By: Melissa Stevens
It’s an emotional rollercoaster familiar to all expats – the elation, excitement and uncertainty of an overseas posting. International moving and relocation service Asian Tigers has a team of experts who understand these ups and downs, and have a range of services to help.
As the company’s marketing and corporate affairs director Florence Wong explains, relocating to a new country involves changes in almost every conceivable way. “New surroundings, new schools, new friends, new ways of carrying out everyday tasks, and a new culture,” she says. “With all of this, the process of adjusting to a new country can be psychologically and emotionally challenging.”
For many expat families, a move is triggered by one partner getting a new job. As Florence points out, this means it is typically the trailing spouse who shoulders the burden of relocation tasks, such as finding a property and handling school applications, as their partner immerses themselves in a new role. The combination of these stressors, coupled with a lack of family and friends close by, can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. But, she adds, Hong Kong does have plenty of resources for trailing spouses.
Tips and tools
For one thing, Florence urges newcomers to take advantage of the many networking events held in Hong Kong. Asian Tigers arranges two to three events a year for new arrivals to help people make friends as a relocation service. There also are many expatriate community groups that host information events and social activities.
Another support mechanism to consider here is hiring a foreign domestic worker, or helper. This can obviously be a very valuable resource for women – especially those who want to find work themselves – to get help in the home and with childcare.
Florence also urges people to make the most of the latest technology available when it comes to relocation. Here are some of the top techie tools:
• Virtual reality technology: Start searching for your new home before you arrive using virtual reality technology, such as taking a virtual tour of a property.
• Online video survey: Overcome scheduling hurdles with an online video survey, where a surveyor from Asian Tigers can view your furniture and give you a quote.
• Global Positioning System (GPS): Track your furniture shipment in real-time with a GPS, which Florence says allows you to better plan your schedule around the arrival of the shipment.
• Asian Tigers relocation service app: Asian Tigers has its own app to help you plan your move. You can get a quote, order packing materials, schedule a packing date, and track the moving progress anytime, as well as get shipment notifications.
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This article first appeared in the December/January 2017 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.