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Living Abroad as an Expatriate with Family in Tow

Going Away as an Expatriate to another Country with Your Family

Leaving the country of your birth with your family sounds overwhelming and terrifying at first, and returning to your home country might feel like the only option. That's why you shouldn't make this decision easy and alone. Consult with your loved ones, who can be your best support. Read on for tips to help your transition more manageable for your family.

Silhouettes of a family of five against cloudy sunset and birds flying away
We all tend to fear the unknown and leaving your home's comfort is definitely an uneasy
prospect. More so if you are making the move with your entire family.

Every year, millions of people leave their countries for foreign lands for better opportunities, safety, or simply to experience something new. Opportunities like these are often rare, which means that if you have one, you should make the most of it.

However, there is still the underlying fear of leaving friends and family, the culture shock, a new language, and so many other variables. You can still make a move pleasant and perceive it as a chance to thrive in a new, challenging environment.

Start by understanding that it will not be easy on anyone

Regardless of the benefits of moving abroad, the change will be stressful, and it might take a toll on your children or relationship with your spouse. You will have to deal with new laws, customs, cuisines, languages, and locations. Google Translate and Maps will be your new companions as you finalize your residency status. Returning home after living abroad, depression is what you will get if you give up, so embrace your fears as normal.

Do your homework

Woman walking towards an airport with strolling luggage.
As with any big decisions, you have to do your homework first before you make any
decisions, not only about where to move, but also whether the move will be the right thing.

Find and talk to fellow expatriates and figure out what you need to do before the big move. If you find yourself asking an expat when it is time to go home, they might also assist you. They can also offer clarity on any unclear issues and make a move less daunting.

While finding the right location for your home, account for factors such as household expenses, distance from work, salaries, schooling, and taxes. Locate basic services such as a bank, drugstore to buy the best nursing cover or hospital.

To help your family adapt, also find a church, mosque, or any place where you can all replenish your faith. If your family cherishes social amenities such as restaurants, parks, pools, and clubs, find a home near such places to make the transition easier.

How to help your kids

You will need to select a school for your kids. Some expatriates agree that an international school with curricula such as International Baccalaureate exposes them to new cultures, which is in line with one of the advantages of moving abroad. Your kids will also perceive the move differently depending on their personalities.

Young boy and a girl making faces at camera
Prepare your children to get acquanited to new culture and help them get new friends,
all of which helps them to adjust to the new surroundings, as will help you, too.

Understand that your kids might hate leaving their extended family and friends behind and that talking to them and giving them time is the best option. Also, give them time to say goodbye and accept a gift for a friend moving to another country, such as farewell parties.

Security is a major priority

Insecurity is one of the major reasons to return to the home country. A suburban location is more secure, with space for the kids and family pet to play, but will be costlier. Your new country’s real estate websites can offer you some ideas and opportunities to search for a home that meets your criteria.

Encourage everyone to participate in the move

Working reduces anxiety, and by having everyone park their things, they will focus less on the scary part of moving. Getting the kids involved also provides a semblance of control. Ask them to park three essentials to keep them entertained over the journey as they await the arrival of the rest of their bags. If you are moving with the pet, find the essentials for them together as a family.

Make your new house a home

An illustration of a family home with two happy school children and silhouettes of parents with a boy
After you explore your new surroundings and settle into your new house, start organizing
your new life with necessary family activities, that will make your new house feel like home.

Once you finally arrive, give yourselves a break. Rest, then take some time to explore your new surroundings. When your belongings finally arrive, start with the kids; rooms and make their rooms as familiar as possible. Again, get everyone involved in cleaning and unpacking. Sticking to old routines like meals at the table will also make life seem more normal.


From better education, employment opportunities, cultures, and friends, there is so much moving to a new country will do for you rather than against you.

Have you had any experience moving abroad or helping a loved one make the transition? Please share any additional tips you have in our comments section.

Author Bio:

Elizabeth is a lifestyle blogger with a passion for educating her readers and sharing her opinions on varied matters such as career, family, relationships, and growth. She hopes to use her writing as a platform to empower readers to make the most of their lives.

Images by: Pexels and Pixabay

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...(T)he modern world, with its rampant materialist consumerism, dogmatic atheism and self-hating education system, is perhaps manufacturing a new human psyche, one both frail and fraught and in its own perverse way, merciless.

Brett Sinclair, an author, artist and historian from Canada -