Shân Norman recently packed up her belongings and moved from the UK to America with her husband and children. Here she shares her experiences of planning for an exciting transatlantic family move.
How did you settle in to your new home?
Those first few weeks were extremely overwhelming. The bureaucracy in the U.S. was quite a challenge, from getting a Social Security number to applying for a Connecticut driving license. After driving for over 30 years in the UK I had to take a driving test. That was quite a funny experience in itself!
How was the moving process?
The relocation of our goods was fantastic, we were looked after by the packers at both ends of our transatlantic family move. It made the whole process really straightforward.
What has been the best thing about deciding to move?
It had been a dream of ours for a long time and although there were stressful moments during the move. We are now settled into family life in Connecticut and are enjoying what the diverse state has to offer.
What do you love about living in Connecticut?
Being a short distance from New York is one of the great things about living here. There’s so much to do from going into the city on the weekends, to being able to go skiing within 90 minutes of our house.
What’s been the biggest challenge for your transatlantic family move?
We have found the long, cold and snowy winters a challenge. And, of course, we still miss little things we never thought we would miss. My husband Paul craves an English Digestive biscuit as the ones sold here aren’t the same. My children miss their friends and family back home.
How have you managed homesickness?
Keeping in touch with loved ones can help to reduce the feeling of homesickness, which is crucial when you first relocate. Today, this couldn’t be easier – in fact, the digital age offers us a number of inexpensive and free options.
We spoke to Maddy, Shân’s 17-year-old daughter, to find out her perspective on the move.
How did you manage to adjust to moving away from your friends?
I found it difficult to move away from my friends but it’s so easy to keep in touch using Skype, Facebook and FaceTime. I love being able to video call my friends in London to find out about life back home and update them on my new life here.
What did you find most challenging about moving?
Settling in to a new school was nerve-wracking and making new friends was challenging at first. I found that taking part in the school play and getting involved in activities helped me make friends.
What advice would you give to other young people moving?
Make sure you join the town’s or your new school’s Facebook page as soon as possible. Both will provide up-to-date information on all the local events taking place. This is a great way of meeting people in your age group.
If you’re looking to get a head start on all the chatter in your town, Yik Yak is an amazing app. There are recommendations on where the coolest places in your town are and you’ll see everything that is going on before you even start your new school.
If you are interested in starting your own transatlantic family move and would like a moving quote click here