We often worry about the road ahead, and by worrying anticipate bad, unpleasant things to happen. This is not simply a glass ½ full or ½ empty decision – moving yourself, your family to a foreign country is a really BIG deal.
What helps is to focus on one thing at a time, otherwise we drown in the noise and confusion called Relocation. To bring some structure to this situation, lets look a three questions:
Question one: Why are you relocating?
Are you moving because it looks like a smart career move, or because you are looking for adventure?
Maybe because your kids have left for college and this move will bring fresh meaning to your marriage? Do you have dreams of re-calibrating your life after years of being in a dual income – no time family?
Question two: What are you saying YES/NO to by relocating?
Could be you are saying YES to learning about a new culture, to a new career challenge, to a dream of travelling the world which you had 20 years ago.
Maybe you are saying NO to being afraid of change, to raising your children in an affluent Western suburb, to driving the carpool, to being an absentee parent because of a demanding travel schedule.
Question three: What would be the best possible outcome?
Imagine yourself, three years later, with your expat assignment finished, finally on the plan home. You are settling into your airplane seat, maybe first class if your company is generous, relax and close your eyes: what do you remember about this time abroad? What was fabulous about it, what makes you sad leaving? What have you learned about yourself and who are you, heading back?
You will want to remember years of your life having spent in a meaningful and fulfilling way, going home richer than you came. I guarantee, you will not want to remember endless hours of bitching about the maids with your fellow expats, or the sneaky jokes in the office about the driver who has once again forgotten to shower.
If we have a clear understanding of the Why, the What and the shape of the dream, you stand a very good chance of living it.