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Preparing for an adventure overseas

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Sometimes opportunities arise which you hadn't really considered before. Maybe it's a job or a new experience; when you have a family you have to consider the impact not only on you and your spouse, but your children.

Well, my family is about to take one of those rare opportunities. We'll be moving to Hong Kong. It's a wonderful place: busy, vibrant, colourful, but also very quiet and peaceful at times.

A lot of consultation went into the decision. I'm not going to run down the details here, but I would like to discuss what it's going to take to move us, including two little babies, the 13,949 kilometres (yes, I just Googled this) to the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. (The Earth is 40,075 kilometres in circumference by the way. I Googled this, too).

So, how do you move a family a third the way around the earth's surface (15 plane rides are involved!) and keep everybody in one piece? Good question. I'll let you know once I've landed. For now, I want to talk about how we're preparing ourselves.

Packing

You've got a whole bunch of stuff. If you're lucky and are less encumbered with furniture and fixtures then packing shouldn't be too difficult, but you've still got to sort and sell things such as clothes and personal belongings that would be too costly to ship. Another option: give them to The Barn or Salvation Army.

Panic

New country, new people, maybe a new language. No friends, maybe no family.

Why are you moving again? What if you don't meet any nice people? What if you move next to some really mean neighbours? What if the country doesn't have Honey Nut Cheerios? It's natural to feel anxious about such a life-changing event.

But the world is filled with kind people and you're just as likely to meet people who want to help you get settled, as you would any other type.

It's OK to have a little panic. But if you plan well you have a better chance of things working out well.

Quality time

You're leaving many people who love and care for you. Create spaces for them to come see you. Ask them to help you pack.

Leave some free time to do the things you love with them. Tomorrow is not promised and your new life might be many time zones away.

Take this last period here as a chance to create wonderful memories with them.

There is always Skype, or Google Hangouts, or FaceTime, but it's never a substitute for the real thing in person.

It's always a hard choice to move away from people and places you love. Let people know how much you'll miss them while you can.

Eastern promise: our columnist is moving to Hong Kong
Husayn Symonds

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Published September 15, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated September 15, 2016 at 4:55 am)

Preparing for an adventure overseas

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