that woman???  I said No but she was friendly wasn't she??? 

I will just MAKE people be my friend or I will get my own imaginary ones.  Ha ha!!!  Thanks Quarter Gill I got what you were saying.

 i would suggest a wee bit 'moderation' might be in order!  ;)   ;)

zeusy99

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Re: DISCUSSION: Before you move: Things to really think about
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2006, 09:24:42 PM »
Got ya moderation.....


Thanks anyway