When I first moved to Canada, from the US, I came here knowing almost nobody. The only people I knew were my boyfriend, his friends, and his family. I came to a completely new country, with a set of intentions, and those intentions were turned upside down very quickly. While you’re living with your family, or living near your family and friends, it’s very easy to take them for granted. If we’re lucky, our friends and family are always there for us when we want or need them. It’s super easy to get comfortable with where you’re at, when that’s almost all you know. But, what happens when everything and everyone you know, is suddenly not there anymore? It becomes real tough real quick. Before moving to Canada, I knew that the move was going to be hard. I knew it was going to especially be hard on my friends and family. But, I thought that I would be fine. I knew I was going to miss them all like crazy, but I had no idea the impact moving would actually have on me. I became homesick very quickly. I missed everyone, and I know that they missed me too, which made everything ten times worse. I was never depressed, but I can see how falling into a depression from homesickness, is a huge probability. I knew that I needed to get my head out of the negative space it was in, and figure out a way to make myself happy, when I had only myself. Now, don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend was amazing through the whole process of me moving. He is very supportive and extremely understanding, which I am so grateful for. But, not everyone has a support system where they’re going. Whether you’re moving because of a job, for school, for an adventure, or a new opportunity in life, let me share with you some of the things I have learned along my journey of moving out. I went from homesick and sad, to happy and fulfilled, and I also got to know myself way more than I thought I already did.
First off, if you’re moving away from home in general, you should probably have a plan to either have a job when you arrive, to find a job, or to have some sort of income to pay for your bills (whether that be from you making your own money, or your family providing you with money). Some people want to move out, just to move out because they think it will be better for them in the long run, but I promise you that if you’re already missing home, missing your family and friends, stressing about how you’re going to pay for everything, makes it about ten times worse. Knowing that you have at least a steady stream of income, or some sort of money coming your way, will give you a better peace of mind.
Have a Game Plan
A huge tip, and probably one of the most important tips I have for you, is to have some sort of game plan when you arrive to your destination. If you’re going to school in a different country, or if you’re starting a job, moving to a new country permanently, or even just going for a long adventure, no matter what, you need to do your research. Research what papers you’ll need to bring, where you’ll be living, the culture, the city/town, the climate, the people, etc. Also, know exactly where you’re going to go when you get there. Are there going to be people waiting for you there? Are you going solo? How far is your work, or your campus, from your new home? What exactly are you going to bring clothes wise when you leave? Do you have furniture? Is there Wi-Fi? All of these tiny details, make a world of difference. It’s always better to go into a new situation with a plan, rather than walking around blindly. Trust me, just winging it, is not going to work in huge situations like this. If you know all of these details, you’ll feel better prepared, and you’ll feel way more confident in yourself.
Keep Yourself Busy
I can’t stress how important this is. When I first moved, I was busy all of the time, and then when I slowly got more and more comfortable with the city I came to, I started to stop doing things. Even the things that I loved. I was just so burnt out from the move, and I started to slowly drive myself crazy because I wasn’t doing anything of importance. Once I realized this, my whole mindset shifted. I put myself in high gear mode again. From that point on, I made it a point to wake up early every morning, and to get everything that I could possibly get done, done. Of course, if you’re going to school, you probably won’t have a tough time keeping yourself busy. But, even if you’re moving for work, you can get stuck in the same routine, and you can become bored very quickly. Too much boredom, can cause sadness, or loneliness. So, make sure that you’re keeping yourself busy, and taking breaks when you need to take breaks.
This goes along with keeping yourself busy. Us, as humans, are naturally social beings. Even introverts can get to a point where they crave social interaction. I know that for me, I’m naturally a more quiet person. I’m not exactly shy, but I’m definitely introverted, and being super social leaves me feeling burnt out. But, despite this, I made it a priority to keep going out, and keep talking to new people. One of the biggest fears most people have when going somewhere new, is that they won’t make friends because they don’t know anyone. When you don’t have your usual friends and family around, it’s easy to feel isolated, and alone. Don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to, like in the line at Starbucks, or make conversation with the local grocer, or your neighbors. I promise, at the end of the day, even though it can be scary to put yourself out there, it’s worth it.
Stay in Touch
This step is huge. No matter where you go, never forget where you came from, and who is waiting there for you. Always make it a priority to still put your friends and family first. Even if you’re busy, make sure to always still include them in your life. You can do this by messaging them, Skyping them, sending letters, etc. Reaching out to those people back home, and staying in touch with them, will give you a better sense of peace by knowing that they’re still there for you, and sometimes it’ll seem like you never left.
I know that travelling can get expensive. And most people, when they think about travelling, they want to go somewhere new on vacation. But, make it a priority to visit your family and friends back home if you can. Going back home and seeing the ones you love shows that you care, and you can leave with a sense of refreshment. It’s also always fun to catch up with everybody, and see how your home town has changed. You may be surprised by how much can change in such a short, or long, amount of time.
Continue Doing What You Love
No matter where you go, don’t forget who you are, and what you love doing. I know that when I moved, I cut off a lot of the stuff I had loved doing prior to moving, without even realizing it. I had previously loved painting, making art, writing, exploring, and exercising. I had to learn how to fit all of that stuff back into my life. By continuing to do what I love, I feel better about everyday life. I wake up excited to plan out my day. Doing the things you love, and treating yourself, will keep you happy, healthy, and more motivated. You’ll also have less time to stress about school assignments, work, life back home, financial issues, etc. Always continue to do what makes you happy.
Keep Your Eye on the Bigger Picture
Why are you moving far away? Is to to prove a point? Start over? Explore somewhere new? For a new opportunity in life? Keep that in mind during your journey. Sometimes, we can lose sight of what’s important to us, and why we even began this new journey in the first place. It’s super easy to get thrown off track by little things. Write down why you decided to move, and make a plan for what you want your future to be like. Whenever you’re feeling discouraged, and what to give up, and go back home, just pull out that piece of paper. Those words from your past self, will help motivate you to keep on going. I know that whenever I’m missing home, I always wear a necklace my mom gave me, and I pull out a note from my best friend. Those two things, push me to keep going, and to keep my eye on the bigger picture in my life.
Try Something New
Now, I know I already said to keep doing what makes you happy. But, trying something else out won’t hurt either. If you’re going somewhere new, chances are, they have some cool and interesting things to do, that you didn’t have back home. So, go out and try those things. You may find a new passion, or learn something that you would’ve never even thought of. Never be too scared to explore. Trying new things, is one of the best rewards you can give yourself in life. This will keep you busy, and will help you learn more about yourself, whether that be that you absolutely love snowboarding, or you absolutely hate hiking. Make some new memories.
Don’t be Discouraged
After a month or so of moving, I started to get discouraged very quickly. I lost sight of why I moved in the first place, and I became scared. I wanted to go back home, and forget all about being an adult. But, then I remembered, that I’m not a quitter. Don’t let the world discourage you and break you down to the point that you want to give up, and this goes for anything you do in life. If you genuinely don’t care for something, then forget about it. But, if you have a dream or a passion, don’t ever give that up. Always have a purpose in everything you do, and always remind yourself of that purpose, even if you aren’t sure where it’ll lead you. Nothing good comes easy, so make your life a good life.
Copyrighted by Madison Corum