3 Secret Benefits of Relocation

3 Secret Benefits of Relocation

Want to know the 3 secrets of relocation?  The ones few talk about?  In relocation, there are so many things we do not talk about.  Perhaps it’s because we are powering our way through each day.  We dodge, jab and dance our way through each day hoping to get it all right.

We experience the benefits…but I don’t think we remember, or realize how those benefits that come our way.

This makes relocation like a secret club.  There are rituals and experiences we ReloMoms have, but we do not typically share them with anyone else.  It is as if we must keep them secret from the rest of the world.  However, when we do stop to share them, we encourage others to choose this relocation adventure and be better prepared for the dance.

Through relocation, we connect to people we never would have known.  We learn more about the world and people, even when relocating within the same country.  We discover how to be new and take advantage of everything “new” in front of us.

We typically choose a corporate relocation because of career advancement or financial incentives, but there is so much more to relocation.

Last week I polled LinkedIn to see what people viewed as benefits.  Their choices were career advancement, an adventure, family connection, educational opportunities and cultural experiences.  One of the comments included how what we needed or what we focused on, dictated what we would view as a benefit.  This is so true.  Some we readily see, while others we barely notice.

So, what are some of those hidden relocation benefits? Today I am going to let you in on THREE of the benefits.  Those rarely talked about, but widely experienced by everyone in the family.

Learn how to take a chance

All of us no matter our personality style, introvert or extrovert, learn how to take a chance through relocation. We must once the decision to relocate is made.  Everything is new.  Everyone is new.

With this decision we extend trust to people, processes and groups where we may not have chosen to do so before relocation.  For some of us buying a car requires months of research for quality, current market pricing and negotiation tactics for specific dealerships.  In relocation we do not have this kind of time to build a knowledge base and justify trust.

We typically have only days or hours to make major decision. Through relocation we become incredibly good at assessing risk quickly, in ways that are focused in on who we are and what we need. 

We may know exactly what we want to know but with the short time frame we quickly and clearly identify the most important criteria.  We then take a calculated chance on the rest of what could be known.

Through trial and some error we establish how to take a chance in our way, especially with short time frames and less information than we might like.

Career enhancement

Because relocation acceptance is typically driven by a career or financial incentive, the entirety of career enhancement is overlooked as a benefit  for both the relocated employee and the trailing spouse.

Relocation is not something most people decide to accept.  This might be because of local extended family needs, the spouse’s career/job or any number of reasons.  Because of this, accepting a relocation is like becoming a unicorn. There are rumors that people like you exist, but most people haven’t met them. 

Both the relocated employee and spouse who re-establishes employment in the new community, will be part of companies and team that are populated by primarily locals.  These co-workers often view transferred employees and career spouses, as risk takers – people who are there to make things happen. The bonus to the transferred employee is that they are viewed many times as more loyal to the company because they were willing to move for the company need. 

Take advantage of it and keep it on the resume.  It is not insignificant and will be rewarded throughout a career.  It is an achievement like an Eagle Scout award.  Once achieved, it demonstrates personal character.

Family Connection

Family connectedness is the most important relocation benefit, for me personally.  My family connects in a way few other families connect.  And I believe we do because of relocation.  As a kid my family moved across the country multiple times.  Even as adults now we still work to be together in the same communities.  Why?  Because we like each other.  We depend on each other.  We always show up for each other.

The strange thing is, that all of us are fiercely independent. The lessons we learned during those core family relocation is why we have stayed close all these years, both between my sister and I, and as family with our parents.

For my sister and I, each time we moved all we had was each other.  For the first few months after each relocation, my sister was my playmate, my only friend and the one who would listen to me.  She was the only one who understood how hard relocating could be.  Walking through each relocation together formed a strong formidable bond.  No matter what, we always chose dedication and commitment to each other.  To this day even with families of our own, we remain close.  So much so, that we have chosen to relocate to the same city once again.

Our parents chose this as well.  After our families moved back to Texas, they moved here a few years later.  Why?  We have always been together, for over 50 years.  We are not bound by a location.  We are bound to each other, by experience and by choice.

This is not unique to my family.  As I meet more and more relocated and EXPAT families, the story is the same.  Even when the kids become independent adults, their core families remain a constant in their lives.  Both working to be in the same city and from a distance, family connect for life.  Not bound by a place, but bound by shared experience and connection.

BONUS BENEFIT: Peacemakers

A new benefit was revealed recently to me when I attended a Rotary club meeting with my father.  He had been a member for years and occasionally I would attend a meeting with him.  At this luncheon, they had invited a Youth Exchange representative to make a presentation about their high school student exchange program.

In this high school exchange program, kids would choose another country to live in for a school year.  They could go to any country that had Rotary clubs.  During that year they would live with a Rotary family, go to school in that country and attend weekly Rotary club meetings with the Rotary Club family member.

During the program, I learned the primary reason Rotary began and sustained this program for high school students.  Rotary believes that anyone who has lived outside of their home country, gains a larger world perspective, and with that, gains the ability to be the peacemakers of tomorrow.

As I looked back on all of my relocations, I saw this to be true.  When one person was hammering a single point or a single side of an argument, I wanted to know the other side. As I thought about this more, I realized that this belief “that there was more to know than what was right in front of me” was due to the fact that I had met so many people and learned to live so many different places.

I doubt that I will be a world peacemaker, but I have that ability to pause and consider there may be more to the story than just this.  A pause to consider, what else is there?

When we learn to ask could there me more, we keep our minds open to possibility and gain the ability to see options that others do not.  To be peacemakers, in our corner of the world.

Remember. Write it down!

Write it down.  We all forget.

Until you walk through relocation it is hard to understand.  I think this is why, we as ReloMoms, do not talk about it much.  As we are enrolling our kids in school or we are meeting people in the community, we do not find too many who actually understand where we are coming from.  This relocation perspective.

The second reason we forget is because the plethora of relocation tasks do not end for months. When we get what we expect or want, rarely do we slow to celebrate it or even share it with others.  It becomes yet another check mark, one of many we are working to check off every day. 

Probably never to be thought of again.

As ReloMoms in control and responsible for resetting life, the challenges and fails are what get the most discussion and air time especially in our own heads.  Self judgement, second guessing and doubt reigns as we record each challenge or fail as proof we can’t do this.

This is why we must write down our wins. We have far more wins than we do fails.  The proof is in the relocation itself.  Look at all that was realized and created so far.  Those are wins and just as important as anything else.  Use your wins to build your confidence and shore yourself up to prove you can handle the next challenge.

We need to be reminded that we are capable.  We are strong.  We know what we are doing.  The journal will help you remember what went right!  Lots of things go right.  Reading what you have written will lift you out of the challenges more quickly.

You have the proof in your hands.  Write the wins down on paper and use the proof to keep moving forward.

My passion is to help you relocate well from packing to connecting!

Have a wonderful week and come join us in the
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Remember that Relocating Well is done best, Together!

Your ReloMoms Friend – Annette

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NEXT ReloMoms Blog to explore:
FEED YOUR PASSION

#7 Relo Challenge The NEW Normal

(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com,(c) Mikdam | Dreamstime.com,(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com
(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com,(c) Mikdam | Dreamstime.com,(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com

The New Normal.  What is that?

So many changes & so many differences, normal after relocation can seem unattainable.

Interestingly, our brains are always looking to create normal through  shortcuts. It does this in the background or even unconscious to conserve energy for the next fight or famine.  See The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.

Do you want what comes without choice?

I challenge you to slow down during the first few months to choose not just fall into your new normal.


Defined by BING

CHOOSING YOUR NORMAL

With the clean slate of relocation, ask yourself…Do you want life to be like it was?  …OR is it time to bring in some new and toss some old?

Most times, what we do is not by choice. We do things because of who we know, their values and what they choose.  Whether a friend, parent or authority figure, going along with their choices, interests or values is the easiest path to connections and a daily routine.

Though easy, these activities and people may not support your values and how your family wants to live.

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

→Want to try Yoga?
→How about a more creative workplace?
→Think your kids should try Awanas or Scouting?
→Are you really a minimalist, a gypsy or sailor?
→Would homeschooling for a year allow the whole family a Japanese adventure?
→WHO do you and your family want to be???

Dig down and imagine a life without the shoulds and coulds of the previous place.  Push aside the assumed or real judgement of others and design life.

NO MORE SHEEP ~

(c) Publicdomainphotos | Dreamstime.com

Live here, buy that, do this! All clamoring for your attention ~ media, family, friends and “accepted” rules/norms and then judging any deviation, it’s amazing any of us live outside of the 1.86 children, 1 dog, white picket fence house.

Some choose this.  And you can too…but you don’t have to.

DEFINING OUR VALUES

There are few times in life where we have the empty space to create a life.

Being physically separated from who we know, the culture we know, the rules we use and the traditions and habits we participate in, gives us that empty space.  This is the time sift all that we have been doing.

What is liked and valued?
Name what propels you forward?  And sucks the life out?
When life felt as big and as wonderful as it could be,
Who were we with, what were we doing, who were we blessing?
Types of friends encourages us to be who we are?
What or who told or implied we were not good enough?

It is how we feel about our experiences that help us to verbalizes what we value.

See the NEW Normal worksheet for examples of core values.

DEFINING HOME

Where you sleep at night, what you do and who you are with, that defines home.


Home noun \ˈhōm\ :1. Place of Residence. 2. Social unit formed
by living together. 3. familiar or usual setting.  Merriam Webster


What works for your family?  Who are you?

* A loft downtown with artsy friends, weekly cocktail parties and selling party art.
* A sailboat in the Caribbean with Fluffy and a captain going from island to island giving lectures on organic farming.
* Backpacking with a travel journal, your family and wherever you lay your head every night.
* Two and a half acres in the country where the kids can be raised without big city distractions and taught to hunt.

The point is to personally define home.

How, when, where and with whom

Home is built upon the activities participated in, the supportive people allowed in, and the physical home recharged in.  The structure is ultimately a single cog that supports how you live, not the definition.

THE END GAME ~ Your New Normal

(c) Ilona75 | Dreamstime.com

Now THIS is home!

The Primary GOAL of ReloMoms is to help you create home wherever you land.

By taking time to create and know your normal, it is something that you can take with you and your relocation adventures wherever you go.

Take some time and use the link worksheet to define your new normal:

And ultimately living Your definition of HOME.

Craft your NEW Normal with this week’s worksheet

#7 Relo Challenge The NEW Normal Worksheet

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.

#6 Relo Challenge What to Do

ESCAPE THE BOXES
unpublished photograph © David Calicchio 200

Relocating, boxes and what to do?  It is time to do something normal, something that is not relocation work.  Life has been on hold for a month or more.  It is time to get life back to living.

THE NORMAL THING

Yoga, running, reading in the park, playing halo, museum lectures, writing group, garden club, Rotary, school volunteer, field trips, sewing, cooking….

What activity makes you feel normal?

Traveling every summer to visit my girlfriend, my first activity would be to stop by Target.  It’s not that I really needed anything.  I visited Target because it somehow grounded me in an unfamiliar place.

That first visit made me a part of where I was.

MEET THE LOCALS

(c) Publicdomainphotos | Dreamstime.com

These familiar activities are a perfect places to meet the locals.  The activity created by a common interest gives you an instant connection.

Whether you are running, volunteering or walking in the park, you will find people to talk to.  Asking them simple questions about the local area will be welcome and as I have stated before, just about everyone likes to be helpful.

Asking locals where they take out of town guests is an excellent question.  This will not only give you destinations but insight into what they find interesting.

And the bonus is that you will have something to talk about when you see them next time.

BE A TOURIST

Being a tourist is pretty easy these day with the internet.  There are a number of blogs, even for the smallest towns written by people just like you.

I visited Pawhuska, Oklahoma recently.  With only 3500 residents, one blogger found 70 things to do and see in this 2 stop light town.

Start exploring for you and your future guests!

Without kids’ sports’ schedules and dinner invitations, NOW is the time to explore the museums, libraries, city events, sports teams, heritage village, parades, state fairs, theme park, and brewery tours.

Learn how to make Indian flat bread, see the first ladies’ dresses or learn to ski.  Beyond putting the dishes away, this new world is your oyster.

Explore like you are trying to convince your mom/sister/friend that this move was the best idea ever!  You will find your footing as well as plenty of things you like.

SEARCHING

The internet makes being a tourist easier than ever.

Every community, city and state spends a ton to entice you to come visit.  Take advantage of their websites as well as what you find with these search ideas:

  • City site, click on the visitor link
  • Chamber of Commerce members
  • City tourism board
  • State tourism board
  • Community Parks and Recreation
  • Library events
  • Local and State Events

Need the personal touch, call the library research staff.  They love a good research project.  Also check in with the chamber of commerce and the local or state visitors centers.

If you have hotel nearby, look in the lobby for their concierge and tourist brochure rack.

THE LOCAL THING

Just about everyone in your new community will have something they love about living there.  A restaurant, a parade or festival, experiencing any of these is part of being a local.

Ask about high school football’s Friday night lights, the annual Christmas parade or the Bluebonnets pictures. Every town, county and/or state has their thing.

Participating in community life is being part of the community.

Other ways to be part of the community:

  • Attend the city council meeting
  • Visit the Saturday farmer’s market
  • See the homecoming parade
  • Attend your HOA Bunco
  • Take swing lessons at the community center
  • Volunteer at the library
  • Be a voting volunteer
  • Join the local Rotary or Lions club

Participating in the community help understand what is going on outside the 4 walls of your new home.  You will make new connections and build that support system.

DO SOMETHING NEW

Yes, another encouragement to do something NEW!

The clean slate of relocation is a unique opportunity.  Take advantage.  If you have moved to hockey country for the first time, go see a game or set you kids up with lessons.

If you’ve wanted to try areal Yoga or learn a new language, make it happen.

Nothing is set.  No schedule requires your attention.

Dream about the what ifs and the want to dos.

The need to dos will take care of themselves.

For more ideas and “What to Do” direction check out the
What to do worksheet!

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.

#5 Relo Challenge Cultural Differences

ReloMoms Cafe and Chairs
(c) creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com

Cultural differences, cliques in school, are in every cafeteria. The smart people sit over there.  The pretty people sit there. The footballers in the middle gregariously demanding all the attention.

Sometimes divided by appearance
while other times belief, interest or personality.

Humans divide themselves into tribes.  A primitive survival instinct, we have done this since the beginning of time for safety and security.

The funny thing is that we don’t really do it all that well.  It’s a work in progress.

SEEING THE UNSEEN

Our son was in 4th grade when we moved to Texas from Minnesota.  Within the first few weeks he said, “The kids are nicer here.”

It wasn’t that the kids were actually nicer.  The Texas kids used a rule of respect for everyone that was similar to our son’s definition of nice.

Every community has a way that it acts.  Hence the stereotypes.

People fall in line with what is acceptable in public, even when they disagree.

ReloMoms Cultural Differences
(c) cc0images | Dreamstime.com

“HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM”

Sometimes the cultural differences attack your rules or sensibilities.

While living in Minnesota, I met a woman born and raised in Philadelphia.  She had been in Minnesota about 3 months when she asked me,

“Why are they looking at me?”  Carol said.
“What?” I responded.
“At the grocery store.  Why are the looking at me?” Carol asked again.
“Minnesotans will make eye contact as an unspoken greeting.  Sometimes they will even ask you if you need help when you look concerned.” I explained.
“Why?  I don’t like it.  What do they want?” she asked with real concern.
“Nothing.  It’s just what they do.”

Carol was truly unnerved.  Being from the Northeast, she had been taught since childhood to keep your head down, get your business done and keep moving.  Eye contact meant trouble or harm.   That Minnesota Nice thing was hard for her to understand and adapt to.

OBSERVE AND LEARN

Expect differences.

Moving around the world or even 30 miles from where you started, expect to find cultural differences from extreme to subtle

Knowing the rules of behavior and watching people in action helps you form an  understanding of where you are. To get back to living your way, this is imperative.

° How do people greet each other?
° What are some of the colloquialisms?
° What do they reference on a regular basis?
° How does the accent affect your perceptions?

Whatever you find different, ponder it.  Where does it come from?  Why do they do that?  Is this part of their cultural history or something more recent?  What are the most important issues of the local community and the larger city?

EXTREME CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

An extreme example are the serious racial problems in Baltimore. These problems have plagued this community for over 100 years.  Everyday language, attitudes, rules and expectation here both perpetuate and fight the conflict.

You might find yourself scream thinking,

“WHY CAN’T PEOPLE BE NICE, GET OVER IT
and MAKE THE COMMUNITY BETTER?

Isn’t that what everyone WANTS???”

Baltimore leaders agree: City has a race problem

Yes and no.  How do you change what is ingrained within the culture of the community?

CAREFUL JUDGING OTHERS

Coming from a like-minded community with a similar value set, causes most people to harshly judge those that live by divergent values.

Judgement creates separation and isolation.

Remember that no matter where you land, though never perfect, people are mostly good and honest.  Approaching the new community with this truth creates an expectation of finding good people and creating strong connections.

Whatever you ask, your brain will provide an answer;
whatever you look for, you’ll find.

Tony Robbins Facebook May 2016

SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN BE UNDERSTOOD ~ Stephen R. Covey

Understanding is about choosing to learn about people before we judge or try to change them or a situation.   No one takes well to be challenged or belittled.  Working to understand shows respect.

Respect is a polite attitude, is not agreement.

Make an effort to understand others, even where a contradictory attitude or belief could be divisive.  We agree 100% with very few people in life, showing respect allows us time to find something we agree with.

This patience and curiosity may also provide a perspective and the space to create a real solution to cultural differences, like that of Baltimore.

CULTURE, YOURS vs. NEW

Culture is communication through words, actions, attitudes, and tone.

What are you communicating and what are they communicating?

Are either of you missing the point or misunderstanding intention?

The Cultural Differences worksheet give you a place to explore the differences between your expectations and this culture’s norms.

Immerse yourself in your community to find them all, especially the new language.

  • New York “Schlep”
  • Atlanta “Ya’ll”
  • Minnesota “You betcha”
  • Southern California “Dude”

Ultimately, you will find commonalities and your place in the new community.  You will create a support system that encourages and allows you and your family to thrive.

Identifying the differences is the starting point to making this home.

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.


Resources

Cultural Differences Worksheet

Silent Language by Edward T Hall talks about how the secondary or unconscious culture moves with us from place to place and how it affects our sense of self and our interactions with others.

Avoiding Election Infection: How to keep your influence in a divisive world by Andy Stanley

#4 Relo Challenge Support Systems

Calling friends and support system for help
Free photo 8141170 © Dmitry Ersler – Dreamstime.com

Support Systems are one of the most overlooked problems in Relocation.

Most who move are self-starters, people who just get things done.  Because of this we do not always recognize the structure around us that supports and allows our lives to function as they do.

WE CAN FIGURE OUT ANYTHING

And we can.  The problem is, figuring it out takes time and sometime events occur that need an answer RIGHT NOW!
————————-

Mary and Stephan moved into their new Minneapolis home last week.  The new job was going well and they were both excited about exploring the new parks and lakes with their kids.  On Sunday night Stephan wasn’t feeling well and by 10pm Mary knew something wasn’t right.

She called 911 and the ambulance arrived.  Stephan was having a heart attack.

Which hospital?  She didn’t know.  The kids were asleep, she couldn’t go with him.  She  didn’t have any friends.  Would her Realtor answer at this time of night?

What does Mary do?
————————-

Even a month or two from now, she would know ~ who to call, where to go and how the process would unfold.  All the decisions made and expectations known.

When relocating knowing what to do is intact, knowing who and how to is gone. So, lets create both an immediate and long term support structure.

SUPPORT IS ABOUT PEOPLE

Support System: a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support. ~ Merriam Webster.com

A Support System is knowledgeable and reliable.  It is consists of a web of people from the neighborhood, school, work, social groups, the hardware store, the city and more that are go to resources.

This is why choosing your initial relocation team is so critical.  Beyond helping you find and close on your home, these people are your first connections and friends in your new community.

WHO IS ON MY INITIAL LIST

Real Estate: Realtor, Mortgage Banker, Inspector
Work: co-workers, co-worker spouses
School: PTA President/Membership, School Counselor, Daycare Manager

These are real people who have personal experience with the schools, neighborhoods, commuting, local hospitals and everything in the community.  And though you are not friends yet, they will have information only gained by living there.

WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW

How to set up utilities
How to apply for homestead
How to pay local taxes
Types of local grocery stores
New processes (i.e. quarterly pest treatment)
Closest Target or Sam’s Club
How to obtain a drivers license, etc.

Family Specific local knowledge is based on your life stage, what your family does for activities, special needs and life style.

School required immunizations
Residency requirements
Eldercare
Biking clubs
Select Soccer
Social/Charity/City Clubs
Community Orchestra
Transportation/commuting options, etc.

Think about how you live life.  Now think about who and what supports or make life work the way it does.

Defining this before your relocation is important.  These are the topics to ask of the first few people you work with and meet in the process of relocating.

IF YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN a Real Estate Team, these are excellent topics to use in the interviewing process.  The information will help you decide if each of the members understand you and what you are working to get accomplished.

#4 Relo Challenge Support Systems Worksheet

The #4 Relo Challenge Support Systems Worksheet through questions and suggestions will help create a list to pursue.  It will help you identify what you are looking for and why.  This makes the support system easier and more efficient to establish.

As will most things this will evolve over time.  So, do not get caught up in making it perfect.

HOW TO SOLVE MARY’S ISSUE ON THE FLY

In Mary’s position, the first call after 911 Emergency, would be to anyone local who will answer the phone in the middle of the night.  The new boss, Realtor, or mortgage broker.  The second action would be to knock on a neighbor’s door that you met while moving in.

Without help, pack up the kids, their immunization records and head to the hospital together.  This way daycare is possible in the morning.

If the #2 Emergency Worksheet is complete, you already know who will pick up, where the kids can go and the where the best hospital is.

PERSONAL SUPPORT SYSTEM

If this is your first move, you may not realize all of the pieces you have put into place.  The people, processes and organizations that make your life run the way it does have been put there through experience and recommendations.

This is what you will do again, but this time more efficiently.

By completing the Support Systems Worksheet you will have the first draft to having your life supported and running like you want to live.

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.

#3 Relocation Challenge–Navigating My New Community

Navigating. I use GPS!

Navigating. I use GPS
Free photo 87858161 © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com

Navigating an Abandoned Road
Elderly man drives into Sand Pile
Girl drives down boat path into lake
Limo Driver follows GPS down a flight of stairs
Driving into the ocean and 8 other spectacular fails as GPS turns 25
by Sarah Wolfe Global Post PRI

Knowing HOW to get there is a big deal.
GPS is not the whole answer.

Though some of these stories are funny, not finding the DMV after driving an hour, being late picking up the kids, or ending up in a dangerous part of town is not funny.

To live well in a community, you must know your community’s layout, landmarks and how to get ________(there).

COMMUNITY

A PAPER Map.  To many younger than 40 that might seem unreasonable.  However, a paper map, one you can spread out on your kitchen table, is the first step to understanding where you live.

Starting with a paper map identify the major highways and which part of town they are in.  They could be on the north edge, go northeast to southwest or potentially a loop.  By identifying these and knowing generally where you are in the city, NOW you are never lost.

Next identify the landmarks in your city and put a star or highlight the intersection on your paper map.  Whether they are major, like the St. Louis Arch or what your sister would judge minor the high school or the only stoplight in town, mark it all.

Identify landmarks on all sides of town.  Even If one of them is the only sign of civilization truck stop on the west side mark it.

This layering of information creates a spatial map in your brain engaging the navigational abilities we were all born with.

A MAP IN YOUR BRAIN

https://www.facebook.com/StormMountainCenter/photos/a.400315725123/10153339728925124/?type=3&theaterThis is NOT Mount Rushmore
an actual sign 13 miles from Mount Rushmore
referenced in the May 2016 issue of Time Magazine article How GPS is messing with our minds.

Practically, with a spatial map you:

  1. Know how to get there
  2. Are never truly lost
  3. Do not waste time
  4. KNOW IMMEDIATELY if Siri/Waze/GoogleMaps is sending you the wrong way.

GPS, as good as it is, is flawed.  Waze, as much as I LOVE it above the rest, sends me into some of the worst neighborhood when I am not paying attention.

Like with everything else in life we must take responsibility for where we are.  This is as much for our safety as the safety of those we love.

FUN WITH PRACTICE

We have a bird’s eye view of where we are going.  We know the major landmarks to verify our route along the way.  Now it is time to practice getting there.

We might as well choose something fun as our first destination.

Let’s say you have a passion for Italian Ice, fabric stores or select soccer.  Find the top 3 of your thing and plot them on the map.

  • Look over the directions both on your paper map and GPS.
  • Print out your directions
  • Make your way to your destination without voice directions

Without voice direction you notice the environment around you and increase practical knowledge of the area.  Are these good areas of town?  Would I walk around here?  Is there a brewery or pie shop to explore next time?

Each trip into the community will provide another thread of information that ultimately makes this community, your community.

YOUR SUPER POWER

Becoming a navigational expert in your area is a SuperPower!  Who knew all you needed was a paper map and a little practice

Most locals only venture within a 2 mile radius.

You will find that they will start asking you how to get places.  Being navigational expert people will start asking you, the new kid, how to get there.   All is all, it is an easy and practical way to understand where you live.

Perhaps you can even encourage others to learn about and engage more in their community.

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.

Top 7 Relocation Challenges

(c) Monkeybusinessimages | Dreamstime.com
(c) Monkeybusinessimages | Dreamstime.com

The same 7 Relocation Challenges, every time.  These will test your resolve and question your decision to accept a relocation ~ at some point.

Knowing and identifying these 7 challenges as they come will prevent the challenges from delaying your progress.  Here you will learn what they are and be able to identify them.

These 7 blogs will further explore and provide tactical solutions.

The 7 Relo Challenges in order of appearance

#1 – Who to Call

Usually taken for granted, the list from (your last city name here) was curated over years of trusted referrals, friends and good experiences.   Upon relocation though, there are no trusted local friends and resources to help you manage the uncountable demands of finding what you need a getting things done….now.

In Who to Call, we will talk about who can help you, identifying new people and tapping into trustworthy community resources.

#2 – Emergency Plans

This is a rather scary one.

Let’s say you have small children and your spouse experiences some episode that require a trip to the hospital.  Who do you leave them with?  Which hospital is trust worth?  Who is part of your insurance anyway?

In Emergency Plan, we will list out the type of events that require an emergency plan and how establish immediate connections and put provide support.

#3 – How to Get There

During unpacking you realize you need _____.  That requires a trip to _____.

It is time to learn the area in more detail from the major highways to finding the best repair shop, perhaps across town.  We will talk about core landmarks, major highways/boulevards and the process by which to efficiently learn the area and not feel lost.

Get on your explorer hat because here we go!

#4 – Support System

Support System follows on the heels of Emergency Plans.  This is the long term solution for matching your values and needs to what to do, who to ask and where to go.

Here we will spend time talking about how to define you values and quickly identify both personal and professional resources.

#5 – Cultural Differences

Everywhere you move is different.  A true cliché.

Even moving across a Metroplex like Dallas Fort Worth can be a seismic culture shift.  Urban city to cowboy country requires a different attitude and rules.  Whether across country and global move we will discuss how to use those values of yours, adapt, and appreciate while still staying who you are.

#6 – What to Do

In the first few weeks, you NEED FUN to off balance all that work!

What do you like to do?  Is it here?  And what else?

Adventuring through your new community and beyond will help you relieve stress and acclimate to where you are now.  In a less obvious way, this will also help you define and refine challenges 1 thru 5.

#7 – The New Normal

Normal life, will it ever happen?  Though it seems impossible in the first few weeks or months, on the other side of this, your predictable daily routine will be established.

Don’t Worry…well, not so much.

We will talk about how you define home and normal life as well as the things you will learn and incorporate as the journey from here to there evolves.  Hang in there.  So many of us has survived this before you.

You can too…can have an amazing journey along the way.

The first one Who to Call is already here.

Please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com with any questions or thoughts.

Have a wonderful Relo,

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.

RELOCATION: Building a Personal Support System

(c) Aleksandrl | Dreamstime.comBuilding a personal support system after relocation is KEY to adapting, creating a sense of community and finding your place.  It provides the connections, information and daily expectations.

Personal Support System Defined: a community based network of family, friends, acquaintances and known partners (mechanics/contractors/medical/teachers/etc.) that provide regular or known assistance, knowledge and encouragement.

This takes how long??

Building it as needed?  12 to 18 months.   That’s quite while.

The dry cleaner is asked about local Indian restaurants.  The PTA Membership chair leads the family through Gifted and Talented testing.  The neighbor’s kid watches the dog for that weekend trip to Florida.  It gets done but SLOWLY.

AGAIN, I’m Exhausted??  After relocating across country, finding housing, unpacking,  and trying to learn the local processes…you are spent.  You don’t have 18 months of energy.

NETWORKING!!! Not Excited? It may seem like a lot of work after the last few months, but you have already started.  But with a system, this necessary system can be created in 6 months or less.

So let’s take a look at the process.

    1. Participating & meeting people
    2. Keeping track of people
    3. Extending invitations
    4. Building relationships
    5. All types

Starting with Fun:

You have had enough work, it’s time for a bit of fun?  What do you like to do?  Cook, run, bunco, write, take photos, play the piano or help others?

This is the time where you explore your community with abandon.  Being new to town has a number of advantages.  With no time schedule or obligations, this open time presents endless opportunities to explore and find what you love, or might love to do.

Check out my blog post RELOCATION: Search and find what you LOVE! for search ideas and groups to start with.

All those people: 

Everywhere you go  you will meet new people, at school,  yoga or even playing the piano at the local nursing home.  Strike up a conversation and keep a journal.  A little notebook and pen that will fit easily in a pocket or a purse is all you need to keep track of your new people.

Even though most will not be a “BEST Friend”, remembering their names and something about them will be a blessing to them.  This will bring a smile increase your connection, and in the end, make you feel known and appreciated too.

In the beginning, this is especially important for your sanity.

How about coffee?

Extending an invitation can be a bit intimidating.  None of us like to be rejected, however, it’s most likely not rejection.  It’s only a busy life you are competing with.

My Daughter-in-Law relocated 1873 miles across country last year.  She and the family had only been in Atlanta for 2 years and now found themselves in Salt Lake City.  Even though she was somewhat practiced at creating her network, she again found it difficult to get a yes to any invitation.  Coffee, play dates or meet at the park?  Frankly, it took a while.

She kept asking though.  They participated in some of the HOA events and even became a room mom at school.  This was so outside of her comfort zone, being more of an introvert, however, she kept asking and participating knowing this is where her support system was going to come from.  Once she got to know these ladies on this level, she started to hear yes for activities outside of these groups.

(c) Aleksandrl | Dreamstime.com

It takes time:

Relationships are built by time and shared experiences.  That is why my Daughter-in-Law decided to start where she was already.  She was there at drop off and pick up. She was going to the HOA pool with the kids. Everywhere my daughter-in-law went, she an effort to meet as many moms in a similar life stage as she could.

Everyone is not a “bestie”, but everyone has the potential to be a connection to the community.  By spending time then you know what type of friend they are.

Connections found:

As you already know by this point, there are different types of friends.  Those you see at school drop-off and have a quick conversation, those you can cry on their shoulders and even those you can travel with.https://www.shastanelson.com/friendships-dont-just-happen/Every friend does not fill every box.  In the book, Friendships don’t just happen by Shasta Nelson, she talks about the different Circles of Connectedness.

  • Connect Friends
  • Common Friends
  • Confirmed Friends
  • Community Friends
  • Committed Friends

Shasta talks about life after relocation and divorce.  She talks about walking by a group of laughing women lunching on a patio, like Sex in the City, and desperately wanting to go over and ask, “Will you be my friend too!!”

With focus and planning though, you will be deep in the community in less than 6 months.  Keep track of that little notebook.  And as they say,

“wash, rinse and repeat”

Efficiently building a Personal Support System is key to the relocation process because having this in place gets the whole family gets back to living.  It takes time and repetition, but will settle the family while finding new things to explore.  Keep you head up!  Life will become normal.


Next week look for  RELOCATION: Maslow’s hierarchy and you ~ moving up to self-actualization and meeting your needs after helping everyone else.

If you need more explanation OR you have moved and don’t know where to start email us at  questions@relomoms.com as well as join the email list.  We love to help!!

Have a great week and see you next week.