20 September 2018, by Mandy Loh
It’s been more than a month since our big move to the USA! And I’m happy to report that all is well!
We’re immensely thankful that the entire relocation process has gone so smoothly. Everyone in the family has been in good health and good spirits, and everything has worked out awesomely for us! On top of that, we have been blessed to meet many warm, kind and friendly people, who have made us feel so welcome in our new neighbourhood!
I think there were a few big reasons why our move was successful, and I’d like to share them with you:
1. Take a scouting/ recce trip
As mentioned in my previous blog post, about a month before the actual move, we took a scouting trip to sort out as much administrative matters as we could. I would recommend a week’s stay to give yourself sufficient time to get things sorted out.
We’re so glad most of the nitty gritty were sorted out before we arrived with kiddos in tow! It made our move here much more seamless!
2. Time your move well
One big tip when moving to a country with four seasons, is to move during summer! At least the weather would be similar to Singapore, so there is one less adjustment to worry about. Also, it will give you time to gradually acclimatise and buy appropriate warmer clothes when the weather turns colder. More importantly, the locals are much happier and friendlier in the summer.
Another reason we moved at the end of summer, was to allow Cristan to start school at the beginning of the school year. It made it so much easier for him to ease into a new school and make new friends.
3. Pack a “survival kit” via air freight
There are two ways that personal belongings can be shipped: sea freight (which takes about 2 months) and air freight (much more costly, but takes only 2 weeks to arrive.)
We did a mixture of both, packing a few boxes of essential daily items via air freight, and the rest of our earthly possessions by sea freight. While air freight is pretty expensive, it arrived fast and has made life so much more pleasant, especially for the kids. We have been able to cook meals at our new home, sleep with our own pillows and bedding, and have all our toiletries, towels and personal items available.
We are still waiting eagerly for the rest of our things to arrive on sea freight, but at least we have been able to live quite comfortably in the interim.
4. Consider getting rental furniture
On the same note of making the transition more comfortable, one of the best decisions we made was getting some rental furniture for two months. It didn’t make sense to buy a whole set of new furniture while our sofa, dining table and beds were on the slow boat over, nor was it feasible to live without these essential items for so long. Thankfully, rental furniture services solved the problem perfectly.
5. Don’t forget the farewell parties!
In our final month in Singapore, the top priority for me was to spend as much time as I could with all my friends and loved ones. And I’m glad I invested time doing that. The hardest part about relocating is leaving loved ones behind.
Thankfully, we live in the age of Facebook, Whatsapp and free video calls, which make it so much easier to keep in touch. The trickiest bit is finding a mutually convenient time to chat with a time difference of 13 hours.
Well, I guess it’s early days for us yet, and there’s still a lot of things to get used to over here. For now, we’ve been busy buying jackets and warmer clothes as the weather has turned cooler. It’s officially fall now! Wish us luck as we learn to adapt to life here!