International Assignee Insights: Part IV – Relocation One Year On
Posted by: David Sabey, Director, Account Management
In my last three blog posts―(The Decision to Relocate, Preparing for a Relocation, and Arriving in a New Country)―I’ve shared my experiences in making the decision to relocate with my family, preparing for a relocation, and arriving in a new country. After relocating to Austin, Texas in January 2016 from the UK, my family and I recently made our first trip back to the UK to see family and friends and it prompted me to reflect on the move and our lives just over a year on.
What went well?
In our experience, in spite of some challenges, all of the logistical elements went smoothly. Angus the cat arrived in good health, our shipment came through completely undamaged, and we managed to get all of the day-to-day necessities arranged in a timely manner.
What were the most challenging elements?
Without a shadow of a doubt, it was the emotional aspects that hit the hardest. Even after over a year in the U.S., our daughter Lena still cries sometimes about missing England and her friends, though that is happening less frequently. For Raina and I, we’ve still yet to establish a real social network, in spite of our best efforts, and that makes us feel isolated at times.
The emotions are always hardest to deal with, especially when things go wrong. In the space of a month, we got into a car accident (though none of us were seriously hurt), and had to go to the emergency room as Raina went into anaphylactic shock – apparently she is seriously allergic to fire ant bites!!! Needless to say, we struggled to deal with all of that, but as a family, we pulled through it.
Do we have any regrets?
There are some small aspects on which we have some regrets, mostly around items of sentimental value we gave away, but not once, in over a year have we regretted our decision to move to the U.S.
What are the biggest positives?
In December we bought a house, with all of the space we could ever want, and with that we adopted Fergus, a rescue cat from the local shelter and he fast became part of the family. Lena started elementary school in August with a number of friends she met at pre-school, and we’re excited for the opportunities that are ahead of her. The sheer number of sports and activities that she has been exposed to has been incredible. From a work perspective, my new role is challenging and varied and I’ve had to learn a huge amount. Raina is also looking to start working part time and is excited to start the next chapter of her career.
In the last 12 months, we’ve had more visitors (both from within the U.S. and from the UK) than we had in 10 years in the UK, and less days of rain than in a single month in England. So, in many ways, all of the aspects we were looking for from this relocation have come to fruition.
I hope that our experience and the aspects that we have shared have been helpful and insightful, whether you are considering relocating, are in the midst of relocating, or are in the global mobility industry and regularly relocate others.
If you have questions about relocating your employees, whether it’s across the world or across the state, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. For more information on policy and program guidance, country information, and more, be sure to visit our Resource Hub on Cartus.com.