#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unpublished photograph © David Calicchio 200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

#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.

#1 Relocation Challenge Who to Call

ReloMoms Who to Call
Who to call after relocation

Relocation week one!  The kids are sick.  The washer is missing a part. The water is still not on.  School starts Monday.  And oh by the way you need to start interviewing.

Who DO you call in those first few days or weeks?

It was your friend.  She knew everyone and had a knack for knowing what to do and who to call, but she is 350 miles away.

In this new city, the only people you know are your realtor, mortgage banker and perhaps a neighbor who dropped by to introduce themselves.  Not friends, but the only locals you know.

WHO AND WHAT YOU NEED

Is everything an answer?

Perhaps, but let’s categorize these needs 4 ways: Me, Home, Children, and Spouse

Below each list out what each needs to move forward tomorrow and in the next week.  Here are some examples.

Dividing them in to categories makes each easier to prioritize.  You mind will automatically jump to the ones with the most urgency.

The relocation challenge of this list is that it takes extra time to make any of this happen.  Phone calls, online reviews and referrals from the few people you know here will add 5 to 15 minutes to each.

Knowing this ahead of time will help manage expectations.

WHERE TO START

Start with who you know, then move to those organizations or other individuals who are accessible.

Everyone loves to feel like the hero, especially when helping kids.  Asking the questions gives them that opportunity.

BEFORE THE MOVE

Create an organized list, by type, of all the go to people in your phone.  Chances are these are the same services, activities and types of organizations you will look for in your new community.

As you contact the “Where to Start List”, ask them for referrals to fill out your list.

If you are working on your second black belt OR your children are current Karate students, ask everyone.

Oh by the way, do you know of a great Karate school?

You will find that they have children, neighbors or cousins that love their dojo.

A FEW ADDITIONS

Emergencies happen.  These are times when you call your next door neighbor, your mom or your best friend.  Those are not available in the first few weeks so you need to be prepared for

Just in case

Work Colleagues

Being a corporate move your first line is the new colleagues.  These are the people you met before the move and now are seeing on a daily basis.  That working relationship is actually stronger than any of the other connections.

Community Options

Professional organizations and services are your next option.

Medical and Childcare will be the most important issues that will arise.  A medical emergency that keeps you from being able to take care of the children is worst case.

As you are asking for opinions and referrals, remember to ask for local organizations that help with 24 hours childcare as well as preferred emergency medical facilities.  If anyone in the family has critical and specific medical issues this is imperative.

ONE LEADS TO THE NEXT 4

Your dependable Who to Call list will grow exponentially.  Everyone will have multiple referrals for you.

The entire list may be filled in a few chats, especially if both of you work on it.

Who to Call Worksheet

For more information, ideas or encouragement, please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com

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

RELOCATION: Holidays away from home

After relocation, the first holidays away from home will be the most challenging.  Both awkward and isolating, they are filled with the reminder that, “You are no longer in Kansas, Dorothy.” (Wizard of OZ movie reference)

Our first year in London was all fun and games.  In early summer, we explored and learned all about our new home.  But that first holiday, I wondered, how am I going to do this?

By November, we were pretty well established into routines.  We had daily and weekly activities that kept us full up on groceries and busy.  But what about Thanksgiving???

As an American in London, it was a bit awkward.  Celebrating holiday that was the led us to disconnecting from Britian?  On a non- “Bank Holiday”?  It was a Thursday.

The biggest hurdle though was that the lack of family and dear friends.  We were literally isolated while trying to do something normal.


American Thanksgiving in London

After 36 years of American Thanksgivings though, I couldn’t help myself but to plan yet another one, so I got to it. For non-Americans ~ Thanksgivings is surrounded by harvest foods (pumpkin pies, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey and such), watching the Macy’s day parade and football on TV and mostly spending it with friends and family.

Since only one of the three would be available (this was a few year back), I concentrated on the food and adapted it all to my very small refrigerator, stove and oven.

We invited locals and other expats to join us.  It was fun to explain what Thanksgiving was.  We talked about the foods that make up the meal.  We enjoyed a few chickens since turkeys were not available until Christmas, and I think I made a pumpkin pie from scratch, like starting from a pie pumpkin.

Without Thanksgiving football & parades we decided to go for walk in Kensington Park and played table games. It was nice to take advantage of the temperate London weather.  It was 42 degrees and blowing back in Minnesota.

Everything shifted into something a bit new.

Remembering to keep living!

One of the toughest things in Relocation is to keep living.  There is continual change and adapting going on.  The holidays highlight this additional challenge like a blinding spotlight.

Holidays are surprising.  Since the holidays only come once a year and most relocation assignments are less than 3 years, there is no consistency, no daily practice how to do it.

However, like with most topics on ReloMoms, this post is about getting around being Stuck.

Because everything is new the planning starts a few months early.   This allows the event becomes an adventure with participants on both side of the pond and figuring out how to get this done away from normal.

Involve the friends and family back home.  Get recipes and maybe have holiday care packages sent from there to incorporate into your day!  This also alleviates the day of calls from home full of tears, “We miss you so much.  WHEN are you coming back? It’s not right without you.”

These calls do not help. However….

By involving them, they become part of your holiday even from a distance.  The questions become, “How did the sweet potatoes come out?  Did you play the game? How did your new friend like the ______?”

At your new home, involve the new friends you have made.  They also have local holidays, customs and foods.  Perhaps they could bring cornbread dressing to your holiday event.  Great!  Add it in, and experience something new.

Something NEW

Ultimately, holidays will all change.  They always have, even when you were home from year to year.  It’s just not recognizable because it happens to all of you at the same time.

People come and go.  Foods change, and the days morph in to something bigger and more full than they were in the years past.

The most valuable to do is to embrace where you are and the life you get to lead today.  And when you want to change it, you will make new decisions that will lead life in a different direction.

But today, Celebrate and LIVE.

Explore your new town next:  RELOCATION: What the Locals Do

RELOCATION: Discovering who YOU are!


“REALLY?  Who am I?  Seems like a vague question in the face of moving companies, realtors, new schools and house hunts.
I don’t have time for that.
What does “Who am I?“,  have to do with relocation?”

And I agree, it seems like a hippy ,frivolous time waster.  However,  knowing who you are, is essential to both relocation planning and execution.

“Every minute you spend planning,
saves 10 minutes of execution”
~ Brian Tracy ~

Knowing yourself is actually the path to creating and effective plan and efficient relocation.

The main reason you want to know as much as possible about yourself, is that during the first few months, you will answer more relocation generated questions than you have in the last 5 years.  It is exhausting, but defining who you are is like holding all the answers to a test.

WHAT ARE YOUR EMOTIONAL NEEDS?

Typically, pain brings front and center what we need.  I am so hungry I NEED to eat now.  I am so mad at ______, I NEED to tell him what jerk he is.  But what unmet emotional needs drive that pain.

Knowing your emotional needs affect how you make decisions.  By knowing you need to feed, you make decisions that lead to where you want to end up.

Our emotional needs drive every decision we make, good or bad.  The need to feed them leads us to strive for greatness, self-destruct or even become addicted.  Tony Robbins describes this in depth.

The 6 emotional needs” TED Talk by Tony Robbins, with over 20 Million views,  is one of the most insightful and easy to grasp presentations about why we do what we do.

I liked his quote, “We will do anything, positive or negative, to meet that emotional need.”

By listening to this TED Talk,  you will be able to identify your emotional needs,  and as a bonus, be able to identify these needs in others.

This exceptionally important when working with others.  During the relocation, there will be a team of people you are required to work with.  And even though, you are the client, time frames will be so tight that you will have to work with those presented to you.

By having the ability to see the emotional needs of others you will understand what you need to do or say to effectively communicate with those around you and ultimately minimize relocation frustration.

HOW DO YOU WORK WITH OTHERS?

To work with this new team even more effectively, take a moment to learn a little more about how you work with the world at large.

StrengthFinders 2.0 has one of the easiest assessments to take and understand out there.  It is an easy little book with 31 pages of instructions, 143 pages of theme information and a code.  This code gives you access to an only assessment which identifies your 5 core themes.

One of the best things about going through this simple process is that you begin to understand how many different variations there are even in your core family.  With 34 themes there are over 33 million different top 5 combinations possible.

For example, my top 5 themes are:
Strategic, Ideation, Futuristic, Positivity,  and Woo.

Of course my first thought was, “what is Woo?”

“Woo stands for winning over others.  You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you.  Strangers are rarely intimidating to you.  On the contrary, strangers can be energizing….”  StrengthFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath Page 169.

It’s true.  I love to work a room, meet new people and learn more about them and this world.

StregthFinders 2.0 also gives examples of how WOOs work in the world; how WOOs sound in conversation, what makes WOOs stand out, and how WOOs work with others WOOs.

This assessment takes less than 20 minutes.  By taking it, I learned how to  craft messages that my creative son could hear.  I learned how to engage my analytical husbands when I needed something done.  Knowing more about who I am helped dramatically in times of unusual stress and frustration. .

LEARNING ABOUT YOU AND NAVIGATING RELOCATION

Navigating your relocation will require you to ask questions of yourself, finding resources and finding answers.  Look to books, podcasts, TED Talks, sermons, blogs and classes that speak truth.

It is the patience that comes with knowing who you are, that will be the most effective tool as you walk through ALL of the relocation surprises.

Please leave a comment below and add any resources you have found that will help other ReloMoms.

#ReloMoms, #Relocation, #MovingToaNewCity, #CorporateRelocation, #StrengthFinders2.0, #TonyRobbins, #The6EmotionalNeeds, #TEDTalk, #NavigateRelocation, #RelocatingWithKids, #WhoAmI, #BrianTracy, #RelocationSurprises