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How to De-Stress After an International Move

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International moves are undeniably stressful. After you finally arrive in your new home overseas, you deserve some time to relax and consider the impressive fact that you successfully moved to another country. However, since you are in a totally foreign area, it may be difficult to relax. Don't worry, there are some ways to de-stress after a move, even if you’re abroad.

Unpack essentials

The best way to eliminate stress is to get necessary things done right away. When you arrive after an international move, your shipment is probably not yet at your destination. It may be several weeks before it arrives. You should have a carry- on and one piece of luggage from your flight overseas, however. They should contain all the things you need to live for a few weeks:
  • Toiletries
  • Important documents
  • Bedding
  • First aid
  • Medications
  • Limited clothing
  • A laptop (or similar portable computing device)
  • Non-perishable snacks
Unpack and prepare yourself as if you were moving into a hotel for a vacation. Set up the bed and bathroom with all the toiletries and bedding so you don’t have to worry about it later when it is time to sleep. If there is anything else that you need to do right away to feel comfortable, do it--but you should not attempt to unpack everything all at once. The majority of your items probably haven’t arrived yet, anyway.


What you do next is up to you. Most homes that are available to international buyers and renters are pre-furnished to some extent, so you can immediately spend quality time there.
  • Bring a board game and play with your family on the first night in the new home, making the first memory of family fun in a foreign house.
  • If the electricity is hooked up, consider channel surfing. It will be very interesting to see what type of television is available to you in your foreign home.
  • Due to region restrictions, you won’t be able to play most movies that you bring unless you use your own laptop as a DVD player. If you planned ahead for this, you can unwind with a movie on the computer.  
  • Bring a book to read.


Exploring a totally new area is a big reason people move overseas. As an expat, what better way is there to de-stress than to explore your new country?
  • Take a walk around your new home and greet your new neighbours. 
  • Take a trip to the nearest town and explore your new country's sights, sounds, and culture. 
  • Look for somewhere to get food. You will probably need to eat out or order takeout until your kitchen is set up, so finding a good place to get food is valuable.
  • See if you can find any entertaining places like bars or theaters near your new home.

Have a fun dinner

Your first night’s meal needs to be takeout or on the town. Take this opportunity to celebrate your new country and choose to eat something exciting and representative of the local culture. It doesn’t matter if you eat out or take food home, just make sure you packed disposable plates and utensils if you choose the latter.

A little preparation goes a long way to help you de-stress after an international move. If your luggage was packed correctly and your new neighbourhood was properly researched, you should be able to have a very relaxing first day in your new home. You can worry about customs regulations, mail forwarding, and the moving shipment later. For now, treat your new home as a vacation house in a foreign country and sleep easy knowing you made it overseas.


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on January 20, 2015 - Moving Expert
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