Challenges of Moving Abroad During
the COVID-19 Pandemic
Starting a new life overseas is inherently stressful. But, together with the heat of the global pandemic, the whirlwind of emotions threatens to drive a person to the breaking point. In truth, the challenges you will face when moving abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic are bound to overwhelm you. Embrace yourself, as you’ll have to deal with both moving errands and mental health preservation all rolled into one. When in such a position, the best thing you can do is find out what you can expect so you can keep your head above the water, stay healthy and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
What to expect
A true juggling act
It’s not very difficult to see why moving abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic will be challenging, to say the least. Both the relocation process and the outbreak are significant stressors, and you’ll have to deal with them simultaneously.
Pandemics affects our psyche. The constant updates about the number of people infected on our TVs. Lack of knowledge on how long the crisis will last. People’s daily routines thrown topsy-turvy, and their sense of security threatened. All that can get to us, and it’s only natural. And when you add to the mixture the idea of you running around getting packing supplies, boxing up your entire life, and saying goodbye to your home, it all makes you wish you can crawl under the bed and wait for it all to pass. Doesn’t it?
Slightly different relocation protocols
Independently of the outbreak, there are some things you should do just like you would in normal circumstances. However, in each of these, there exist slight variations:
- Estimates. Movers offer the possibility of virtual or online estimates for the sake of practicing social distancing. If you prefer the traditional in-home method, both you and the estimator will need to wear face masks.
- Decluttering. Since most donation shops are closed, you’ll need to explore online options for getting rid of your castoffs or check their website for donation instruction.
- Getting supplies. Use boxes you already have in your home. If you need extra supplies, avoid multiple trips to the store by either ordering online, asking your family or friends to start saving the boxes and other supplies, or, better yet, hiring professional packing services.
- Packing. Firstly, it’s advisable that you clean and sanitize each item before putting it into a box. Secondly, give your best to finish packing at least one day before the moving crew arrives (the virus can last as long as 24 hours on cardboard surfaces).
- Moving day. You will be responsible for providing hygiene products to use. This includes a hand sanitizer next to the doorway, paper towels and soap next to the sink, etc.
As for any policies specific to your chosen moving company, be sure to consult them so that you can confirm. Given that everyone’s safety is the number one priority, be sure to ask many questions about what they are doing to keep everyone protected and conform to CDC and Prevention guidelines.
Your new country’s rules and regulations during the pandemic
Upon getting the green light to go through with your move, bear in mind that you will need to research the current status of the country to which you are relocating. Besides getting an insight into the general situation, you will also have to know the requirements before entering the country. For instance, you might need to take the COVID-19 test upon arriving at the airport. Also, some countries require that you be in quarantine after your arrival.
How to cope
Remember that this too will pass
Bear in mind that this is not meant to scare you more than you already are. Instead, by taking a mental note of this, you can prepare yourself, as well as your loved ones, for what is to come. Moreover, it’s a reminder that this situation is only temporary. The feelings of fear and anxiety will come and pass, and everything will sooner or later become more familiar. You will need to find strength, both mental and physical, to fight against both stressors. It all comes down to following protection measures against the virus, finding healthy ways of coping with stress, and turning fear into power.
See your move as a good thing
During these difficult times, experts advise adverting your attention as a way of reducing anxiety. The good news is that the answer lies exactly in your relocation.
- Since news reports serve mainly to increase your anxiety level, your moving chores will keep you from being glued 24/7 to your TV set.
- It helps to start looking at your relocation as a project. Have you been meaning to tackle that garage full of junk and stuff you no longer use for years? Now is the perfect time.
- There are plenty of moving chores that can be used for spending some enjoyable time with your family and finding ways to laugh and relax. Play your favorite tunes tackling the deep cleaning with your spouse, let your children color-code and decorate the moving boxes, etc.
As the trials you’ll face when relocating internationally during the pandemic can get overpowering for one person, it’s good to have someone you can depend on and who will share the burden. Yes, we’re talking about having someone to talk to, but also about moving professionals. Moving services are still available to schedule and ready to shoulder the physical but also the emotional burden if you anticipate the situation to get too challenging. Experienced movers are your best bet if you want to make sure it all goes smoothly and see the end of your checklist as soon as possible.
Plan ahead for healthcare
With the pandemic constantly reminding us of our vulnerability and physical fragility, you must take good care of your health. Securing health insurance is vital at this point. In fact, you might not be able to apply for your visa or even be permitted to travel without it. Don’t forget to check if it covers the country you’re moving to. Without a doubt, it will boost your sense of security to inform yourself about your new country’s expat healthcare options, as well as the best facilities in your vicinity.
Find a way to maintain a positive mindset
In the end, the most important thing is finding some ways to nourish your well-being and think positively. The best coping mechanism against the challenges of moving abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic is humor and love from those closest to you. So, find comfort in your family and the idea you’re getting ready to start a new chapter in your life. Don’t forget to laugh, practice positivity, and enjoy your journey the best you can.