The excitement of the planning stage
You have decided to move from SA to the UK and the excitement sets in, but it is not all easy sailing. So hopefully the information on this page will help towards staying positive and making it easier to settle in the UK.
You have started sorting through your household goods as the majority of people only take the essentials and items of sentimental value.
You have given notice on the property you rent, or have sold your house.
While you are busy doing all that, there is excitement and no time to think of anything but getting your ducks in a row to make the big move.
Emotions at that stage are usually excitement, a bit of fear of the unknown, but the excitement of starting afresh in a new country often over powers all other emotions.
Waiting for the big day
Now that you have everything in order and tied up all the loose ends, it may be worth spending time on doing as much research as possible in order to make it easier when you arrive, so that you are not walking in blind to how things work in the UK.
You have all your ducks in a row and are waiting for the big day when you make your way to the airport.
During this time, you will still feel the excitement, but you may also start to start thinking about the what if’s, which is quite normal.
Feel free to post questions in our Facebook group, you will be surprised how many little but important questions will be answered.
The group is very helpful, even if you just need a few kind words of support, whether you are waiting to leave or have already arrived in the UK
You have gone through all the excitement of getting everything in order and the day has arrived where you will get on the plane, leaving SA and heading of to your new home in your new country.
Some people are more emotional than others on leaving day, and often the emotions are greater than we thought they may be.
It is after all the day we say goodbye to our country where we have lived all our lives, and also having to say goodbye to family and friends.
Sometimes there are emotions that we cannot prepare for, and no matter how hard we try to prepare, emotions have a way of taking over at times like this.
Its normal to have these emotions, but try and keep the excitement intact as well, and remember why you are making the move.
Everyone has different reasons for making the move, but no matter what it is, stay positive and focus on all the good things there are to look forward to.
Landing in the UK
As the plane starts to land, you may have different emotions flowing through your mind, both excitement and fear of the unknown.
Over the months you may have done lots of research and seen lots of posts and comments on the Facebook group about how lovely it is in the UK.
You have to remember that all the good things you have heard about the UK will not be experienced the day you land.
This can maybe make it feel like an anti climax as you don’t see the vision straight away, the vision you have carried in your head the past few months prior to coming to the UK.
On top of that you will have jet lag and may feel mentally drained, which is quite normal.
All of a sudden everyone is talking with a different accent, you may immediately notice a difference in culture. You may stop to purchase something in the airport, and all of a sudden you are using different currency.
The First Few Months
When you first move here and for the first few months, it can be daunting, scary, not being able to see the bigger picture and feeling like you are going to be stuck in limbo. A feeling of not moving forward. You may start to get moments of panic when you feel you are not getting anywhere with accommodation, employment etc.
You may think you are the only one going through it, and maybe suffer in silence as you think its only you, but don’t feel alone in these thoughts, as there are many who go through this. .
All of this, all of these feelings and to top it all having salt thrown in the wounds by also feeling homesick, because of course our minds will tell us, if we went back home it would all be better.
For a few weeks or months you may have a feeling of wanting to climb on a plane and head back to SA, you may start to look for all the negatives about the UK to justify “your intended return”
Keep reminding yourself why you moved to the UK, and then in time, this should allow you to let go of SA and start to embrace the UK, accepting it as your home.
All the feelings and emotions you are going through, and yes at times it hurts really bad, the days when you feel you cant anymore and want to give up, is part of what so many go through and for the majority it does start to get easier over time.
Just keep on putting one foot in front of the other and stay focused on all the positive.
One of the biggest things is to be patient and to persevere, keep working on it day by day and it will build.
You are not alone in these feelings, so chat to others in the Facebook group, do a post of how you feel. The members in the group will embrace you with virtual hugs and words of support, to help get you through the bad days.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither can your perfect complete life in the UK be built in a day, it just can’t.
The vision that you had of your new life in the UK will become a reality in time, but for a while just keep your eyes focused on the goal and you will get there.
Its a bit like starting a new job you know, first few days you feel like a fish out of water, feel a bit lonely as you know no one, have to learn how the systems work etc, then before you know it you have settled.
This is how it works and you will get there.
Try not to worry or stress as this solves nothing and only makes you feel worse.
Yes its easy to say “stay positive” but just try it and over time you will become mentally stronger and be able to build that vision that you had and make it reality.
Some Helpful Tips
- While you are still in SA do as much research as possible to make the transition easier when you arrive
- Flying from SA to the UK is a long haul and you may feel jet lagged and you may feel physically and mentally drained. Catch up on sleep, give yourselves a few days to climatize, switch off and just chill for a few days. Build up your energy levels so that you are ready to take on whatever you need to do
- Rome wasn’t built in a day, so keep in mind its going to take a while to get everything in place, its just the way it is but step by step you will get there.
- Focus on the important things eg accommodation, getting a job if you dont already have one, setting up service providers, register with a GP and dentist, research various ways to commute to work and schools and locating your local supermarket, although many people in the UK order online and have groceries delivered, which is handy if you don’t yet have transport in place.
- Don’t try and do too much at once, leave the non important things till later, or you will only end up loading your plate with unimportant things and end up becoming stressed.
- Take the time to absorb all the good things you have heard about the UK. Yes of course there will be negatives, but it is better to focus your energy on the positives.
- One of the best ways to clear your head is to go for walks, do some sight seeing. There are some beautiful places to walk with beautiful scenery, and with a clear head, you will be able to plan your next steps easier.
- So land, rest, stick to the basics to start off, try and keep a positive frame of mind, go for walks, looks for the positives and you will slowly start to fall in love with the UK.
- Take a look at some of the experiences of others who have made the move.